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US rapper Talib Kweli barred from German festival after refusing to denounce BDS Open in fullscreen

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US rapper Talib Kweli barred from German festival after refusing to denounce BDS

Last month German lawmakers approved a resolution denouncing the BDS movement as anti-Semitic. [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 June, 2019

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US hip hop star Talib Kweli has been disinvited from a German music festival after refusing to denounce the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

US hip hop star Talib Kweli has been disinvited from a German music festival after refusing to denounce the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Kweli, who earned recognition for his early collaborations with rapper Mos Def, was asked by the artistic director of the Open Source Festival to declare his views on the BDS movement ahead of the concert.

"As we are also working with public funding we have no other choice than to ask you for an official statement concerning your position towards the BDS," an email from the director read.

Last month German lawmakers approved a resolution denouncing the BDS movement as anti-Semitic, the first European parliament to do so.

The motion vowed not to financially support any projects that call for a boycott of Israel, actively support the BDS movement, or "question Israel's right to exist".

It stated that the movement was reminiscent of the Nazi-era slogans, such as "Don't buy for the Jews".

Kweli posted a public response to the festival organiser's demand.

"By lying and saying that BDS is an anti-Semitic movement, the German government is engaging in fascism and doing a disservice to the German people," he wrote on Facebook.

"Boycotting, Divesting and Sanctioning are peaceful solutions to the crisis that destroys Palestinians homes and lives. It is the opposite of terrorism," he added.

"The ball is in your court. I would like to perform in Germany but I don't need to. I'd rather be a decent human being and stand up for what's right then censor myself and lie about BDS for a check."

Shortly after his post the Open Source Festival responded and said they had "no other option but to withdraw his invitation".

The non-violent BDS movement said it is inspired by the campaign that targeted South Africa's apartheid regime and is seeking an end to Israel's brutal occupation.

Israel sees BDS as a strategic threat and accuses it of anti-Semitism - a claim activists firmly deny, calling it an attempt to discredit them.

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