Artists who perform in Israel aren’t just worried about selling tickets, but about their safety, as they are targeted by BDS and others.
With the imminent arrival of Sir Paul McCartney to perform in Israel, it has come to light that in 2008 Omar Bakri, a militant Islamic preacher, said McCartney’s decision to perform as part of Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations made him the enemy of Muslims worldwide.
Syrian-born Bakri during his weekly internet broadcast to fellow extremists from his home in Lebanon, where he has lived in exile since being banned from returning to Britain, said Sir Paul was
“making more enemies than friends”.
“I heard today that the pop star Paul McCartney is playing as a part of the celebrations.
“If you speak about the holocaust and its authenticity never being proved historically in the way the Jewish community portray it, people will arrest you. People will you say you should not speak like this. Yet they go and celebrate the anniversary of 60 years of what?
“Instead of supporting the people of Palestine in their suffering, McCartney is celebrating the atrocities of the occupiers. The one who is under occupation is supposed to be getting the help.
“And so I believe for Paul McCartney, what he is doing really is creating more enemies than friends.”
As reported in the British Sunday Express in an interview Bakri said:
“Our enemy’s friend is our enemy.
“Thus Paul McCartney is the enemy of every Muslim. We have what we call ‘sacrifice’ operatives who will not stand by while he joins in a celebration of their oppression.
“If he values his life Mr McCartney must not come to Israel. He will not be safe there. The sacrifice operatives will be waiting for him.”
The irrepressible Anjem Choudary, said Sir Paul had allowed himself to become a propaganda tool for Israel.
“Muslims have every right to be angry at Paul McCartney. How would the world react if he wanted to have a concert in occupied Kashmir?
“They would not allow it to happen but because it is Israel he can play. A country which, as the celebration indicates did not exist 60 years ago, only exists thanks to stealing and occupying another country’s lands.”
The Jerusalem Post headlines:
BDS movement calls on Rolling Stones to cancel plans to play in Israel
Facebook page calls on legendary British rockers to boycott Israel “due to the state’s crimes against humanity.”
Just days after The Jerusalem Post broke the story that the Stones were closing in on a June 10 show at the National Stadium in Ramat Gan, the BDS movement opened a Facebook page calling on the band to cancel its plans to play in Israel “due to the state’s crimes against humanity.”
A post on the Facebook page on Thursday claimed that pro-Israel hackers had unsuccessfully attempted to take down the site.
“This page has been under attack by unskilled Mossad-paid script-kiddies. They’ve been neutralized. Now it is time to bring the Zionist regime to it’s knees, be it by stones or with a swift kick to the wallet. Don’t bother, Rolling Stones. Israel will probably not exist come June.”
No one is immune as the Sydney Morning Herald reported:
Sir Tom Jones, the 73-year-old singer became the latest high-profile act to come under pressure not to perform in Israel after activists in his native Wales used the title of one his most famous songs, It’s Not Unusual to urge him to cancel the show at Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena on Oct 27.
The Cardiff Palestine Solidarity Campaign said its petition,
“It’s Not Unusual To Boycott Apartheid”
had attracted more than 1000 signatures.
It provoked a sharp response from Israel’s consulate in New York, which used the same song in the title of a mass email campaign,
“It’s Not Unusual To Love Israel”
that calls on pro-Israel activists to swamp Sir Tom with messages on social media encouraging him to go ahead with the concert.
“Over the past few weeks, Tom Jones has become the latest victim of a fringe campaign pushing for a boycott of Israel, which bullies artists and academics from coming to Israel,”
wrote Gil Lainer, the mission’s consul for public affairs.
“It is time to tell Tom Jones that no music fan should be punished because of the agenda of online bullies. We should send positive messages of love and support to Tom Jones on his Facebook and Twitter pages, with the hashtag #Israel LovesTomJones.”
My Yiddishe Momme live in Tel Aviv.
BDS is a well-organized, well-funded movement without clear leadership or hierarchy, advocates of BDS have long lobbied for performing artists to shun Israel and they faithfully launch vociferous email and Internet campaigns whenever a foreign act is booked for a show.
However much they try to turn these artists against Israel, they seem to have had only a marginal effect on the international artistic community.
Recent disclosures reveal, however, that BDS advocates have added sordid and ugly tactics to their methods, indicating that their seemingly emotional, humanistic appeals are really thinly veiled – or unveiled – threats.
Rumors have persisted that singer Macy Gray was threatened with harm to her family if she went through with her 2011 performance.
Recently, however, these rumors have been replaced by clear facts. Scooter Braun, the Jewish manager of teen phenomenon Justin Bieber, told The Jerusalem Post that their 2011 appearance in Tel Aviv was surrounded by threats.
“We had plenty of death threats from different groups over him coming to Israel. But most of the death threats were that ‘the Jew manager will die.”
In July Eric Burdon, vocalist of 1960s band ‘The Animals’, almost cancelled his August show in owing to threats to his safety.
“We’ve been receiving mounting pressure, including numerous threatening emails, daily. The last thing I intend do is put Eric in jeopardy.”
Burdon’s management said that Burdon later reconsidered his decision and performed in Israel.
When the artists being pressured to boycott Israel go public with these campaign of intimidation, nothing is left to the imagination. BDS efforts can’t be concealed as an ideological appeal from peace-loving activists – it is thuggery, bordering on criminality and it reflects just how desperate their cause has become.
Adam Shay researcher for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said
“The situation is that a singer or band is attacked in the virtual world by bullies, suffering threats to their incomes, their lives or threats to blow up the show.
Video clips are put up on YouTube calling on people to boycott the singer or band if they play in Israel,”
“It’s the easiest thing to do all this on the Internet because there’s no accountability… if an artist gets 600 emails saying that’s going to happen to him, he can do nothing but be frightened. Artists complain of massive attacks, to the point where their websites crash, before they perform in Israel. These are well-timed attacks, coordinated among all the groups in the BDS movement, right up to the date and the hour.”
Variety Magazine says:
Nearly 14,000 users follow @BDSmovement on Twitter, the past few years have seen some of the world’s most prominent artists ignoring BDS’ pressure and even issuing statements condemning the injection of politics into their profession.
Alicia Keys is one artist to have suffered badly recently at the hands of the BDS and refused to summit to their threats. She had massive support on Facebook,
Novelist Alice Walker was one person to put pressure on Alicia Keys to boycott Israel and cancel a scheduled concert there.
In an open letter posted on her website, Walker wrote,
“It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists.”
Walker, who in the past has called Israel the world’s “biggest terrorist,” described suicide bombings as “last-ditch resistance” in saying it was dishonest to engage in “blaming the oppressed for using their bodies where the Israeli army uses armored tanks,”
Furthermore refused to allow “The Color Purple,” her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about black life in the segregated South, to be translated into Hebrew. She also participated in a flotilla of ships attempting to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.
Despite pressure from Walker and from BDS groups and Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, Keys refused to give in.
“I look forward to my first visit to Israel,”
she told The New York Times in May.
“Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show.”
“Ma koreh, Tel Aviv,” Keys said as she opened her concert.
Comments from those who chose Israel over threats.
PET SHOP BOYS (2013)
“I don’t agree with this comparison of Israel to apartheid-era South Africa,”
Neil Tennant, wrote on the band’s website. The band performed a show in Israel on June 23. Tennant stated,
“In apartheid-era South Africa, artists could only play to segregated audiences; in Israel anyone who buys a ticket can attend a concert.”
ELTON JOHN (2010)
“Nobody gonna stop me from playing here, baby,”
John told an audience.
“ Music is, and always will be, a universal language, free from boundaries. It can and does inspire unity and builds bridges between people.”
JETHRO TULL (2010)
“To those who tell me I should ‘boycott’ Israel (or, for that matter, Turkey or Lebanon),”
Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull’s lead vocalist, wrote in 2010.
“On my travels around the world I am continually reminded of atrocities carried out historically by many nations who are now our friends, and it serves to strengthen my resolve that some degree of peace and better understanding may result from my and other artists’ professional and humble efforts in such places.”
Not only celebrity performers are targeted. In April 2014 members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign to mount non-stop demonstrations outside a gallery for the three-month duration of an exhibit if the Israeli embassy’s sponsorship was not cancelled.
They duly complied , clearly concerned about the repercussions’
Ironically Yael Bartana, Israeli multimedia artist targeted, is known, for her criticism of Israeli policy toward Palestinians.
One person who was terrified by the BDS threats and pulled out of visiting Israel, as was reported here on JDU, mere weeks after Eric Burdon revealed he was threatened by the BDS for performing in Israel. Please read link here.
The management for the Afropop superstar Salif Keita cancelled his appearance at the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival to threats made to ruin his reputation.
The method of harassment was detailed in a Facebook post by Keita’s nonprofit organization, the Salif Keita Global Foundation. The performer’s representatives
“were bombarded with hundreds of threats, blackmail attempts, intimidation, social media harassment and slander stating that Mr. Keita was to perform in Israel, ‘not for peace, but for apartheid.”
“These threats were made by a group named BDS, who also threatened to keep increasing an anti-Salif Keita campaign, which they had already started on social media, and to work diligently at ruining the reputation and career that Mr. Keita has worked 40 years to achieve not only professionally, but for human rights and albinism.”
The latest is:
Mariza, a Portuguese singer scheduled to perform in Israel on May 27th, is being harassed by anti-Israel activists to cancel her show.
She has been offered support and encouragement on both her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Seeing as to how she is scheduled to perform on the 27th, just two days away, it looks like they have failed.
Please take a look at the website of the CREATIVE COMMUNITY for PEACE
They have an anti-boycott petition worth signing and are pro-Israel..
Welcome To The Creative Community For Peace
We represent a cross section of the creative world–those who create and help create music, films, and television programs–and their fans.
We may not all share the same politics or the same opinion on the best path to peace in the Middle East. But we do agree that singling out Israel, the only democracy in the region, as a target of cultural boycotts while ignoring the now-recognized human rights issues of her neighbors will not further peace.
We understand the power that our music, our films, our television shows, and all arts have. They have the power to build bridges. Foster better understanding. Encourage dialogue. And hopefully lead toward greater mutual acceptance.
If anything, turn up the music, expose more of our films and television shows to wider audiences, and encourage people from all cultures to interact and build greater dialogue and understanding.
If you support the message that the arts can build bridges—please join us in this important mission.
The world might just be a better place for it.