Santana Defies Boycott Movement, Gives Concert In Tel Aviv

Justin Bieber and Carlos Santana perform during the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square December 31, 2011 in New York.
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV – Multi-Grammy award-winning guitarist Carlos Santana told tens of thousands of Israelis to pray for peace and an end to violence during his concert in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.

“We must pray. Pray with the light in your heart. Pray for peace on Earth. Peace on Earth. Peace on Earth. Peace only on Earth. Peace, only peace. No more brutality. No more violence. No more cruelty. Only peace on earth. For you, for me, for your family, everyone,” the 69-year-old told the crowd.

Some 25,000 fans delighted at the riffs of “Exodus” and “Hava Nagila” played during the freestyle sessions of the performance, which lasted more than two hours.

Santana said his wife, the band’s legendary drummer Cindy Blackman, was blown away by her visit to Jerusalem.

“She said there’s a vibration in there that’s really powerful, bigger than the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic Ocean,” Santana said.

Santana was heavily pressured by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement to cancel Saturday’s gig, but snubbed the boycott efforts saying he preferred “to do something productive with my energy.”

The musician, who said that most of the proceeds of the concert would go to charities for Israeli and Palestinian children, told the crowd that it was “an honor to be in your light and your love, with so much beauty and grace.”

“Everything that’s happening in the world, in Europe, in America, is happening because it’s time for us to change. We gotta change,” he said.

“We can conquer fear in this planet,” he added. “We are the architects of tomorrow.”

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