The management team for internationally successful singer Salif Keita stated he was "bullied" with "scare tactics" by the Boycott Divestment Sanctions campaign into cancelling his much-anticipated appearance at the 2013 Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival.
The festival ended last week and brought over 100 foreign musicians to Israel along with about 200 local artists. One of the highlights was Mickey Hart, a member of the Grateful Dead, who urged the crowd in Jerusalem to "take this wonderful feeling that we have here tonight, that we made together, and take it home and do some good with it. That's what this whole things is really about. Go be kind to somebody."
However despite the good vibes felt at most of the shows, which were held at various venues in the Old City and around Jerusalem, Keita's management team cancelled at the last minute. In an official press release, the Salif Keita Global Foundation stated, "Mr. Keita and his foundation for albinism would like to convey his most sincere apologies to all concerned, such as the concert organizers, the Albinism Treatment Center and especially all his wonderful and diverse fans in Israel. The reason for the cancellation is not one which was made by Mr. Keita, but by his agents who were bombarded with hundreds of threats, blackmail attempts, intimidation, social media harassment and slander stating that Mr. Keita was to perform in Israel, 'not for peace, but for apartheid.'"
The announcement continued, "although, we love Israel and all his fans here, and the fantastic spirit of unity of the Sacred Music Festival, as well as the important work your hospital is doing for albinism, we did not agree with the scare tactics and bullying used by BDS; therefore management decided to act cautiously when faced with an extremist group, as we believe BDS to be."