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Die Antwoord mum on petition to boycott performance in Israel

Palestine solidarity group BDS says it’s disappointed, as the group hasn’t responded to its plea.

Futuristic rap-rave crew Die Antwoord on set of Neill Blomkamp's new film Chappie. Picture: Die Antwoord Facebook Page

JOHANNESBURG - Calls to stop local band Die Antwoord from performing in Israel appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

The group has released a promotional video ahead of its concert in Rishon Lezion Live Park on 8 June.

Earlier this month, Palestine solidarity group BDS South Africa requested a meeting with rappers Ninja, Yolandi Visser and DJ Hi-Tek urging them to cancel their performance.

Watch: Die Antwoord to perform at Live Park in Israel

In the letter BDS said, "We humbly request you as fellow South Africans to choose to stand on the side of and abide by the boycott called by Palestinian civil society in their struggle for freedom and justice a boycott that has received increasing support from Israeli peace activists as well."

This was followed by a statement from a group of Israeli peace activists belonging to the organisation Boycott from Within who added, "While many people in Israel may enjoy and appreciate the talent of Die Antwoord (and rightly so), we request that you postpone your visit to Israel until the time when Israel complies with international law and stops its discriminatory occupation and apartheid policies of mass violence against the Palestinian people. We urge you to respect the call issued by Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions in 2005."

BDS confirmed that they have not received word from the duo.

Spokesperson Kwara Kekana says, "It's unfortunate, especially coming from South African artists looking at the role that cultural boycott campaigns played in the liberation of South Africa. As the SA chapter of the global BDS movement, we will keep on trying as much as we can."