Musicians in support of Palestine are invited to add your name to the statement below in calling for a total boycott of the Israeli “Oud Festival” in occupied Jerusalem. To add your name to the statement, please use the form below or email or

Statement for a boycott of the Zionist ‘oud festival’ in occupied Jerusalem

We the undersigned group of Palestinian and international musicians call for a total boycott of Israel’s now annual ‘oud festival’ in occupied Jerusalem and stand against normalisation with a regime aiming to colonise Palestine’s capital in its entirety.

The oud, as the quintessential stringed instrument of Palestinian and Arab world music culture, is being appropriated by a Zionist state whose history is based on the erasure and theft of indigenous livelihoods. As the Israeli ‘Jerusalem Municipality’ re-launches its musical PR projects with the easing of certain coronavirus restrictions, Palestinians in Jerusalem are fighting tooth and nail against the accelerating land-grab of Sheikh Jarrah and swathes of the land east of their city. Palestinian performing artists are attacked or imprisoned, while broader communities of the displaced face the terror of aerial destruction of their cultural centres and systematic underdevelopment of their means of production.

The ‘oud festival’ signifies the culture-washing of the crimes of Israeli colonisation. As such we stand against all Palestinian and international participation. With very few exceptions, the festival organisers have failed abjectly in recruiting Palestinian and Arab musicians to collude in a humiliating display of Israeli-dictated ‘coexistence.’ This reflects the grassroots opposition of Palestine’s rejectionist artists, distinct from the elite displays of treachery seen at Dubai Expo and other platforms of Zionist and Arab capitalist collaboration. We must build on the revolutionary potential of Palestinian musicians’ anti-normalisation commitment and expose to the world the Zionist political roots of these cultural phenomena.

Live events at the festival are convened by Haim Gouri Zionist Confederation House, founded upon Jerusalem’s colonial conquest and named after a former member of the Palmach, which carried out 1948 massacres including at Sa’sa’ and al-Dawamiya. Since its foundation, the festival has been sponsored by Zionist mayors, who play a particular role in boosting its presence. Current rightist mayor Moshe Lion claimed in 2019 that the festival was a way of ‘establishing dialogue,’ while simultaneously supporting the US Trump administration’s moving of its embassy to Jerusalem as ‘the only fitting location for embassies in the state of Israel.’ In May 2021 he described the Zionist colonisation of Sheikh Jarrah as a ‘property dispute’ and blamed Palestinians for ‘igniting violence.’ As we write this statement, Israeli courts are attempting to force Sheikh Jarrah families into accepting ‘temporary ownership’ of their homes by a Zionist settler organisation.

Israel’s seemingly impulsive massacres upon Palestinians in Gaza and its operations across historic Palestine carry the constant threat of cultural obliteration, like the May 2021 destruction of Mashariq studio in Ansar or the August 2018 bombing of the Said al-Mashal theatre. In occupied Jerusalem, Sabreen studios and the Hakawati theatre face existential threats due to Zionisation of the city. Performers like orchestral bassist Mariam Afifi and al-Funoun choreographer Atta Khattab have faced the prison cells of the Zionist attack squads.

In the face of these crimes, and in the hands of those who struggle, the oud becomes a tool of anti-racist, anti-colonial liberation. Revolutionary protest singers from Jerusalemite Palestinian Mustafa al-Kurd to Egypt’s Sheikh Imam have resounded their oud for Palestine. Calling for a boycott of the Zionist ‘oud festival’ means a defence of indigenous expression, a stand against normalisation and intensifying the boycott and isolation of the Zionist state.


  • Tareq Abboushi, buzuq player and educator, Palestine
  • Osloob Abdelrahman, rapper, Yafa/France
  • Sama’ Abdulhadi, DJ, Palestine
  • A Blue Pail, producer, Canada
  • Ayman Abou Abdou, oud, Gaza
  • Suma Abu Ali, nai player, Gaza
  • Kinan Abuakel, buzuq, Syria
  • Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, musician and producer, Palestine/Egypt
  • Mohamed Abulyada, oud, Gaza/Germany
  • Ramzi Aburedwan, musician and composer, France/Palestine
  • Abdelaziz Abusharik, qanoun, Gaza/Ireland
  • Hadeel Abu Sharr, vocalist, Gaza/Egypt
  • Fadi Abu Yaseen, oud and keyboard player, Gaza
  • Moneim Adwan, composer and musician, Gaza/France
  • Mariam Afifi, contrabassist, Jerusalem, Palestine
  • Manhal Alfalasteny, singer, composer and songwriter, Tunisia
  • Fida’ Alshaer, oud, occupied Golan, Syria
  • Bahri Altorkmany, buzuq, oud, Syria
  • Fares Anbar, percussionist, Gaza/Turkey
  • Reem Anbar, oud, Gaza/Britain
  • Toni Aoun, songwriter, UK
  • Arabian Panther, DJ and musician, France
  • Samer Asakli, oud, Haifa
  • Rola Azar, vocalist, Nazareth
  • Azza Balbaa, singer, Egypt
  • Tarik Beshir, vocals and oud, Britain
  • Clarissa Bitar, oud player and composer, Palestine/USA
  • Hames Bitar, musician, Spain
  • Issa Boulos, composer and music scholar, Palestine/USA
  • Louis Brehony, musician and scholar, Ireland/Britain
  • Walter Brooker, saxophonist, Canada
  • Kendall Buchanan, jazz musician, USA
  • Baider Burman, Palestinian flamenco guitarist, Sweden
  • Layale Chaker, violinist and composer, Lebanon/USA
  • Checkpoint 303, electronica, oud and experimental soundscapes
  • Bobbi Connolly, guitarist, Wales/Ireland
  • Najib Coutya, vocals and oud, Britain/Lebanon
  • Mustapha Dakhloul, bagpiper, nay player, Lebanon
  • Darbet Shams band, Haifa
  • Nur Darwish, vocalist, Palestine
  • Paula Darwish, singer-songwriter, Britain/Turkey
  • Raymond Deane, composer, Ireland
  • DJ Fatin, DJ, Palestine/Turtle Island
  • Tony Erizia, vocalist and composer, England
  • Haifaa Farajalla, vocalist, Gaza
  • Amanda Feery, composer, Ireland
  • Roger Fowler, singer and guitarist, New Zealand
  • Iandra França, pianist, Brazil
  • Alisa Gayle-Deutch, musician, Canada
  • Gazelleband, Gaza/Britain
  • Toni Germani, musical artist, Canada
  • Cathy Gulkin, documentary filmmaker, Canada
  • Mohammad Habash, al-Ashiqeen group, Palestine/Sweden
  • Mohammad Al-Habbash, oud, Gaza
  • Mariam Haidar, oud, Haifa
  • Ziad Hbouss, bagpiper, Palestine/Lebanon
  • Jacinta Houston, musician, New Zealand
  • Fareed Ismail, Producer, Percussionist, Drummer, South Africa/Canada
  • Kamilya Jubran, musician and composer, Galilee/France
  • Khaled Jubran, composer and music educator, Galilee
  • Bengt Karlsson, flute player, Sweden
  • D4RKSTAR, musician, Sweden
  • Debbie Kennedy, jazz bass player/singer, Australia/USA
  • Diam Keywan, musician, Haifa, Palestine
  • Kamal Khalil and Baladna Group, composer and singer, Jordan
  • Ahmad Al Khatib, composer and oud player, Palestine/Sweden
  • Sam Khattar, musician, Lebanon/USA
  • John King, composer/guitarist/oudist, USA
  • Kofia band, Palestine/Sweden
  • Gabriel Lavin, guitar/oud, USA
  • Leen, drums, Germany
  • Arab Loutfi, filmmaker, Egypt
  • Mats Lundälv, 12-string guitar and vocals, Kofia Band, Sweden
  • Ronnie Malley, oud player, producer and educator, USA
  • Ari Salim Marcus, nay player, USA
  • David McDonald, musicologist, USA
  • Miguel Merino, drums, simsimiyya, Egypt
  • Ayman Mghamis, rapper, Gaza
  • Safaa Mohajeri, vocalist, Germany
  • Othman Mohammad, vocalist/oudist, USA
  • Issa Murad, oud, Jerusalem/France
  • Luci Murphy, vocal artist, USA
  • Ricardo Luiz Nakaima, jazz musician, Brazil
  • William Nassar, composer, conductor and protest singer, Lebanon
  • Antán Ó Dála an Rí, Irish folk/rock, Ireland
  • Raneen Okasha, vocalist, Gaza
  • Rawan Okasha, vocalist, Gaza
  • Sylvia Posadas, songwriter and musician, Australia
  • Produce, dj decks and keyboards, USA
  • Ahmed Qrinawi, oud, Gaza/Tunisia
  • RENU, electronic music composer, Germany/Britain
  • Mai Ruby, oud, Sweden
  • Saba Band, Palestine/Syria/Sweden
  • Hussain Sabsaby, oud, Syria
  • Mohammed Sabsaby, oud, Syria
  • Arian Sadr, percussionist, Iran/Britain
  • Yousef Saif, buzuq player, producer, composer, Brazil/Palestine
  • Yara Salahiddeen, vocalist, Palestine/Egypt/Britain
  • Belal Saleh, oud, Gaza
  • Kareem Samara, oud, Palestine/Britain
  • Haider Sandouk, oud, Iraq/Britain
  • Heike Schotten, professor, US Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, USA
  • Rich Siegel, pianist/vocalist/songwriter, USA
  • Reem Talhami, singer and actress, Jerusalem, Palestine
  • Ahmad Tamari, percussionist, Palestine/Sweden
  • Imad Tamimi, oud, Palestine/Sweden
  • Jay Taylor, classical guitarist, USA
  • George Totari, songwriter, Nazareth/Sweden
  • Bahri Turkmani, buzuq and oud player, Syria
  • Amal Waqar, oud, Oman/USA
  • Ali Saleh Wassouf, oud player, Sweden
  • Katie Waterland, songwriter and vocalist, USA
  • Roger Waters, songwriter, singer, bassist and composer, Britain
  • David Watson, experimental musician, USA
  • Henry Zaccak, tabla, Canada
  • Wanees Zarour, composer and musician, Palestine USA
  • Basel Zayed, composer and musician, Palestine/USA

To add your name to the statement, use the form below or please email or

Sign on to Oud Festival Boycott Statement

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