Hip Hop Artist, EWOK, withdraws from Hilton Arts Fest!
This year's Hilton Arts Festival has been marred by controversy over its collaboration with, and accepting of money and support from, the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Citing financial woes, Hilton Arts Festival director explained to the Witness Newspaper: “Relative to other festivals in South Africa, we’re still really underfunded...we need old-fashioned cash money.”
It needs to be remembered that the cash strapped Apartheid government also turned to Israel (its "last" ally) during the 80s and 90s for "old-fashioned cash money". This is a collaboration that democratic South Africa wants to walk away from, not re-enforce - at least until Israel, like South Africa, democratizes, respects international law and ends its apartheid policies.
In withdrawing his scheduled Hilton Arts Festival performance, Iain EWOK Robinson stated: “I cannot in good conscience willingly participate in any event that enjoys the support and patronage of the Israeli Government in any form.
EWOKS's full letter, in which he compassionately explains why he cancelled his gig, can be found here: www.southafricanartistsagainstapartheid.com/2011/09/breaking-news-hip-hop-performer-cancels.html
Iain EWOK Robinson is warmly saluted for his clear and principled position and withdrawal from the festival.
Here are links to some media coverage of the issue:
- The Witness newspaper on Monday 
- Daily News front page on Tuesday 
- Timeslive top story on Wednesday 
- The New Age on Thursday
Africa Gateway Magazine on Friday
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