British Singer Cancels Israel Concert Amid Threats
Eric Burdon, former lead singer of the British band The Animals, cancelled on Tuesday an upcoming concert in Israel.
His manager explained that it was decided to cancel the August 1 concert because Burdon had been receiving daily threatening emails.
Burdon was to have performed alongside legendary Israeli rock group Tislam at the Zappa Shuni Amphitheater in Binyamina.
Last week, he met up with members of Tislam in Vienna, and told them he was under pressure from anti-Israel activists to cancel the show. At that time, however, he had insisted on going ahead with the concert, telling the Israeli musicians that "people cannot be denied music. Everyone needs music and it has nothing to do with current politics. Everyone has the right to entertainment, regardless of their situation or the politics of their country."
His manager has since written to the members of Tislam, saying that Burdon’s appearance would be cancelled after all.
“We are under increasing pressure, including many threatening emails that we are receiving on a daily basis. I wouldn’t want to put Eric in any danger,” wrote the manager.
Responding to the cancellation, Tislam issued a statement on Tuesday, saying, “To appear with Eric Burdon, one of the founding fathers of rock & roll, was an almost dream come true. We’re sorry that despite his personal assurance to us, that he bowed to pressure and cancelled his concert.”
The show will take place as scheduled, without Burdon, but Tislam has indicated that disappointed fans who have already purchased tickets will be able to receive a refund.
Earlier this month, popular rhythm and blues artist Alicia Keys refused to cave in to pressure by anti-Israel activists and gave a sold out concert in Tel Aviv.
Keys announced that she had decided to go ahead with her concert in Tel Aviv despite calls from a number of anti-Israel activists to boycott the Jewish state.
“I look forward to my first visit to Israel. Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show,” Keys said.
The pop duo Pet Shop Boys also recently rejected calls from pro-Palestinian Authority activists to cancel a Tel Aviv concert. The concert went ahead as scheduled on June 23.
An anti-Israel group had claimed that the act of performing a concert constitutes tacit support for Israel's "policies of discrimination."
Pet Shop Boys member Neil Tennant, however, said he did not “agree with this comparison of Israel to apartheid-era South Africa.”
"It's a caricature. Israel has [in my opinion] some crude and cruel policies based on defense; it also has universal suffrage and equality of rights for all its citizens, both Jewish and Arab,” said Tennant, who noted, “In apartheid-era South Africa, artists could only play to segregated audiences; in Israel anyone who buys a ticket can attend a concert."