Shalom Life | May 30, 2014

BDS Movement Targets Rolling Stones

Not even a full day since it became official, the BDS movement against Israel has targeted the Rolling Stones for their forthcoming June 4th show at Tel Aviv's HaYarkon Park

By: Daniel Koren

Published: March 26th, 2014 in News » Israel

BDS Movement Targets Rolling Stones

Well, that didn't take long.

Yesterday, after months of speculation, the iconic British rock group, the Rolling Stones, confirmed their forthcoming trip to Israel, performing on June 4th at Tel Aviv's legendary HaYarkon Park.

Not even a full 24 hours later, unfortunately, the campaign for them to cancel is already in full force.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel have spoken out against the Stones' upcoming visit to the Holy Land, noting that the group has been stern opponents of racial segregation in South Africa, adding that the State of Israel also practices apartheid.

For those BDS supporters, I refer them to this article, on Reverend Dr. Kenneth Meshoe, a member of South African parliament, who wrote, via the San Francisco Examiner: "As a black South African who lived under apartheid, ...in my view, Israel cannot be compared to apartheid in South Africa. Those who make the accusation expose their ignorance of what apartheid really is."

Despite this knowledge, the BDS movement has accused the Rolling Stones for their 'support' of Israel.

“Palestinian organizations urge the Rolling Stones to refrain from playing in apartheid Israel and not to condone Israel’s violations of international law and human rights against the Palestinian people,” wrote a member of anti-Israel apartheid, Rafeef Ziadah.

“The Rolling Stones were at the forefront of enforcing a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, but performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era.”

In addition, a petition by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel has called on the Stones to cancel, and has garnered 2,477 signatures as of this morning.

"We are writing to urge you to refrain from playing in apartheid Israel and not to condone Israel’s violations of international law and human rights against the Palestinian people,” read a statement released by PACBI. “We wrote you previously, in 2007, after hearing of similar plans, and back then you did not play in Israel. We hope you will heed our call once again.”

If the Stones do not, however, heed their words (we certainly hope that they don't), it is only rational to assume that Roger Waters and even Alice Walker will write them open letters asking them to cancel as well. The former has already written an open letter to Scarlett Johansson and Neil Young asking them to distance themselves from Israel as well.

Whatever their views of Israel's politics may be, what good does it do by taking it out on the country's loyal rock fans?

In any event, with the escalation of bands and artists performing in Israel this year, from Neil Young to Justin Timberlake, we sincerely hope and believe that the Stones will stay true to their June 4th commitment. As organizer Shuki Weiss stated yesterday, “This is a historic moment," adding that “It’s a huge honor to bring the Rolling Stones to Israel, an honor for the country, the citizens, and mostly for the fans who have waited for this moment.”

Looking forward to the concert on June 4th. See you there.

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