“Take me down to the Paradise city, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty, take me home” – sings Guns ‘n Roses front man, Axel Rose, who will be performing in Tel Aviv this summer. Well, the song could literally be about Israel because Tel Aviv is the paradise city where the grass is green (thanks to Israeli agricultural ingenuity) and the girls are pretty and to many a visiting rock star, it feels like home.
Just ask another great rocker- Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, who was so taken with Israel, he told star struck fans at Ha Yarkon Park that he was making Aliyah. Jewish Agency Chairman, Natan Sharansky, wasted no time in telling the rocker to walk this way to where he could fill out the appropriate forms.
What is the appeal of Israel to so many rock stars? This coming summer is really proving to be the summer of love (and depleted bank accounts) as we debate who to see. Guns n Roses or Britney, bitch? Rod Stewart or Radiohead? Bryan Adams or Foreigner? Decisions, decisions, oy vey! Hardly a week goes by without an announcement of another major act visiting our shores.
BDS poster boy, Roger Waters, must be about to have an apoplexy. The comfortably dumb Pink Floyd star’s favourite past time is sending letters to visiting bands encouraging them to join the boycott of Israel. He has succeeded with a few but the majority are fed up with Water’s acting like just another p**** in the wall! Clearly he needs an education and Radiohead front man, Thom Yorke, was more than happy to school Waters saying in a statement, “It’s deeply disrespectful to assume that we’re either being misinformed or that we’re so retarded we can’t make these decisions ourselves,” Yorke said. “I thought it was patronizing in the extreme… it’s really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years.”
Bow chica wow wow! More and more big name bands are deciding to see Israel for themselves and formulate their own opinions. They realise that music can help by not just building bridges between Israelis and Palestinians but also heals wounds. The legendary Carlos Santana, played to a capacity crowd in Tel Aviv and so did the soulful Alicia Keyes before him but what makes them extra special is that they both made the effort to use their epic star power and encourage music programmes for both Palestinian and Israeli children. Music has the power to build the connections that politics cannot.
All we are saying is give peace a chance
What BDS also neglect to tell you is their methods of discouraging artists from performing in Israel are not restricted to letters from the dodgy Roger but they also use tactic of intimidation and threats of violence. Legendary Beatle, Paul McCartney and numerous others including Mali’s Salif Keita have spoken about how they or their band members have been threatened by BDS activists. One can only look to social media to see how they are subjected to a barrage of abuse and outright lies.
In an interview with JCPA researcher, Adam Shay, McCartney was quoted as saying, “I got explicit death threats, but I have no intention of surrendering. I refuse to cancel my performances in Israel.”
Even electro virtuoso, Moby, said that said that the intensity of the attacks against him before he came to Israel made him suspicious that this “wasn’t an objective movement that was concerned with people’s welfare, but with something dark and dubious.”
The jig is up and the BDSholes have been exposed yet again for the hatemongers that they are and their abject fear that people may visit Israel, in this case world famous celebrities with a massive fan base, and see something that they like or even…shock….horror……the truth!
One thing is for sure, Israelis are going to keep on rocking and enjoy our summer of love.