When rock legend Paul McCartney came to Israel in 2008, he was, at least to some extent, taking his life in his hands. Not because of Israel’s sometimes precarious security situation, but because he was threatened by BDS (boycott, divest, and sanction) anti-Israel groups. “I got death threats, but I’m coming anyway,” the singer was quoted as saying by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs researcher Adam Shay. “I got explicit death threats, but I have no intention of surrendering. I refuse to cancel my performances in Israel,” Shay quoted McCartney as saying. The former Beatle is not alone. Dozens of other artists who schedule dates in Israel are lobbied, bullied, threatened, and even attacked at concerts by anti-Israel groups who are bent on isolating Israel culturally, as well as economically. Many artists, said Shay, claimed that their web sites have been attacked by hackers right before their Israeli concerts. Alicia Keys, who recently played a concert here last week, supplies the latest example of intimidation faced by artists who play Israel. Several of her fellow singers – notably Elvis Costello and Roger Waters – urged her to cancel, calling Israel an “apartheid state,” and Keys’ Facebook page was littered with condemnations of her on the day of the concert. Costello himself cancelled a concert in Israel in 2010, as did Carlos Santana, after being hectored by anti-Israel groups. Other notables who have cancelled planned concerts in Israel are Jon Bon Jovi, the Yardbirds, Joe Lynn Turner, and the Pixies. Spanish singer Paco Ibanez went one better, telling a French newspaper that he is boycotting the Hebrew language, which he can speak, for political reasons.
( Carl) Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Waters, who has compared Israel to Nazis and who has been labeled an anti-Semite by the Anti-Defamation League, was to appear at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan on April 30 to ‘look back on his career.’ The Y receives $800,000 annually from the Jewish Federation – i.e. from Jewish communal funds. Waters is also a leader in the BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement against Israel, and has called for boycotting Israel until it commits suicide (even though he himself has come here several times to play concerts and make money). This came in an email from JCC(WATCH)
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