This post originally appeared on February 3, 2013 on the official (today archived) Blog of Artists 4 Israel. – An Invitation to DJ Khaled from Craig Dershowitz –
Dear DJ Khaled,
My name is Craig Dershowitz and I am the Executive Director of Artists 4 Israel. Among our many programs, we seek to educate artists about the freedoms that Israel protects, allowing them to create their work undisturbed, without censorship or oppression. Unfortunately, that is not the same around the world. In fact, right next door to Israel stands the residents of Gaza who have a long history of repressing their citizens and, as an extension of that, the creatives within their community. When women, blacks, latinos, non-Muslims, homosexuals and political opponents are not allowed to live freely, fearful of being arrested, tortured or murdered, artists are equally in danger.
As such, it is distressing that recently you, a well respected artist with a large following, have been expressing political sentiments that seem to support Gaza. Hamas, the terrorist rulers of this area, are no fans of your label mates, friends or fellow artists. I believe that your support for Gaza is misguided and ask that you might consider joining Artists 4 Israel on a tour of this geographic location.
We will leave political discussions behind and, simply, allow you to tour Israel and Gaza (mind you, no Israelis are allowed into Gaza under the threat of death by Hamas, but we will arrange for your safety) and learn for yourself the reality of life in this area. We will respect whatever opinions you form and welcome the opportunity to help you share them with the world. We believe that once you have toured the area, seen with your own eyes that the lies said about Israel are indeed lies, met the beautiful people there, seen the mansions in which the corrupt, treacherous Hamas rulers live and the way they oppress their own people alongside artists and Israelis, you will join us in our support of Israel and struggle to protect the rights of creatives who are in danger in Gaza.
Please let me know how I may make this happen.
Artists 4 Israel