Anoushka Shankar is Ravi Shankar’s daughter. She wrote this on Facebook three days ago. It is more evidence that Israel is lost and a tsunami of public opinion is sweeping away its image; Shankar (who lives in US, UK and India) played Israel last year.
As a rule, I don’t use my music page to voice opinion on politics, as I truly believe music can transcend those boundaries and raise the consciousness of people towards peace, and it’s against that belief to divide my audience by sharing my political views. However, when something is a humanitarian issue, I’ve always spoken when I felt moved to, and used whatever small platform I am lucky enough to have. The issue of Palestine has long torn at me, the deep divisiveness of the situation always holding me back from speaking. But I can’t be silent any longer. To be silent is to condone what is happening. This is no longer a political issue, it’s a humanitarian one (though of course the horrific level it is allowed and helped to reach by those countries with power, is inherently political). What’s happening now, through the bombing of homes, hospitals, schools and shelters, is the systematic and relentless killing of Palestinian civilians, including children. I don’t regret visiting Israel for performances last year, even though some people I respect requested I boycott the country, like many other artists. It gave me the chance to see firsthand, the second-class status and lack of equal rights Palestinians suffer under Israeli government, and opened my eyes to their plight. Let me please also be clear, that I have many Israeli-Jewish friends and colleagues who don’t share the view of their government, and of whom I am very fond. I fear upsetting them by speaking against their country. But I can’t be silent. What is happening now is a crime against humanity, it is apartheid, it is genocide. As a parent I can’t begin to imagine the nightmare families are facing, ordered to leave their homes to escape death, then being attacked in their sleep at the shelters where they were promised safety.
Please, friends, especially those of you in countries whose governments are supporting these atrocities, voice your dissent. Make your voices loud. Let’s be heard.
Shankar has now walked it back a bit, by blaming Hamas in this post. But she’s obviously getting rained by pro-Israel folks:
I appreciate those of you who have voiced your disagreement with respect, insight and knowledge, and ask those of you who feel the need to simply be abusive, to refrain from doing so. I can’t stop you, but it isn’t helpful. No problem if you choose to unlike my page if you don’t like what I have to say, but resorting to insults shows a lack of grace, and also perhaps, that you don’t have much better to argue with.