Palestinian Group Urges Rolling Stones to Boycott Israel

Organization compares Israel to apartheid, notes that band backed boycott of South Africa in 1980s.

A Palestinian group lobbying for boycotts against Israel has urged the Rolling Stones to cancel their scheduled September performance in Israel, comparing performing in Israel to performing in apartheid South Africa and noting that the legendary rock band had supported the boycott of South Africa in the 1980s.

An open letter calling on the Rolling Stones not to appear in Israel was sent to the band by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) on Sunday.

The letter listed groups that have blacklisted Israel and then asked, "Is it too much, then, to expect conscientious artists like the Rolling Stones to similarly uphold the values of freedom, equality and justice for all by supporting the growing boycott against Israel?"

In the letter the organization "strongly urged" the group cancel the planned concert because of what it called Israel's "colonial and apartheid designs to further dispossess, oppress and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland."

It called on the Stones to refrain from performing in Israel "until the time comes when (Israel) ends its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and respects fundamental human rights."

The group's producer in Israel, Shuki Weiss, declined to comment on the report.