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Pro-Arab Protesters Attempt to Stop Music Performances in Israel

As part of an ongoing response to Israeli building in eastern Jerusalem, protesters target musicians lined up to perform in Israel this summer.
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 3/17/2010, 9:13 PM / Last Update: 3/17/2010, 10:41 PM

Israel news file (photo)

As Arab rioters attack Israeli police in Jerusalem as part of an ongoing response to Israeli building in eastern Jerusalem, political activists are targeting musicians lined up to perform in the Jewish state this summer.

An article in the Los Angeles Times reveals an organized campaign geared toward intimidating artists into canceling planned shows or otherwise decline to play in Israel.

The article reports that veteran alternative-rock band The Pixies, which is supposed to perform in Israel in June, was sent an open letter by pro-Arab protesters who said they would not attend the concert because it is being played in Tel Aviv "while just under your noses millions of human beings are suffering under a cruel Israeli military regime." The protest group, which favors boycotting Israel as well as divesting and sanctioning the country, is urging The Pixies to refuse to play in Israel.

Shuki Weiss, Israeli producer of The Pixies' concert, wrote a reply, saying the protesters were "silencing art" and engaging in "cultural terror", and equated them with the Chinese government, who would ban a show because of explicit lyrics, or an Islamic government which would ban artists because of immodest clothing.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has set its sights on renowned pop composer and performer Elton John, warning John not to be a part of "Israel's celebration of its occupation and apartheid," according to the Times.  They told him that Israel is "luring" him in order to "rebrand itself as an enlightened, cultural country while continuing to dispossess Palestinians."