The Rock and Roll Boycott of Israel
For the last ten years there has been an ongoing attempt to promote a cultural boycott of Israel. While this campaign has achieved very few actual victories, it has received widespread attention and media coverage disproportionate to its success.
Once one scratches the surface of any given concert cancellation, one quickly comes to the conclusion that ideology, conscience, and support for the 'Palestinian' cause have very little to do with it. The true factors leading to a cancellation are usually online bullying, threats of damaging an artist's reputation and sales, disrupting concerts, sabotage letters, deceit, and explicit death threats.
More often than not, it becomes evident that the so-called "success'' the boycott movement has enjoyed never happened. Just because a pro-boycott site claims that an artist or band has boycotted Israel doesn't necessarily mean that this is true.
Interestingly, representatives of two specific musical genres – punk and heavy metal – have consistently ignored all attempts to be pressured into boycotting Israel. Punk leaders tend to be relatively politically savvy and critical of political manipulation. As such, they are able to see through the "human rights" facade of the boycott movement and call its bluff.
Overall, the cultural boycott of Israel appears to be losing ground. The biggest names in the world of music continue to frequent Israel.
The "Pink Tigers" protesting against Roger Waters, at Robin Williams show, in Tel Aviv, May 2015
Author: Adam Shay, is a senior program coordinator and researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, specializing in battling the cultural boycott of Israel, and a consultant for Creative Community for Peace. He is regularly called upon by producers and concert promoters to help battle BDS activists in their attempts to pressure artists into cancelling performances in Israel.,