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Petition to British Musicians Union


These pages almost never get overtly into politics. I do have strong political views, and over the years have seldom not been active and seldom not pushed my own, often radical politics. These pages happen to be a place where the only "politics" focus on sharing music and culture. It's a place where I try to create, and to draw attention to people creating good music and good community.

The point is that by building bridges with each other, and by finding common ground, peace and social justice become possible. The more we find ways to demonize each other, and the more comfortable we find ourselves with that demonization, the easier it is to do stupid things like killing each other, and the more people who are killed, the more the original impetus becomes just a symbol of hating the people who killed, and waiting for the wheel to turn to kill in turn.


The British Musicians Union recently defeated a measure to boycott Israeli musicians. The motion will return, and has come up in other places as well. While it is easy to manufacture pious-sounding rationalizations for such a boycott, such boycotts are evil. They are evil because they demonize the other side. They are evil because they keep us from meeting each other on any level. They are evil because the people who pass such a boycott feel as though they have done good, when they have in fact pushed peace farther away and increased the stupidity in the world.

There are times when a body should be boycotted. The Montgomery bus boycott of the early Sixties comes to mind. Mostly, and especially when the boycott makes it easy to forget that ultimately, learning to find the human in each other is what most matters, boycotts reinforce what is evil on all sides.

In that spirit, and not because I agree with every bit of the wording (I don't.), I have signed a petition applauding the actions of the British Musicians Union in rejecting the boycott. Mostly, I am glad that musicians voted to keep sharing music and to keep looking for common ground. I encourage readers of the KlezmerShack to do likewise, at:


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