STANDING UP TO ANTI-SEMITISM: They threatened to kill me if I played in Israel…but I have no intention of surrendering
When rock legend Paul McCartney came to Israel in 2008, he was, at least to some extent, taking his life in his hands. Not because of Israel’s sometimes precarious security situation, but because he was threatened by BDS (boycott, divest, and sanction) anti-Israel groups. “I got death threats, but I’m coming anyway,” the singer was quoted as saying by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs researcher Adam Shay.
“I got explicit death threats, but I have no intention of surrendering. I refuse to cancel my performances in Israel,” Shay quoted McCartney as saying.
The former Beatle is not alone.
Dozens of other artists who schedule dates in Israel are lobbied, bullied, threatened, and even attacked at concerts by anti-Israel groups who are bent on isolating Israel culturally, as well as economically. Many artists, said Shay, claimed that their web sites have been attacked by hackers right before their Israeli concerts.
Alicia Keys, who recently played a concert here last week, supplies the latest example of intimidation faced by artists who play Israel. Several of her fellow singers – notably Elvis Costello and Roger Waters – urged her to cancel, calling Israel an “apartheid state,” and Keys’ Facebook page was littered with condemnations of her on the day of the concert. Costello himself cancelled a concert in Israel in 2010, as did Carlos Santana, after being hectored by anti-Israel groups. Other notables who have cancelled planned concerts in Israel are Jon
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