Neil Young Cancels Israel Concert for Security Reasons
Neil Young and Crazy Horse have cancelled their upcoming concert in Tel Aviv due to the security situation in Israel, Variety magazine reported on Sunday.
The band’s Israeli concert, scheduled for July 17, was to be held at Hayarkon Park.
A spokesperson for the Canadian singer was quoted by Variety as having said, “It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we must cancel our one and only Israeli concert due to tensions which have rendered the event unsafe at this time. We’ll miss the opportunity to play for our fans and look forward to playing in Israel and Palestine in peace.”
“I will be making donations to both the Louise Tillie Alpert Youth Music Center of Israel, and Heartbeat,” Young’s statement said, “two organizations that teach music to Palestinian and Israeli youth simultaneously by enabling them to play music together.”
A police spokesman told the Reuters news agency the show was cancelled “in order not to put people in Gaza rocket range at unnecessary risk.”
Terrorists from Gaza have been firing hundreds of rockets at Israel over the past week, as the IDF continued Operation Protective Edge. Some of these rockets have been fired at Tel Aviv, but they have been intercepted by the Iron Dome system.
In February, Young was encouraged to cancel his Israel show by anti-Israel musician Roger Waters.
Waters published a post on his Facebook page in which he attacked actress Scarlett Johansson and Canadian musician Neil Young for their refusal to boycott Israel.
On Friday, two days before Young announced the concert was cancelled, Waters revealed the contents of the letter he had sent to Young’s manager and which, he said, had been ignored.
In the letter, Waters wrote that Israel, which he called “the opposition lobby”, spends “millions on their Hasbara. The propaganda machine is well oiled and ruthless. We, on the other hand, have only our commitment to non-violent resistance to lie down in front of the IDF caterpillar tractors that would raze the native people from the land of Palestine. We stand with those people, and with all the brave people of Israel and Palestine, Jewish and Arab alike who oppose [t]he Israeli Governments brutal policies.”
“Please join me and countless other artists all over the world in solidarity with the oppressed and the disenfranchised. It is time to heed the peoples call,” Waters wrote, among other things.
Singers, musicians and actors who visit Israel or express their support for it are often targeted by pro-Arab activists who call on them to boycott the Jewish state.
While some have caved in to the boycott calls, quite a few have rejected them and went ahead with their visits to Israel despite the backlash.
Last year, 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.
The pop duo Pet Shop Boys also rejected calls from pro-Arab activists to cancel a Tel Aviv concert. The concert went ahead as scheduled on June 23 of last year.
Pop icon Justin Timberlake recently angered Arabs when he posted a photo of himself at the Kotel while on a visit to Israel.