Campaigners call for stars to boycott Israel, slam Madonna for Tel Aviv performance


After campaigners criticized Madonna for beginning her tour in Tel Aviv, other stars have come under scrutiny by activists who believe performances in Israel are an endorsement of the Jewish state’s policies, according to a report in New Zealand Herald.

Campaigners have expressed disappointment at major artists’ decision to perform in Israel, ignoring the Jewish state’s illegal settlements in occupied lands. Reports suggest that campaigners want a boycott of Israeli venues similar to what was seen during apartheid in South Africa.

Madonna became the latest superstar to be criticized for kicking off her world tour, labeled “tour of peace”, in Tel Aviv.

“By performing in Israel, Madonna has consciously and shamefully lent her name to fig-leafing Israel’s occupation and apartheid and showed her obliviousness to human rights” said Omar Barghouti of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

The pop sensation tried and failed to detour the claims by offering free concert tickets to those opposing her.

"As we've learned from the South African struggle for freedom, entertaining Israeli apartheid should never be mislabeled as singing for peace" said Barghouti.

The calls for boycott are being supported by a host of world-renown stars such as film director Ken Loach, former Pink Lloyd frontman Roger Walters and American writer Alice Walker. Significantly, musicians Carlos Santana and Elvis Costello have postponed shows after the increasing pressure from campaigners and Coldplay, U2 and Bruce Springsteen have declined invitations to perform in Israel without associating themselves with the foreboding boycott.

However, artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lenny Kravitz and Guns N’ Roses are planning future concerts later this year.

“As was done in the case of South African apartheid, please join us now in the cultural boycott of Israel, and help stop entertaining apartheid” a statement by the campaign read.

The anti-apartheid campaign has gathered the attention of U.S.-Israel entertainment executives who believe their counterparts are ruining the music industry. What’s more, senior Israeli politicians who agree on using boycotts to achieve their intended outcomes can be sued in the process.

(Additional writing by Matthew Bolton)