TEL AVIV – Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, aka the Sopranos’ Silvio Dante, called Israel boycotters “politically ignorant obnoxious idiots” on Monday, and advised one to “go f**k yourself.”
The ruckus erupted on Twitter over the band’s decision to cancel a gig in North Carolina because of the state’s controversial “bathroom” law requiring transgender people to use public restrooms according to the gender specified on their birth certificate. One Twitter user then asked Van Zandt why he had no issue touring countries “which do much worse.”
A few more Israel bashers joined in the fray, causing Van Zandt to lash back, “You and the other Israel boycotters are politically ignorant obnoxious idiots. Israel is one of our two friends in the Middle East.”
When one user accused him of hypocrisy, Van Zandt tweeted, “Ok asshole. It’s time for you to go f**k yourself. Justify that.”
Van Zandt, who was involved in the anti-apartheid movement in the 1980s, founding Artists Against Apartheid and composing the 1985 protest song “Sun City,” told his Twitter hecklers to “go get educated” on the subject before accusing Israel of being an apartheid state.
Told “Israel totally meets apartheid definition under under itl law,” Van Zandt retorted that the situation was far more complicated than South Africa, adding, “The problems there have existed for a thousand years and you want the solution in 140 characters?”
David Horovitz, The Times of Israel‘s editor-in-chief and self-confessed Springsteen fan, penned an oped thanking the “proud, patriotic, no-nonsense, anti-racist, anti-apartheid guitarist” for coming to Israel’s defense.
It has been rumored that Springsteen and his band will perform in Israel in the summer as part of their European tour, but so far there has been no official confirmation.
Nonetheless, BDS activists took to Twitter to bully the band members into changing their minds about performing in the Jewish state.