Israel boycott: Who joins and who performs?

Culture

Roger Waters, Pink Floyd co-founder

Waters supports the British branch of the "Artists for Palestine" organization and thus the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights and statehood. BDS is asking musicians to cancel concerts in Israel as part of a broader boycott aimed at putting pressure on the Israeli government to end illegal settlements, for example.

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Kate Tempest, rapper and Artist for Palestine

She supports Artists for Palestine and makes it clear that she is appalled by the actions of the Israeli government against the Palestinians. "After much thought, I joined the cultural boycott as an act of protest," she said. She has rejected accusations of being anti-Semitic and says she is of Jewish decent. As a result of pressure from both sides. she canceled an October concert in Berlin.

Culture

Elvis Costello: a matter of 'conscience'

For years, well-known bands and musicians have canceled concerts in Israel. They include Carlos Santana, the Pixies and Elvis Costello, who in 2010 explained the reason for his boycott. Writing on his website, he said it's "a matter of instinct and conscience" to protest "conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security."

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Depeche Mode stay silent

During their Delta Machine Tour of 2013-14, the English new wave band shared every day of their tour extensively online. But they did not say a word about the gig in Tel Aviv. Were Depeche Mode ashamed about the concert? In mid 2006, the band had canceled a show in Israel for political reasons due to the ongoing Lebanon war.

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Johnny Rotten: no problems with Israeli

After calling for anarchy in the UK with the Sex Pistols, he uses real name Johnny Lyden with band PiL these days, and was happy to play a concert in Tel Aviv in 2010 after Elvis Costello had announced his Israel boycott. His reasoning: "Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won't understand how anyone can have a problem with how [the Palestinians] are treated."

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Elton John takes to the stage

Elton John has often performed in Israel but has faced increasing pressure from the BDS movement since it was founded in 2005. The petitioning hasn't worked, with the Rocket Man playing sold-out Tel Aviv shows in 2016 and 2010, when he greeted fans with the words: "Shalom! We're spreading peace and love on this stage and we're happy to be here."

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An 'extremely upsetting experience' for Radiohead

Radiohead were also under massive pressure in July 2017 before their gig in Israel. But singer Thom Yorke spoke of his decision to reject a petition signed by Desmond Tutu, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and others asking Radiohead not to play: "There's an awful lot of people who don't agree with the BDS movement, including us. I don't agree with the cultural ban at all," he told Rolling Stone.

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Michael Stipe encourages dialogue

The R.E.M. singer spoke out publicly during the intensifying debate around the Radiohead's looming appearance in Israel — its first since 2000. "I stand with Radiohead and their decision to perform. Let’s hope a dialogue continues, helping to bring the occupation to an end and lead to a peaceful solution." R.E.M. and Radiohead toured Israel together in 1995.

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Nick Cave: stands against 'censorship'

The Facebook page "Nick Cave, Hold On to Yourself - Don't Play Apartheid" was set up as part of the Artists for Palestine campaign to encourage Cave to cancel his November 2017 concert in Tel Aviv. But he still played, saying: "[It] became very important to make a stand against those people who are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians, and to silence musicians."

Culture

'Bryan, tell the world again that you do not support apartheid'

BDS is currently petitioning musician Bryan Adams to "unplug from Israeli apartheid" and cancel scheduled December concerts in Israel. Adams once said that the war in Gaza was a war against humanity. In addition, he canceled his Mississippi tour in 2016 in protest against the homophobic laws there. But Adams hasn't listened to BDS and instead will perform an additional concert in Jaffa.

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Boney M in Palestine

Concerts in Israel can go on without indignation and protest. In 2010, the German disco pop group Boney M performed in the Palestinian West Bank city of Ramallah, where many Israelis were in the audience. However, they were requested not to sing their biggest hit "Rivers of Babylon," as one line is the biblical yearning for the Land of Zion. The musicians accepted the censorship without complaint.

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Lorde scraps tour finale in Tel Aviv

The Croatian-New Zealand performer Lorde originally planned to end her "Melodrama" 2018 tour in Tel Aviv, but reversed this decision on the urging of her fans. In a statement, she said visiting Tel Aviv has long been a dream of hers, and that she hoped one day "we can all dance."

After ex-Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters was declared persona non grata on German radio and television stations, the discussion about the Israeli boycott by celebrity musicians has grown louder.