Sweeping victory claimed in musical boycott of Israel

Sweeping victory claimed in musical boycott of Israel


norman lebrecht

January 02, 2012

A pro-Pal news agency is trumpeting the year’s successes in persuading top musicians to cancel trips to Israel.

Among the scalps claimed are Jon Bon Jovi, Roger Waters, Pete Seeger, Natacha Atlas, Jonny Depp and Mireille Mathieu.

The campaign also boasts several disruptions of the Jerusalem String Quartet.

The boycotters’ #1 target for 2012 is Bruce Springsteen.

Here is the 2011 pro-Pal roll of honour:


  • Barry Johnstone. says:

    So what EXACTLY has been achieved by persuading certain musicians not to perform in another country?

    • Freedom For Palestine says:

      The act of apartheid is a crime, and when a musician cancels their show in Israel it puts pressure on Israel that is similar to the pressure put on South Africa. The “Don’t Play Sun City” movement helped liberate black South Africans. The Don’t Play Tel Aviv movement will only grow, since millions of Palestinians are in need of their freedom. Brief google/twitter searches will show how huge the movement is.

      • Where, in international law, is apartheid declared a crime? And before which recognised court has Israel been charged and convicted of apartheid?

      • KikuyuTribe says:

        @Fredom for Palestine….you are right but at the same time very wrong…who put the disgusting Apartheid regime down in South Africa was the battle of Cuito Cuanavalle and the heroism, blood and sweat of the Cuban people….you can ask Mr Mandela…..

    • Richard Gammons says:

      It concentrates the minds of those who care about the rest of humanity – It also concentrates the minds of those who don’t!

  • Lloyd Masel says:

    It’s not unusual for top artists to cancel due to sickness and other personal reasons. Cancellations are frequent.

    However, if a top artist decides to cancel for political reasons he or she should think twice what damage this does to their public image. Believe me, living in Israel and surrounded by music of top order day after day we can manage quite comfortably without them.

    Actually, the artists themselves are the losers. Mixing politics and music is like mixing oil and water. They ought to know better!

  • A. Druce says:

    Well I could say who cares !! Since in my opinion most of the above are unknown apart from Mr Seeger what a loss!!
    Quite frankly I find that all these so called boycotts eventually backfire.
    Lets be clear, (in the words of all our politicians), anything and anyone that professes pro-pal allegiance by opposing an open and free society is in my book an anti democratic and negative bunch of people.
    If you want to take an example for a positive way to behave, study and read about the wonderful people who followed and took strength from Martin Luther King.
    He was an acvtivist of the highest moral order. He brought people together not against each other.
    Pro pal organisations cause and propogate hatred and dissent.
    Welcome to the wonderful world of January 2012., however there is always the hope that someone somewhere can take the banner and go on fighting for peace in the land.
    Tents outside St Pauls? Nah thats been done already!!

    • Sad you are probably too young to hear of Pink Floyd. I’ll listen to Roger Waters’ words of wisdom before yours any day. See http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1291

    • Richard Gammons says:

      Let’s be clear, politicians are the last people we should be listening to – Their agenda is rarely truly democratic. Let’s also be clear, in declining to perform, those musicians who do so as conscientious objectors are expressing a democratic right to do so and your denial of that right is truly undemocratic. It is a mirror of the absolutist ideas of people who tell citizens ( of anywhere) to do as they are told rather than what they personally believe to be right.

      • A. Druce says:

        What deep thoughts and ideas !!!! Conscientious objectors really – if you want to conscientiously object… go to Syria and stand shoulder to shoulder with those who want to be free to elect their leaders.
        Worry about what is happening in Russia or North Korea. What a futile ambition to stop pop singers singing anywhere. Thats sad!!!

      • Arts and politcs do not mix well. But if politics are on attack, arts should fight back. These people are not conscientious objectors – they are spineless, gutless, clueless creatures who give up so easily to bullying by an aggressive vocal minority. if we would give them a credit of being principled they should have not accepted engagments in Israel to start with. But if they change their mind and cancel their obligations because somebody threatens them with bad publcity if they don’t, how is that democratic?

  • Doug says:

    Pete Seeger is still alive? I thought he followed his god, Stalin, to the grave.

  • Scott Rose says:

    It’s a fact; a wealthy Arab person of whatever nationality may buy private property in Israel. In Gaza and the PA-controlled West Bank, the penalty for selling property to a Jew is death. Now let’s talk about “apartheid.”

    • Fergus – and where is your video of massacres and abuses in Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan? If the pro-Pal lobby invested more in peace efforts and less in propaganda, we might finally get somewhere.

      • Paul Lanfear says:

        Norman, it is certainly true that many/most/all of the Arab states leave a lot to be desired when it comes to human rights. But these are surely peripheral issues to the dignity and rights of the Palestinian people. Similar arguments were being made about African states during the fight against South African apartheid or white rule in Rhodesia.

        Historically the Palestinians must have felt that they were made to pay the price of both British occupation and European genocide. Yes there is a strong Pro-Pal lobby now and of course propaganda (i.e. a mixture of facts, half-truths and lies), as with any campaign. But isn’t there a case for redressing the balance, given the long-standing aggressive neo-conservative/Zionist lobby in the US and its support for Netanyahu and his ilk? Israel has its propaganda too, encouraging a siege mentality. From what I hear, the Israeli media is quite insular and their citizens know (and therefore care) little of what goes on the other side of the wall.