Of all of Ehud Banai's enchanting songs, the most beautiful ones are those which were not played in the concert that was canceled near the settlement of Susya
in South Mount Hebron.
Although left-wing activists did demand that Banai avoid performing there, the reason for the cancellation was – paradoxically – "inciting and insane" reactions posted by right-wing activists on the musician's Facebook page, as his personal manager testified.
The bottom line is the most important: A performance in a place whose Palestinian residents were expelled from and are not allowed to enter was canceled. But Banai, a great artist and an even greater humanist, should have reached that conclusion in the first place, on his own, regardless of the opposition on the Left or the incitement on the Right.
The difference between boycotting settlements and boycotting settlers must be told and made clear once and for all: There is one purpose to refraining from buying and consuming settlement products and services – avoiding supporting the settlements, legitimizing them and economically strengthening the occupation enterprise.
Every person, especially every Israeli, who thinks and believes that the occupation in the West Bank is wrong and damaging, must act that way, according to what both his conscience and logic tell him.
Does that mean settlers must be persecuted and be deprived of a decent livelihood? God forbid. They can earn a living within the boundaries of the State of Israel,
and even enjoy every cultural and artistic event it has to offer. No one will discriminate against them because of their opinions or place of residence. If they find it difficult to work, study and go out in places which are not theirs, perhaps they'll be convinced to do it "in our place," in their country.
Even before the borderline between Israel and Palestine is drawn in a peace agreement (which will certainly come, even if it takes its time), it's important to draw the ethical line between legal and legitimate Israel and occupying and settling Israel. And it's important, of course, to apply all implications to this separation.
The disobedient and demagogical claim that "all of Israel is occupied," which will likely be pulled out again under these circumstances, will be refuted in reality as it always has been. The 1967 borders, even with reciprocal rectifications, are the accepted and conventional borders by international law, the international community and the majority of the Israeli public. In the areas of one Susya or another, where the rights of the Palestinian civilian population are being violated and trampled on, peace will never prevail and the State of Israel will never prevail.
A moral and peace-seeking citizen should form his own boundaries in stores, in educational institutions, in vacation resorts and in entertainment enters in a bid to promote his personal detachment from the land of settlers. Whoever keeps lending a hand and a leg to the celebration in the territories, whether loudly or through participation and deafening silence, will acknowledge that he is doing the opposite.
Even if heavenly music rises up from performances, events and different businesses in the territories – this show must not go on. The understanding and its results must hit the road. And like a wise intellectual once wrote, this path begins here.