For promoters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement together with the clueless multitudes who are just along for the ride on the Hate the State of Israel bandwagon, time is not on their side–no, it isn’t.
As public and political awareness of the BDS movement increases, the credibility of the BDS brigade and its proponents is falling flat. Bi-partisan voices in Congress and in state legislatures have discredited the effort as “anti-Semitism.”
As for the entertainment industry, one would expect this bastion of Progressiveness to embrace the BDS movement with a hearty, ‘bravo!’ Yet, sounding a sour note for the BDS movement, calls for artists to refuse to perform in the Jewish state have in many cases fallen on deaf ears.
There is no doubt that the face of the BDS movement from an entertainment and arguably general perspective is Pink Floyd founder and former bassist Roger Waters. His criticism of the Jewish state is well documented, and he doesn’t hide from it. But the problem Waters created for himself and the anti-Israel movement he champions is that they personify the songs he has written–a bunch of folks with Brain Damage who have engaged in too much experimental activity and are now Comfortably Numb.
Hard for any rational person, regardless of their political perspective, to be taken in by Waters’ claim that Israel is a “racist apartheid regime” that practices “ethnic cleansing,” and comparison of Jews to Nazi collaborators. Obviously polluted, Waters is listening to the “the lunatic in [his] head.”
In a strange way Waters has become Israel’s best friend. Hate erodes credibility. And with friends like Waters, the BDS movement doesn’t need enemies. But they have plenty.
Israel is a great place to be a music lover. Over the past few years fans of every genre imaginable have had the opportunity to see their favorite artists perform. Pop fans have had the opportunity to see Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Justin Timberlake and The Black Eyed Peas. Metal fans have banged their heads to Metallica, Megadeath and Ozzy Osborne. Rock lovers played air guitar with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith and Guns N’Roses. Even your Bubbe (grandmother) got to relive younger days and throw her panties at Tom Jones.
Performing in the Jewish state is validation in itself. But some performers have been more outspoken in their support.
As reported by Cherryl Smith, PhD, Professor Emerita of English in Rhetoric and Composition at California State University, Sacramento, “Elton John, on stage in Tel Aviv, raised a clenched fist and shouted, ‘Shalom! We’re so happy to be back here! Ain’t nothing gonna stop us from coming, baby!’
Sir Paul McCartney defied this death threat by an Islamist cleric, “If he values his life, Mr. McCartney must not come to Israel.”
The Israeli music scene is also starting to see artists change their tune. Musicians who canceled shows in the past, such as the Pixies, will be on an El Al flight to Tel Aviv this summer. Jon Bon Jovi, whom the BDS promotes as never having played the Jewish State, was asked in a BBC interview last year if there was any place in the world he wants to play that he hasn’t yet. The New Jersey rocker’s answer–Israel.
2014 is already shaping up to be a banner year for entertainment in Israel and frustration for BDS advocates. World renowned artists such as Yanni as well mega stars Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus are coming to the Jewish State. Even liberal icons such as Neil Young understand the absurdity of the BDS movement. Dismissing criticism from Waters, Young is scheduled to jam the Jewish State this year.
But just when you thought there were no more Marshall stacks blowing out the eardrums of BDS bigots, here comes “the greatest rock and roll band in the world.”
The Jerusalem Post reports the Rolling Stones “were closing in on a June 10 show at the National Stadium in Ramat Gan.” Regardless of the final outcome of the Stones’ gig in Israel, the very liberal entertainment industry is not giving into hate and has spoken out at a volume setting of 11 in support of Israel’s right to be. As the world’s biggest Stones fan, who has seen them twice in my lifetime, I hope all people of Israel get to experience a Ruby Tuesday on the 12th of Sivan, 5774 (Hebrew Calendar).