web analytics
April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



‘Cultural Intifada’ As Artists, Celebrities Cancel Israel Plans

Share Button


JERUSALEM – Actress Meg Ryan’s decision to cancel her appearance at this week’s Jerusalem Film Festival didn’t garner the same attention in Israel as British rocker Elvis Costello’s nixing his Israel concert this spring.


Both, however, were a reminder to Israelis that in the eyes of much of the world, Israel’s politics and culture are inseparable.


The cancellations were part of a string that Israel has experienced over the past few months, including appearances by the indie rock band The Pixies, singer Devendra Banhart, alternative rockers Gorillaz, the British band the Klaxons and American soul singer Gil Scott-Heron.


In February, rock legend Carlos Santana withdrew from a sold-out performance reportedly due to pressure from pro-Palestinian groups.


Israelis have taken to calling this a “cultural intifada” – borrowing a term used by the Palestinians to describe their uprisings against Israel.


“Intense pressure is being applied to foreign artists not to come to Israel,” prominent Israeli promoter Shuki Weiss, who has brought such top-name acts to Israel as Madonna and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, told the Israeli business daily Globes.


After The Pixies canceled last month, Weiss called it “cultural terrorism.”


“I am full of both sorrow and pain in light of the fact that our repeated attempts to present quality acts and festivals in Israel have increasingly been falling victim to what I can only describe as a form of cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide,” Weiss wrote in a statement.


The most recent high-profile cancellation, by Ryan, came right after Israel’s deadly May 31 interception of the Gaza-bound, Turkish-flagged aid flotilla, which left nine passengers dead. A day later, Ryan’s staff e-mailed the Jerusalem Film Festival to say she would not be able to attend. Reports that actor Dustin Hoffman also canceled an appearance at the festival were unfounded; Hoffman had never been scheduled to attend the event.


When Costello canceled his two concerts in Tel Aviv at the end of June, he said the decision was “a matter of instinct and conscience.”


In a message posted on his website, Costello wrote, “There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.”


The cancellations have frustrated Israel’s music lovers, producers and friends.


Israeli filmmaker Joseph Cedar, whose 2007 movie “Beaufort” received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, told JTA that the refusal of artists to perform in Israel is a kind of collective punishment of the culture-loving public – often the very public that is “extra critical of Israeli policies.”


Cedar said that while he believes a boycott is “a legitimate way for an artist to express his political views,” they should be political views the artist has consistently and publicly held.


Some artists appear to be concerned that their performances in Israel will be perceived as a political endorsement of Israel’s policies.


When Banhart canceled a pair of Tel Aviv performances two days before their mid-June dates, a message posted on the artist’s website read: “We were coming to share a human and not a political message but it seems that we are being used to support views that are not our own. We will be overjoyed to return to Israel on the day that our presence is perceived and reported on as a cultural event and not a political one.”


Asked what the Israeli Sport and Culture Ministry is doing to stem the tide of cancellations, a ministry spokesman said “nothing.”


The cultural boycott of Israel has spread beyond the borders of the Jewish state. Last month, a popular Bob Dylan fan site began blocking users inside Israel in what the Danish site operator called a “cultural boycott” in response to the flotilla incident.


Israel has faced similar situations in the past. During the second intifada in the early 2000s, numerous artists canceled appearances in the country due to security concerns.


Still, many acts are going through with their scheduled performances. Some, like the British rock group Jethro Tull, are taking pains to draw distinctions between culture and politics.


After coming under pressure from pro-Palestinian groups such as the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Jethro Tull reaffirmed that it would be playing three concerts in Israel in early August.


Front man Ian Anderson said in a statement linked to the concert dates that he has “long maintained the position that culture and the arts should be free of political and religious censorship and a distance kept between them.” Anderson also said he would donate his concert proceeds to charities promoting coexistence.


Others have been more unabashedly warm toward Israel. In mid-June, Elton John, who has donated money to Israeli causes, played before an enthusiastic crowd.


“Shalom, we are so happy to be back here! Ain’t nothing gonna stop us from coming, baby,” the singer told the crowd. “Musicians spread love and peace, and bring people together. That’s what we do. We don’t cherry-pick our conscience.”


Musicians Rod Stewart and Rihanna also performed in Israel last month. And on Sunday, Ynet reported that American singer Missy Elliott announced that after pressure to cancel her July 15 show in Tel Aviv, she will arrive in Israel a day early to tour the country with her entourage of dancers and crew.

(JTA)

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “‘Cultural Intifada’ As Artists, Celebrities Cancel Israel Plans”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Will Starbucks hire Boycott Movement officials when they find themselves out of work?
Starbucks-SodaStream Link Would Help Destroy BDS
Latest News Stories
Tzipi Livni 2

Even after the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, Tzipi Livni won’t give up on her obsession with negotiating with the Palestinian Authority – “the door is still open.”

The Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour will play this year in Israel, the first time that Israel has hosted an ATP tournament since 1996, according to the organization. The tournament, offering $1 million in prize money, will take place at the Israel Tennis Center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat HaSharon Sept. 15-21 […]

Will Starbucks hire Boycott Movement officials when they find themselves out of work?

The Boycott Movement, like the Palestinian Authority, is slowly but surely dissolving itself.

The Israeli security cabinet unanimously decided today that Israel would not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, the terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction. Considered a severe blow to peace talks, the ‘historic’ Hamas-Fatah unity pack was announced on Wednesday following a seven-year power struggle between the two factions. After Hamas’s victory […]

Ostrovsky was beaten and blindfolded during his captivity

Northeastern University has provisionally reinstated the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter on campus. The SJP chapter will remain on probation through January 2015, according to a notification letter from Dr. Laura A. Wankel, the university’s vice president for student affairs. Students for Justice in Palestine was suspended from campus on March 7 for at […]

HAS and El Al are no longer flying the friendly skies together – and loyal customers are getting hurt the most.

Ellen Degeneres gave away SodaStream products to audience members as an eco-friendly Earth Day gift.

Turkey “will strongly support the reconciliation agreement and offer all humanitarian aid” for the Hamas-Fatah unity government that was announced Wednesday,  Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Gaza’s de facto prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan became a fan of Hamas five years ago, at the same time relations with Israel […]

Two worshippers in a synagogue on Passover saved a child from death in a burning car that exploded shortly after the rescue. The worshippers rushed to the burning vehicle after hearing the family’ scream for help, and they found the toddler strapped in a car seat. The worshippers, Moshe Kupperman and a second man, identified […]

At the press conference with the Israeli reporters, Abbas threatened to cancel the Oslo Accords, dismantle the Palestinian Authority, and force the Israeli government to pay the salaries of PA employees and the police.

A survivors’ daughter serving in the IDF brings pride and joy to a Holocaust survivor.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas must choose between peace with Israel or Hamas.

Border Police in Yitzhar’s yeshiva have plenty of time on their hands to learn a bit of Torah.

Gaza terrorists have launched another mortar attack on southern Israel, the second such attack in less than 24 hours.

The Jews for Jesus missionary group is using Holocaust imagery in a new video to lure Jews away from their faith.

More Articles from Marcy Oster
Arab-Crowds-033012

JERUSALEM – If pro-Palestinian calls for a so-called Global March to Jerusalem are heeded, thousands of Arabs from the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria could converge on Israel’s borders.

Aftermath of Grad rocket attack on center of southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.

JERUSALEM – Egypt announced that a cease-fire it brokered between terrorist groups in Egypt and Israel went into effect at 1 a.m. Tuesday, but several rockets and mortar shells fired from Gaza exploded in Israel after the announcement.

JERUSALEM – In the aftermath of the deadliest fire in Israel’s history, Israelis this week set to the task of burying the dead, cleaning up and figuring out what exactly went wrong – and who is to blame.

JERUSALEM – Actress Meg Ryan’s decision to cancel her appearance at this week’s Jerusalem Film Festival didn’t garner the same attention in Israel as British rocker Elvis Costello’s nixing his Israel concert this spring.

JERUSALEM – Actress Meg Ryan’s decision to cancel her appearance at this week’s Jerusalem Film Festival didn’t garner the same attention in Israel as British rocker Elvis Costello’s nixing his Israel concert this spring.

JERUSALEM – With nations around the world condemning Israel for the deaths of nine activists aboard a Gaza-bound ship, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned visit to the White House.

JERUSALEM – Coming as a self-described “pilgrim of peace,” Pope Benedict XVI vowed to fight anti-Semitism and called for a Palestinian state in the moments after his arrival in Israel for a five-day visit.

JERUSALEM – Coming as a self-described “pilgrim of peace,” Pope Benedict XVI vowed to fight anti-Semitism and called for a Palestinian state in the moments after his arrival in Israel for a five-day visit.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/cultural-intifada-as-artists-celebrities-cancel-israel-plans-2/2010/07/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: