The Music World Goes Anti-Israel – Part I

Pages: 1 2

These sentiments are little more than a diplomatic fudge that doesn’t truly add up. He asserts as a matter of belief that many of the people attending the concert would not agree with Israeli policies. He acknowledges Palestinian terrorism: “violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.” Despite this balance, for some reason he still feels a need to address these issues in the concerts. The reason is far from clear, but grant him the benefit of the doubt. His fans will have to put up with a lecture on the opposing facets of this conflict, as if this is an issue they haven’t deeply reflected on themselves. Yet there is a twist: he claims it is an impossibility due to the complexity of the issue. However, rather than drop the lecture, he finds it “quite impossible to simply look the other way.” Ergo, he cancels the concerts. He added: “One must at least consider any rational argument that comes before the appeal of more desperate means.” Being a rather famous musician, he could of course have found other avenues to express himself. There is a popular left-wing anti-Zionist media in Israel, such as Haaretz, that would have given his opinions a lot of attention. Thus, it seems he summarily dismissed anti-boycott reasoning and went straight to the “desperate means.”

Costello wrote: “I cannot imagine receiving another invitation to perform in Israel, which is a matter of regret but I can imagine a better time when I would not be writing this. With the hope for peace and understanding.” Such empty diplomatic platitudes are an insult to the intelligence of his fans. Why would he regret not getting another invite to play in Israel when he refused to perform on this occasion, and in all probability, for the foreseeable future?

Costello added in an interview with the Jerusalem Post: “It seems to me that dialogue is essential [regarding political opinion in Israel]. I don’t presume to think that my performance is going to be part of the process.” In effect he is advising Israeli’s to talk more, presumably about achieving peace, but in the meantime he chooses not to lead by example. He chooses boycott; adding to a campaign that singles out Israel for derision. Alive Productions, which was promoting Costello’s concerts, stated:

It is impossible to understand how your participation in a music concert, that is totally apolitical, can be interpreted as a political act. However, there can be no doubt that cancelling a performance for political reasons, and refusing to perform in Israel, can only be interpreted as a very strong political statement.

The act is demonising to Israel which is far from conducive to dialogue since it adds to the notion the world is hostile to Israel.

According to journalist Nathan Guttman, a senior executive in the music industry asserted these recent events are just the start of a new trend of avoiding Israel, if not necessarily due to political beliefs. The executive said he had approached over fifteen performers in recent months with offers to put on concerts in Israel. They all rejected the idea despite the offer of very substantial remuneration for their efforts.

Then there are the attempts to boycott Israeli performers as well. The Eurovision song contest was held in Norway this year. The Norwegian pro-Palestine Committee demonstrated outside the arena holding the event since Israel had reached the finals. A statement from the organisation said: “We want to close Euro Song for Israel. They are not welcome. We will request the European Euro Song TV-consortium to boycott nations that indulge in occupation and apartheid.”

Of course music is only one aspect of the cultural boycott. In September 2009, pro-Palestinian artists and actors at the Toronto Film Festival attempted a very public boycott. In a letter signed by 1,000 luminaries to the management of the event, which some call “The Toronto Declaration,” well-known figures like Jane Fonda, Danny Glover (friend of Mel “Jews cause all the wars” Gibson), David Byrne (formerly of Talking Heads), Harry Belafonte, Julie Christie, Viggo Mortensen, Wallace Shawn, Alice Walker, Eve Ensler, and old reliables like Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, and John Pilger, protested the selection of Tel Aviv as a theme of interest with a series of films. The letter stated, “Intentionally or not [the festival] has become complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine.” Protesting about Tel Aviv, which was a city built by Jewish settlers on land with little prior occupation, was remarkable in itself since it is unrelated to the Israeli presence in the West Bank which is the typical bone of contention. Astonishingly, the letter compares Tel Aviv with Apartheid Era Cape Town and Johannesburg. As some commentators pointed out, the protest calls into question Israel’s very existence as it characterises a city unconnected to contested post-1967 regions as illegitimate.

A statement criticising the Toronto protest as an attempt to blacklist Israeli filmmakers was endorsed by people like David Cronenberg, Jerry Seinfeld, Sacha Baron Cohen, Natalie Portman, and Lisa Kudrow. Hollywood producer, Tom Barad, in a letter of response to the Toronto Declaration stated: “Israel is not immune to criticism. Israelis, and especially Israeli filmmakers, often are the government’s most ardent critics. But their interests lie in making their nation a better place, not making it disappear.” He added: “Israel has more film schools per capita than any country in the world, where both Jewish and Arab students can learn and study. These are the last persons you should want to silence.”

Filmmakers and actors tend to be more politicised than musicians and typically possess strong left-wing values. Thus, many are antagonistic to Israel. Numerous filmmakers pull their films from festivals in protest. British director Ken Loach has been particularly active in this respect, calling for a cultural boycott of Israel. Loach wrote: “From the beginning, Israel and its supporters have attacked their critics as anti-Semites or racists. It is a tactic to undermine rational debate.” Interesting that he denies the many instances of shocking pro-Palestinian anti-Semitism. Absurdly enough in July 2009, he withdrew one of his films from the Melbourne International Film Festival in protest after Tel Aviv provided airfare for filmmaker Tatia Rosenthal. It is an interesting insight into the extremism of his opinions since he withdrew over a paltry sum of money for one or two plane tickets. Many nations provide some level of funding to aid filmmakers, so singling out Israeli funding as propagandistic is yet another example of obscene pro-Palestinian double-standards.

Loach claimed in a rather paranoid fashion: “Tel Aviv sponsors various international film festivals with the intention to open the way for Israeli films.” How stupid does he think we are? Obviously Israeli films have been shown aplenty at film festivals for decades. Richard Moore, the festival chief executive said: “We will not participate in a boycott against the State of Israel, just as we would not contemplate boycotting films from China or other nations involved in difficult long-standing historical disputes.” An Australian MP, Michael Danby, said, “Israelis and Australians have always had a lot in common, including contempt for the irritating British penchant for claiming cultural superiority.”

Pages: 1 2

  • char

    Well, I'd say Israel should seriously concentrate on developing the best music & film in the world – so there.

  • DogWithoutSlippers

    Fool!

  • Pierre

    I learnt that
    "Music has charms to soothe a savage breast" Plato", but not the gangs of peudo-musicians…

  • Ron Grant

    I don't think anyone has accused these performers of antisemitism.The Israeli government stands accused of serious human rights violations against the Palestinians by friends and foes alike.Israel stubbornly and defiantly refuses to acknowledge any such violations.It is clear that more then words are needed to persuade Israel to make the needed and difficult changes demanded and required by the world community,including America.Apart from official sanctions and boycotts,which seem unlikely,cultural boycotts by named and respected performers are an appropriate tool to bring pressure to bear on Israel and her people.Israelis and her supporters can blame cultural terrorism for the boycotts,but until Israelis admit that something is seriously wrong in their treatment of the Palestinians the boycotts will continue and the isolation will grow.Hope that western governments will follow the lead of our performers and apply their own sanctions and boycotts seems unlikely.Israel should never have been admitted to the OECD.
    I would like to congratulate those performers who incurred personal loss and showed personal integrity in supporting the boycott of Israel.I would like to say that Israelis and Jews who take the courageous stand against their governments hurtful and unconscionable policies that deny the Palestinians their rightful place are truly righteous themselves.Muchiboy

    • T Finch

      I couldn't have said it better myself, it's heart warming to know there are still people in the world that know, and aren't afraid to tell the truth about the crimes of the state of Israel. We can only hope that one day the rest of the world will open their eyes and I praise anyone who brings this issue to the attention of the public, whether through BDS, protest or by any other means.

  • Larry

    Only a very sick society would ever call Elvis Costello, The Pixies, Klaxons, Gorillaz, Carlos Santana and Gil-Scot-Heron musical artists. Why don't they try to play their trash in Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Gaza? I guess they have a fear of being stoned. Israel can do very well without this group of third rate so called artists.

  • Brian Schiff

    I haven't hear anything by Gil Scott Heron is probably 30 years;he sucked then-and he
    sucks worse,now.

  • Travis

    Hey most performers are not canceling. Metallica played in Israel as did Black Eyed Peas and Elton John. Ozzy Osbourne and Jeff Beck will be performing as well.

  • Marty

    Israelis have plenty of excellent music without these performers. They are the latest victims of islamist intimidation.

  • JulieJ.

    I just cancelled the aging Elvis costello. He is Elvis Who?

  • Ron Grant

    I don't think anyone has accused these performers of antisemitism.The Israeli government stands accused of serious human rights violations against the Palestinians by friends and foes alike.Israel stubbornly and defiantly refuses to acknowledge any such violations.It is clear that more then words are needed to persuade Israel to make the needed and difficult changes demanded and required by the world community,including America.Apart from official sanctions and boycotts,which seem unlikely,cultural boycotts by named and respected performers are an appropriate tool to bring pressure to bear on Israel and her people.Israelis and her supporters can blame cultural terrorism for the boycotts,but until Israelis admit that something is seriously wrong in their treatment of the Palestinians the boycotts will continue and the isolation will grow.Hope that western governments will follow the lead of our performers and apply their own sanctions and boycotts seems unlikely.Israel should never have been admitted to the OECD unless it was the intention of that organization to use its membership to Influence Israeli policy.
    Performers who support the boycott and Israelis and Jews generally who advocate against immoral Israeli policy or even Zionism are true heroes and righteous persons.Muchiboy

  • seels4truth

    Lies are like seeds. Left alone they will spread, take root and grow into bigger lies. The Arabs can't defeat Israel militarily so they have been chipping away at Israel's legitimacy. The Arabs have kept hundreds of thousands of fellow Arabs in poverty in order to use them as a political wedge against Israel. No longer does the World see them as tools but as "oppressed" by Israel. The Arabs have successfully convinced the liberal fools that it is Israel that has kept these people as refugees. Arafat walks away from a peace agreement and it's Israel's fault. Gaza is ceded to the Arabs, Hamas takes over firing thousands of rockets into Israel and Israel is the oppressor. As the fool costello says "violent acts of liberation". Liberation from what? From Israel preventing suicide bombers from entering Israel? The entire premise is beyond the pale of sanity. There are Israelis that hate their own country so much they wish it destroyed. So why do they live there? Are they suicidal in what they wish for? These same people would be silenced by death if they spoke up in an Arab country. Most of the musicians are fools and followers that do whatever they can to sell more records. They are close to whores in their approach.

  • WSK

    The simple answer is to not purchase anything from these "artists".

  • http://understandingevil.wordpress.com annaliese fleming

    I don't see what the fuss is about. But if Justin Bieber cancels an appearance, THEN I'll be really devestated.

  • flyingtiger

    If Elvis Costello was alive in 1944, he would be wearing a SS uniform and commanding a death camp. The talent that oppose Isreal are second rate and who cares about them. Let them boycott and let them be replaced by good performers. It is time for Girlschool to tour Isreal again.

  • Rob

    A rational and intelligent entertainment industry would have done the exact opposite of what it has done and is doing now. For the last 30 years, while Israel was being pummeled by terrorism and missiles, along with kidnappings by Hezbollah or Hamas, there were no entertainers who said "enough!" Only a few, like Madonna, stood up to this obvious intimidation of democracy and intentionally gave concerts.

    The very act of cancelling a concert due to Arab intimidation gives "war" and terror their tacit approval. It is not just against "peace," Israel, U.S. forces in the region, but also an indirect act against the U.S. itself, which becomes a patsy to Muslim intimidation.

    Regardless of how popular, rich, smart, and idol-worshipped they are, our entertainers are becoming little more than amplified musical "wizards" whose curtain has been opened. They become stammering and pathetic symbols of America's declining moral strength. Even their massive 1,000 watt speakers and amps can't hide their cowering stance, as American music becomes a symbol of weakness instead of strength.

  • steve

    There are two things that are important to a "celebrity": their life and their freedom to do anything they want. Everything else is not on their agenda despite their "humanitarian" claims. So standing with Israel threatens their life and their freedom to continue to make money elsewhere in the world. It's not hard for them to walk away from Israel under false pretenses since most of them do not live to sacrifice themselves for any cause; perhaps a occasional concert for the "benefit" of something or other but nothing that could possibly threaten their freedom or money-making machine. I think the word "wimps" comes to mind. And let's not get into how many of them promote demonic music anyway.

  • Jim Golden

    Most of these "Artists" (?) cater to a young audience, who will understand, if they don't already, that these people are the not very important in the long run. What I would say to my child if they asked my input on this would be: "How sincere are these people? If they were truly making a stand, why not disallow their CDs from being sold in Isael? But oh nooooooooo!!!!!!

  • courtnye

    Never cared for their music anyway

  • johnnywood

    Cowards and hypocrites one and all!

  • chris jones

    We're not up against a tiny minority of trouble-makers here folks, one bad apple and all that. There are millions of these people and they're trying very hard to win. Going to a concert just to heckle a performer who is scheduled to play in Israel, wow, nice detail. I'm truly alarmed by the sheer energy of these people, they're as eager as the Hitler Youth. And after they win, the Socialists and the Muslims will fight to the death, and then it will be time for the Shia to face the Sunni.

  • Jaded

    As a nonpartisan observer of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it seems basically like a marriage made in hell. Both sides continually fan the flames of war, Israel with its settlement policy, the Palestinians with their terrorism. I am at a loss as to how either side, at this point, can claim the mantle of "justice," and why partisans for both sides think they are somehow more wronged than the other. Anybody who is not a Jew or a Muslim can see this for what it is — too many people fighting over a small piece of land they both consider sacred. Fine. Let them settle it, through war or peace, but how it ever became a "human rights" issue when both sides have tortured prisoners, murdered innocent civilians, and, in general, have continually acted stupidly since the 1930s, is beyond me at this point. There are far greater injustices on earth than whatever crimes the Israelis and Palestinians have charged each other with, and millions of victims of tyrants and butchers who have no friends in Hollywood, New York City or Washington, D.C. I'm so sick of hearing about this stupid conflict. Neither side actually cares about the God they claim to worship — if they did, they would have made peace decades ago. The only way clear is a complete renunciation of violence by BOTH sides AT ONCE. Then it will truly be a Holy Land, and not a perpetual CNN headline.

  • Ron Grant

    I don't think anyone has accused these performers of antisemitism.The Israeli government stands accused of serious human rights violations against the Palestinians by friends and foes alike.Israel stubbornly and defiantly refuses to acknowledge any such violations.It is clear that more then words are needed to persuade Israel to make the needed and difficult changes demanded and required by the world community,including America.Apart from official sanctions and boycotts,which seem unlikely,cultural boycotts by named and respected performers are an appropriate tool to bring pressure to bear on Israel and her people.Israelis and her supporters can blame cultural terrorism for the boycotts,but until Israelis admit that something is seriously wrong in their treatment of the Palestinians the boycotts will continue and the isolation will grow.Hope that western governments will follow the lead of our performers and apply their own sanctions and boycotts seems unlikely.Israel should never have been admitted to the OECD unless this organization intends to influence Israel as a member.Muchiboy

  • R/T

    That was really sickening on the part of Elvis Costello .

  • http://rebelrebel.typepad.com/rebelrebel/ RebelRebelBlog

    All the more reason to go out and buy Madman Across the Water by Elton John, who refused to be cowed by threats. What a black mark on those artists reputations. Costello in particular, really stuck his neck on the block for no reason, and I am repulsed to even hear his lame ass music after he made such a fool of himself over this.

  • Ron Grant

    "There are far greater injustices on earth than whatever crimes the Israelis and Palestinians have charged each other with, and millions of victims of tyrants and butchers "

    I'd like to know how you define injustices,Jaded.Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been denied their birthright and homeland as a result of this conflict.And of course,when it's you and yours, things are a little more personal.And that's only the side I support.
    Of course there are good people on both sides of this conflict who yearn and work for peace,justice and fairness.Palestinians and Israelis are more alike then different.While the world is full of pain and conflict,most neighbors live in peace and most conflicts are settled.The fact that this conflict has not yet been settled despite Israel having defeated the Palestinians and their supporters several times should tell the Israelis and the world something.When a warring state is victorious over its enemies peace may ensue if the reasons for that war are righteous and resolved e.g.against cruel tyranny,against Nazism.But when the conditions of injustice persist or even made worse,war does not bring peace.Israel has much to learn about power,victory and defeat.Perhaps her immaturity and brutality in these matters is best understood in that the re-created Israel took over (1948) from where the biblical Israel left off (70-135 AD) with some two thousand years between the two.Only when Israel is defeated totally,maybe in 2,000 years,or when Israel is magnanimous in her victories will we see the conditions ripe for peace.One need only look to the Allies and their treatment of their defeated enemies e.g. Nazi Germany and Japan to see the wisdom of such a far sighted policy.It is doubtful that this Zionist state can match such magnanimity or achieve the respect of her enemies, Muchiboy

  • A. Ray

    So much for peace and understanding. Of course Mr. Costello et al shouldn't perform in Israel, they might get hurt in the short time they are there. Don't waste time in Israel with fans who enjoy his songs and what he has to say. I'm sure he's going to brave the stadiums full of fans in the rest of the Middle East (Damascus, Beirut, Tehran, etc.) singing them into peaceful understanding. Good job sir, go where you're needed and your incredible talent will be taken to heart.

  • Ron Grant

    "There are far greater injustices on earth than whatever crimes the Israelis and Palestinians have charged each other with, and millions of victims of tyrants and butchers "

    I'd like to know how you define injustices,Jaded.Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been denied their birthright and homeland as a result of this conflict.And of course,when it's you and yours, things are a little more personal.And that's only the side I support.
    Of course there are good people on both sides of this conflict who yearn and work for peace,justice and fairness.Palestinians and Israelis are more alike then different.While the world is full of pain and conflict,most neighbors live in peace and most conflicts are settled.The fact that this conflict has not yet been settled despite Israel having defeated the Palestinians and their supporters several times should tell the Israelis and the world something.When a warring state is victorious over its enemies peace may ensue if the reasons for that war are righteous and resolved e.g.against cruel tyranny,against Nazism.But when the conditions of injustice persist or even made worse,war does not bring peace.Israel has much to learn about power,victory and defeat.Perhaps her immaturity and brutality in these matters is best understood in that the re-created Israel took over (1948) from where the biblical Israel left off (70-135 AD) with some two thousand years between the two.Only when Israel is defeated totally,maybe in 2,000 years,or when Israel is magnanimous in her victories will we see the conditions ripe for peace.One need only look to the Allies and their treatment of their defeated enemies e.g. Nazi Germany and Japan to see the wisdom of such a far sighted policy.It is doubtful that this Zionist state can match such magnanimity or achieve the respect of her enemies, Muchiboy

  • George

    IWhat does an article like this mean?

    It's another example of the knee-jerk reaction among Israelis=
    "Israel can do no wrong."

    Israel can do no wrong. (Repeat ad nauseum).

    Normally, when you see a people devoting their undying allegiance and obedience to their state (eventhough they all know their leadership is corrupt), you describe those people in unflattering terms.
    (Brainswashed, chauvinist, fascist, fundamentalist, manipulated, etc.)

    There is so little self-questioning in Israel, so little doubt, so little self-criticism, so little shame, that even a critical stance adopted by non-Israeli citizens can only be understood by Israelis as
    A-"self-hating" Jews
    B-antisemitism posing as legitimate criticism
    C-terrorist aggitators posing as humanitarian activists
    and now
    D-people scared out of their minds by the "The MTV Palestinian Fanboy Club".

    Israel is a land where intellectuals who have opinions about Israel which are not 100% supportive are either barred from entering or "invited" to leave.

    No wonder it is so hard for you to accept that people might dare to see Israel as the bullying thug it has become.
    Have you forgotten what Gil Scott Heron had to say about his own country in the sixties and seventies? What he said about South Africa? Do you really think he had to be forced by his fans to skip Israel?

    Wake up.

  • Foolster41

    “We will not participate in a boycott against the State of Israel, just as we would not contemplate boycotting films from China or other nations involved in difficult long-standing historical disputes.” Frankly, Richard Moore is an Idiot. He sounds like he is standing up for Isreal, but really he is making (whether he realizes it or not) in this this lame comparison between Fascist Socialist China and Isreal, where Arabs have MORE rights than Jews do in Arab countries! With friends like these…

    What is exactly wrong with boycotting fascist regimes that supresses the freedom of religion and arrests and tortures dissenters? (No need for people with BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) to speak up, I disliked Bush too, but Bush was from 2000-208, China has been far worse for far longer. )

  • George

    “We will not participate in a boycott against the State of Israel, just as we would not contemplate boycotting films from China or other nations involved in difficult long-standing historical disputes.”

    Great. That stance means that there is never any reason to boycot or sanction any country for anything it may do.

    It seems such an odd argument to use, if you consider that so many people in Israel want to sanction and boycot and isolate and maybe even attack Iran…for something it has not even done.

  • jef

    The majority of artists are not that smart. How can you be so wrong on an issue as to support Muslim terrorists? They have sold their soul to the death cult of Islam.

  • ozlemuzun

    It is an important step for reacting against the violence of Israel. When famous people do something it eases other people to see what is happening. Together, with the help of celebrities the world will be much more aware of unhumanitarian acts of Israel in Gaza.

  • Spiridon

    Please give the names of all the artists/groups that cancelled and publish it widely in the conservative/pro-Israel blogosphere. We need to know who not to listen to. Oh, and add Meg Ryan and Dustin Hoffman to the list. Looks like Hoffman is one of those "lefty ideology first, Israel second" Jews.

  • http://businessinsurancespecialists.co.uk/ business insurance

    Thanks for the several tips provided on this blog. I have observed that many insurance carriers offer prospects generous deals if they opt to insure a few cars together. A significant number of households possess several cars or trucks these days, specifically those with older teenage kids still located at home, as well as the savings with policies can soon begin. So it pays off to look for a good deal.

  • http://tusvideoskaraoke.com videos karaoke

    reading the title reminded me when I was in prison, had a life a little dark, but I can say that after being 4 years in prison for misbehavior is that you have much time to think and above all thought and deepen your life, something you can not buy with money, much less in stores

  • http://twinwaterfallsec.com twin waterfalls

    I have learn several good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot attempt you place to create the sort of wonderful informative website.

  • http://www.alexandalexa.com/ kids clothes

    Very interesting post! I personally believe that nobody would accuse these performers of antisemitism. The Israeli government is infamous for the violation of human rights against the Palestinians. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been denied their birthright and homeland!

  • http://statystyki.zd24.pl/ Mocne precle co one dają?

    Dawac mi tu adresss

  • new roof contractors

    I was very happy to search out this internet-site.I wished to thanks on your time for this excellent learn!! I positively enjoying every little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post

  • Bill

    Israel is a terror state,

  • janet jocson

    It bothers me and was wondering a lot about most of the scheduled singing events cancelled. I guess for the mean time I need to be contented of what I have at home like my new phone app Karaoke scheduler and do my own singing.

  • sateesh

    good piece
    of information, I had come to know about your website from my friend kishore, pune,i have read
    atleast 9 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your site gives the best
    and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that
    i had been looking for, i’m already your rss reader now and i would regularly
    watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanx a lot once
    again, Regards, rrb
    secunderabad

  • sateesh

    excellent
    piece of information, I had come to know about your website from my
    friend kishore, pune,i have read atleast 8 posts of yours by now, and let me
    tell you, your site gives the best and the most interesting information. This
    is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i’m already your
    rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again
    hats off to you! Thanx a lot once again, Regards, eenadu epaper

  • sateesh

    wonderful
    information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend nandu ,hyderabad,i
    have read atleast 2 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website
    gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of
    information that i had been looking for, i’m already your rss reader now and i
    would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks
    a ton once again, Regards, malayala manorama
    online