Never mind Johnny Rotten, real punks boycott Israel

Disclaimer: I do not use the term apartheid in relation to the occupation of Palestine. The goal of Zionism is, in the words of Jonathan Azaziah, to "wipe out all non-Jewish peoples in vast parts of Egypt, including most of its north, all of Sinai and Cairo, all of Jordan, all of Kuwait, a gargantuan portion of Saudi Arabia, all of Lebanon, all of Syria, all of Cyprus, an elephantine part of Turkey up to Lake Van and finally, part of Iraq south of the Euphrates River."  Apartheid is not synonymous with genocide. Neither is ethnic cleansing. Zionist actions achieved the status of systematic genocide upon the time of  their mass invasion of Palestine till today.

by  Alexander Billet
Johnny Rotten’s racism does not represent the core vaules of punk rock. 
(Ed Vill / Wikipedia Commons)
“If Elvis-fucking-Costello wants to pull out of a gig in Israel because he’s suddenly got this compassion for Palestinians then good on him. But I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won’t understand how anyone can have a problem with how they’re treated.”
These words weren’t spoken by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. They didn’t crawl from the bile of AIPAC, Newt Gingrich or some hardened, right-wing ideologue from the heart of the Israel’s illegal settlements. They came from the mouth of John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols.
Most devotees of punk rock stopped taking Lydon seriously well before he started shilling for Country Life butter. To be sure, any and all credibility he once had from his work with the Pistols, or, for that matter, later on with Public Image Ltd (PiL), flew out the window years ago.
It’s also true that the Pistols idiotically paraded around in swastikas during their early years. Still, even taken with that grain of salt, Lydon’s words are profoundly troubling. Like it or not, the former Rotten is considered a granddaddy of punk rock. It’s not far fetched to imagine someone reading his words and thinking his flagrant racism, his willful defense of an apartheid state, are somehow the punk norm. It’s for this reason that Punks Against Apartheid exists.
In the summer of 2011, Punks Against Apartheid came together as an ad hoc formation of BDS activists and punk fans (a formation that, in the interest of full-disclosure, includes this writer). The goal was initially modest: draft a letter and petition urging Jello Biafra, formerly of The Dead Kennedys, to cancel his gig in Tel Aviv with his band The Guantanamo School of Medicine.
The response was overwhelming: within four days, Punks Against Apartheid’s petition had more than 500 signatures (“Sign the petition: Tell Jello Biafra to cancel the gig in Tel Aviv,” 16 June 2011).
As pressure built and Biafra publicly reaffirmed his commitment to the show, he specifically called out Punks Against Apartheid. However, a few days after that, with the petition bearing more than a thousand signatories, Biafra canceled the gig (“Jello Biafra cancels Tel Aviv gig,” 29 June 2011).
Furthermore, many of those who had supported us were urging Punks Against Apartheid to continue as a formal network.
Now, Punks Against Apartheid has finally launched its official website: Of course, the group doesn’t exist in isolation. The global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions is at a crucial international turning point. With the Arab revolutions and the anti-capitalist Occupy movement in close to 100 countries inspiring a new generation of rebel musicians, there may be no better time for Punks Against Apartheid to announce its formal presence.

“Racism Ain’t Punk”

Punks Against Apartheid follows a firm tradition of anti-racism within the punk movement. This encompasses punk rockers’ early embrace of reggae, the formation of Rock Against Racism and the Two Tone movement, the music of the Clash and Bad Brains, X-Ray Spex and MDC, Subhumans and The Specials.
There’s more than a little romance to the idea that all of this came out fully formed somehow. On the contrary, it had to be fought for both in the concert halls and on the streets. In both the US and the UK, open white supremacists vied for support within the punk movement during these early years. In a climate of economic crisis and harsh anti-immigrant scapegoating, the angry wail of punk was initially just as liable to trail into some dangerously dark territory. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)
And just like today, there was an international dimension that was difficult to ignore. Punk groups like National Wake from Johannesburg, South Africa were shut down and prevented from playing just like Black Flag in Los Angeles — though in the former’s case it was usually due to it being an integrated band in an apartheid state. The pleas from Nazi boneheads like the UK’s National Front or the American National Socialist Party to “support white South Africa” obviously had the effect of dividing the global punk community rather than uniting it.
No surprise then that the anti-racist side also embraced the worldwide movement against South African apartheid. David Widgery, one of the founders of Rock Against Racism, recalled in his book Beating Time that South Africa was a key part of Rock Against Racism’s message. Its publication, Temporary Hoarding, featured pictures of the Soweto uprisings on its cover. The same issue made a case that, as Widgery put it “our little Hitlers had their big brothers in power in South Africa.” The Specials, with their infectious blend of ska and punk energy, were particularly moved to support the anti-apartheid movement — most famously and obviously in “Free Nelson Mandela.”
When Steven Van Zandt, a guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, formed Artists United Against Apartheid and declared “I ain’t gonna play Sun City,” Joey Ramone and The Dead Boys’ Stiv Bators were among those who recorded the single. Countless other punk acts heeded that same call and pointedly refused invitations to perform in South Africa — including The Dead Kennedys and Public Image Ltd.
The parallels between apartheid South Africa and modern-day Israel have been laid out again and again. Areas designated “off limits” to Arabs and Palestinians, systematic denial of basic rights. Forced removals, refugee camps and checkpoints. Random raids of homes and violent repression of anything smacking of resistance. Though it’s been almost twenty years since white rule was abolished in South Africa, its ancestor is alive and well in a similar colonial settler state.
Of course, punk rock hasn’t gone anywhere either. For every sugary corporate Green Day ripoff willing to cross the Palestinian people’s international picket line (I’m looking in your direction, Simple Plan), there are untold numbers of young folks forming their own bands, their own labels and own fanzines because they believe punk stands for something. It’s these people that Punks Against Apartheid seeks to reach.
And believe it or not, despite the stubbornly persistent notion that punk remains a white boy thing, many of these punks are those most under the gun of American racism, a racism that has become more pronounced since 11 September 2001.
“Being a punk and being a Muslim-American to me go hand in hand,” says activist and writer Tanzila Ahmed. “They are both about standing up to the man. They are about believing what you believe with your whole gut and soul … It’s about being marginalized and fighting to reclaim your voice.”
Ahmed, or “Taz,” as she is known, is one of many participants in the burgeoning Taqwacore scene: Muslim punks. It’s a sub-culture that is currently taking its rightful place next to riot grrl and Afro-punk in the ever expanding horizons of a diverse punk scene.
In an interview with The Electronic Intifada, Taz also insisted that her identity as a Muslim punk is a big reason she supports BDS: “The US government is largely why Israel feels empowered to bully the way it has … It’s all about political power, and at this point of history hate speech against Muslims is the tactic and Muslim-Americans are the pawns. I absolutely believe that the lack of support for Palestine is the sacrifice politicians are making to stay in power and to win votes.”

Alexander Billet, a music journalist based in Chicago, runs the website Rebel Frequencies and has contributed to The Electronic Intifada,, Z Magazine, International Socialist Review and He is a founding member of Punks Against Apartheid and has been active in various anti-war, anti-racist and economic justice movements. He can be reached at rebelfrequencies [at] gmail [dot] com.


  1. I don't think Johnny Rotten should play in israel. I don't think anyone should, I support the total boycotting of this Rothschild serfdom. I also think JR's comments are atrocious and indicate what an ignorant ass hole he is.
    I do however have issues with much of the tone and content of this article by A Billet.
    For a start, to attempt to compare White SA apartheid with jewish oppression in Palestine is a gross fallacy. You cannot compare jews with White Christian Boars. jews in israel will slaughter every Arab that's in their way to create their greater israel. They wont even think twice about it no matter what word 'opinion' wants. White SA's, due to world public opinion, sanctions, etc., voluntary relinquished power to the Blacks. Now they are being murdered at the rate of one a day. Before they are murdered they are brutally raped and butcherer by the Blacks. A honorific Genocide against Whites is occurring now by savage racist Blacks and the jew world media is completely silent. White Boars are even denied the right to immigrate back into Europe!
    Punks against Racism are completely silent about this racism because PAR, funded by the Jews, promotes the myth that only Whites can be racist.
    Before the Boars brought civilization to SA,(hundreds of years ago) the Africans didn't even have the wheel. The IQ differentials and level of culture between the Boars and the Africans are so huge that it is impossible for them to integrate. To expect them to is an attack on White intelligence. Yes, it can be argued that Whites should not have settled there in the first place, but remember this was hundreds of years ago, not 1948. The jews that live in SA and who are the Real Power certainty don't mix with the Blacks. But once again this remains hidden and the White Christians are the racist villains insinuated by the use of the term Apartheid.

    To claim that israel is an Apartheid state is a gross understatement of their proven evil actions and intent. Forcing Palestinians to live in a small stripe of land then bombing them to a pulp is not Apartheid, its cold blooded ritualized slaughter. There is no comparison, there never was, and the term should be dropped. It cover's up the holocaust that is really the more appropriate term for what is going on in Palestine.

    PAR slanders the BNP who defended the Boars right not to mix with the Blacks. I would love to see the folks at PAR assimilate and integrate with the Blacks in Soweto! These middle class lefties would be sodomized and gang raped before having their throats cut, no matter how many chores's of 'free Nelson Mandela' they could get through. Like most anti Fascist groups PAR is no doubt funded by the Jew World Order as they are unknowingly (or Knowingly) supporting the genocide of White Civilization now being committed by the jews.
    These 'multicultural' punks need to wake up soon. Whites have the right to defend their racial uniqueness, their historic homelands and their civilization just like every other race does. White Nationalism (as in the BNP) does not equate with either a)Racism or b)colonialism in the same way that neither does Arab Nationalism. In fact, the BNP calls for the complete withdrawal of all British troops in all foreign occupations. IMO only by uniting Nationalist demands in all Nations will we have a chance to defeat the jew World Order/ IWG. These lefty 'anti fascist' orgs like PAR tend to be full of jews who distract and rail-road our thinking. That is my opinion anyway. رسول الله صلى الله

  2. Also, (I couldn't fit it in the above comment), it has been my opinion for a long time that the quickest way to dissolve israel and therefore free Palestine is to expose israel's central role in the 9/11 attacks.

    Let's face it, most American's cannot even find China on a map let alone Palestine. They never have and they never will give a shit about Palestinian injustice. But if they realize (in mass) that israel and American jews attacked them on 9/11, their patriotic tendency's will go ape shit and heads will role, namely israel's!
    Whether JR plays or doesn't play in israel only matters to those of us who are informed anyway. The realization that jews attacked USA on 9/11 will matter to all Americans across the board.
    That is my opinion anyway. رسول الله صلى الله

  3. Well, Robert, what an intriguing comment! The only problem I had with the article was the use of the term apartheid for occupied Palestine. I reposted it because I like to give publicity to racist, Zionist, pro Israel celebrities and artists. Also, I thought Johnny Rotten was dead till I read the article. Punks, that was all cool in the 70's. When it was NEW.
    Your comment on the aritcle is WAY more interesting than the article itself! Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!

  4. No problem, thanks for having me! I would not have known J Rotten was planning to play in israel had you not posted this piece. I was a fan of the Sex Pistols in my younger days but I will certainly avoid any support of this ignorant tool from now on.
    I am not knocking PAR for making light of this concert, but, like yourself, I feel the Apartheid analogy misrepresents the situation in occupied Palestine.
    Apartheid is a White Afrikaner term. It defines the racial segregation laws created by the Whites who colonized SA, a land occupied by pre-industrialized Black tribal society's. This differs markedly from the yids entry into Palestine.
    Human civilization first developed in (Sumer)Iraq. It eventually spread around the arch of the fertile crescent through Palestine into Egypt. Semitic Arabs lived in advanced civilizations for thousands of years long before the Mongolian Khazars came onto the scene. When the Ashkenazi yids (Khazarians)first started to settle in Palestine around 1900 they had been living in isolated squalor in Russia and Poland for centuries. They were (and still are) a lazy backward people with a insular and superstitious, extremely supremist and dangerous moral code- Talmudism. They brought nothing, no new technologies, skills, ideas, or anything of value with them. The Palestinian Arabs were hard working, educated and civilized, practising the peaceful religion of Islam. It was only because of Rothschild's money that the jews were able to steal, then industrialize the land. The jews segregated themselves from the native Arabs not because they were more advanced, smarter or civilized, but because they were more backward, parasitic and uncivilized. The colonization of Palestine was only accomplished because of Rothschilds money and power, and of course, by treachery and deceit. The British stabbed Palestine in the back, and so the story goes on and on.

    Holocaust is a term jews love to repeat at every opportunity to any fool that will listen to them. It means something like 'burnt offering'. The children of Gaza were burnt alive by the phosphorous bombs dropped on them by the jews. In my view, occupied Palestine can better be described as a Holocaust state, not an Apartheid state.

    Racism is a complex issue. Anyone can claim to be against racism. It is now fashionable, trendy and politically correct to oppose racism. President Obama opposes racism, yet he orders US pilots to mass murder Arabs and Africans in Libya. That is racism. Multiculturalists promote a trendy ideology of non racism, yet their social engineering destroys the biodiversity of the entire human race. That is racism.
    By misrepresenting the true nature and severity of jewish racism in Palestine, and also by equating anti-multiculturalism with racism, Punks against Racism need to make sure their not being hijacked by jewish racists. All the best Genie.

  5. thanks for your input Robert:-)


If you sit by a river long enough, you'll see the body of your enemy float by.
Old Japanese proverb