Paul McCartney’s life was threatened by BDS (boycott, divest and sanction) anti-Israel groups prior to a concert he performed in the country in 2008, according to Adam Shay of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
“I got death threats, but I’m coming anyway. I got explicit death threats, but I have no intention of surrendering. I refuse to cancel my performances in Israel,” the ex-Beatle said according to Shay.
Shay said that many artists claim that they won’t perform in Israel for “reasons of conscience,” when the real reason is that they are frightened by death threats they receive. He added that many of the artists’ web sites have been hacked just ahead of their Israeli concerts.
Alicia Keys, who just performed in Israel, was pushed by Elvis Costello and Roger Waters, among other performers to cancel. They called Israel an “apartheid state,” and Keys’ Facebook page had numerous diatribes against her the day of the concert. Jon Bon Jovi, the Pixies, the Yardbirds, and Joe Lynn Turner have canceled concerts in Israel.
Yet there are others who refuse to bow to threats: Deep Purple, the Pet Shop Boys, Rihanna and Madonna.
Shay said some singers simply ignored the threats.
When singer Moby was interviewed on Army Radio shortly before he performed in Israel, he said that the intensity of the attacks against him before he came to Israel made him suspect that this wasn’t an objective movement that was concerned with people’s welfare, but with something dark and dubious.
But, Shay concluded, “most artists just don’t want to deal with it. It’s much easier for them to release a statement that they won’t be appearing in Israel ‘for reasons of conscience’ rather than to say their lives are being threatened and they’re frightened.”