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Animals Lead Singer to Perform in Israel After All

Eric Burdon arrives in Israel ahead of Thursday concert, a week after his manager said he wouldn't come because of threats.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/31/2013, 5:15 AM

Concert
Concert
Flash 90

A week after Eric Burdon, the former lead singer in the British band The Animals, cancelled his performance in Israel because of political pressure, he had a change of heart.

The Israel Hayom daily newspaper reported on Tuesday that Burdon landed in Israel on Monday evening, ahead of his planned performance with popular Israeli rock band Tislam at the Zappa Shuni Amphitheater in Binyamina.

Last week, his manager explained that it was decided to cancel Thursday’s concert because Burdon had been receiving daily threatening emails.

“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,” the manager wrote to the members of Tislam.

At a press conference in Tel Aviv, however, the 71-year-old rock legend denied he had ever thought to cancel his Israel.

"The fact that I am here proves the point," he told reporters, according to UPI.

Burdon took advantage of the press conference to praise the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian Authority peace talks in Washington, saying while he believes and dreams for peace, "We live in a world that also knows war."

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."