In response to recent Facebook posts and blogs, please let me say once and for all, whilst Wikipedia may have been a good idea to start with, it is hardly the gospel.
I am not responsible for all the (mis)information on it; my family linealogy, my childhood & upbringing, my parents’ backgrounds, various stages of my career, statements I have made in various interviews that have either been misquoted or decontextualised (wherein some statements might well be from interviews I did back in the 90s, and yet they are presented as current), aspects of my personal life which are inappropriately scrutinised (and misreported, to boot), my political, social, religious, spiritual views…apparently, all Wikipedia contributors are better informed than myself regarding all the above.
Whilst I wholeheartedly respect and support the notion and practice of an open-source universal encyclopaedic resource such as Wikipedia, it is not without structural flaws that allow for potentially damaging misrepresentation of information, through the inevitable subjectification of data. As with everything on the internet, there are grains of truth and elements of correctness regarding many pieces of information that are there, equally however, there are also outright erroneous statements and claims which I am tired of having to defend myself against time after time.
Despite the countless times I have tried to correct it, the hierarchical submission & modification system of Wikipedia makes it impossible to do so, wherein any corrections or modifications seem to magically revert back to their original incorrect form, often in under 24 hours. I have been misquoted & taken out of context so many times it doesn’t bear thinking about.. otherwise it makes you reluctant to do any interviews ever again!
The internet is similar to television (and all mass media) in this respect…just because the info is out there does not necessarily mean it is complete and correct, nor does it even mean that it is true.
On that note, there are a number of imposters posing as me with numerous “personal” websites, Facebook and Myspace pages; unauthorised, unendorsed and uninformed by myself, which is another aspect of misinformation I cannot do much about..unfortunately, there are negative sides to the informational democracy of the internet (which is a whole other debate we aren’t getting into now).
So unless it says Natacha Atlas Official, please ignore (or at least take with a large pinch of salt) what it may offer as truth, as it is mostly just hearsay, misquotes and Chinese whispers.
Incidentally, there was only one show booked in Israel, not a tour at all – more misinformation, what a surprise!
As I have previously stated, my motivations for initially accepting the booking were grounded in the best of intentions..whilst opinions are inevitably hugely divided regarding the whole subject of Palestine & Israel, I think it is safe to say that due to the enormous complexity of the situation, and the sheer diversity of vested interests for all parties concerned, that there are not going to be any simple, easy and neat solutions.
Given the conditions, I think it is obvious to all that any proposed solutions or courses of action while on the one hand might offer viable progress for some, will also incur the wrath and indignation of others.
However…somehow, we need to start somewhere. Mistrust being the order of the day for all sides, surely before some kind of level playing field can be established for fruitful negotiations to ensue, sincere gestures of goodwill and trust-establishment must take place on both sides. A REAL & genuine desire to reach solutions must be nurtured by all of us, starting on an individual level, reaching the highest echelons of power and influence.
In an ideal world.
Last time I checked, not so ideal…
We are all too often disappointed by how we are “represented” by politicians and people of power, for all too frequently, they fail to do just that…represent us.
I believe it is naive of us to not take into account the all-encompassing range of economic and financial motivations that govern these people’s decision-making processes, whatever the price and extent of short/mid/long-term damage that is inflicted on multiple peoples of the world as a result… so in my own way, I was merely attempting to contribute to making a start in the right direction.
Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone…so regardless of how altruistic one’s motivations may be, there will always be those who criticize and find fault with whatever path one follows..which is not to say that these ciriticisms are right or wrong, merely inevitable. Such is the range of opinions and ideological standpoints regarding a topic as complex as this.
For me, this situation serves perfectly as an analogy for the larger picture here…even on a level as basic (and arguably insignificant in the larger scheme of things) as a musical performance, the resultant fragmentation of opinion is so broad and varied as to make the finding of a universally satisfactory solution virtually impossible..
…sound familiar ?
To say no Arab plans to play in Israel is total nonsense. My good friend and colleague Muslim Algerian Mehdi Haddab (of the wonderful “Speed Caravan”) went to play in Israel AND Palestine not so long ago and sadly, BOTH shows were sabotaged and he was not able to complete his performances at either place. So even though his gesture of going to perform was well intentioned (although indubitably criticised by both sides for different yet similar reasons) it was sabotaged in any case. Similarly, Souad Massi was due to perform in Israel, and also eventually cancelled her performance due to the escalating political pressures.
As for my political views…you only have to read a few of my blogs on my official website to know how I feel about the state of the world… or just see my friend Peter Joseph’s film Zeitgeist:Addendum. A vast number of his views and ideologies are in accordance with my own. You can see it for free on Youtube. I thought I was going to get the opportunity to talk about Zeitgeist and Peter Joseph’s movement in Israel and if possible, talk to Palestinians about the movement too..
But as I have previously stated, after much deliberation (and hearing Mehdi’s story, among others), I knew that I was either going to be censored or sabotaged or both. Together with the hundreds of pleas for me to decline going, I simply could not ignore it.
As for the current Israeli regime, the one before and the one previous, well, they are all quite despicable.
And that goes for the whole world by the way. What, do you think the Israeli government are the only criminals in the world? The famous french philosopher Albert Camus said, and I quote, “Tout les etats son criminel” (All governments are criminal). And so we need to redesign our culture and our value system which is monetary based because all the world’s problems stem from this disease. And that is what i think. Emphatically.
So…Good night and good luck.