Elvis Costello PR 2010

Bands are canceling gigs in Israel following last week’s raid on a group of aid ships heading to Gaza. Elvis Costello posted a carefully-worded letter on his website outlining his reasons for canceling his concerts in Israel, acknowledging that he needed to “sift through [his] own conflicted thoughts” on Israel before playing there. According to the AP, Pixies also canceled what would have been their first ever concert in Israel (though they haven’t given a specific reason), and Gorillaz — along with Klaxons — pulled out of a Tel Aviv music festival (Placebo are still playing). For now, Costello’s wife Diana Krall is still moving forward with plans to play Israel this summer.

Comments (4)
  1. Placebo already played.

    Editors, who were supposed to be the Pixies’ opening act, confirmed that they will play in Israel, on the same date, in a smaller venue and for less money. Now Israelis will love them forever.

    Eric Grossman, the bassist of K’s Choice, who played two sold-out shows in Israel shortly before Costello’s announcement, wrote in his Facebook status that he “‎thinks Elvis Costello is a big giant douchebag… how many shows did these heroes play in the US (my country), when George W. was perpetrating lawlessness all over the Afghani and Iraqi people. I guess money is a little more important than morals. Hypocrites.‎.. ‎Have any of these artists removed their CDs from the shelves of the countries they won’t visit, or are they fine with the profits they earn from the sales?”

    In Israel that Facebook status became headline news :)

  2. Those cancellations, as well as other comments and actions that took place after Israel’s raid on the Gaza Flotilla paints a deformed picture.
    Gaza is under siege because Hamas uses the open channels to acquire weapons. Israel transfers tons of humanitarian supplies to Gaza strip every week. The people of gaza are not deprived of food, water and supplies.

    The ships that took part in the Gaza Flotilla were told that they are more then welcome to dock at Ashdod port, from which the supplies will be transferred into Gaza.
    The supplies, which is now stored in a military base is prevented from doing it’s way to the people of Gaza because Hamas doesn’t let it[1].
    Is this an organization that cares about his public?
    Would ships whose goal is to aid the people of Gaza with supplies, deny the opportunity to do so peacefully?

    On the ship in which the 9 people were killed, alongside peace activists, waited mercenaries holding iron clubs and knives, attacking soldiers as soon as they stepped on the deck[2][3].
    Fire only started after several soldiers’ personal weapon was taken, and fire was shot towards them. The Israeli soldiers did what they had to do defend themselves. They boarded the ship with paintball guns(!), not expecting such violent reaction.

    Don’t do the mistake of thinking this was an innocent attempt to help the people of Gaza.
    Look, no one here in Israel liked hearing about 9 people dying. No one here thinks what happened on the Gaza Flotilla is fine – but things are not black and white. Especially in politics.
    The people of Israel are outraged with how this raid was managed[4], we wanted only to protect our sovereignty. We have no problem with supplies being transferred into Gaza.

    It is sad for me, as an Israeli citizen, who wants nothing more the peace and quiet, to see such a distorted picture in the world media.
    I hope you take the time to look at the whole picture. And don’t force yourself into firm decisions and opinions without the proper knowledge.

    With great love to people wherever they are, to music, to brotherhood,
    yours truly,

    Sorry in advance for any spelling/grammar mistakes.

    [1] – http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3901662,00.html
    [2] – http://fotogaleri.hurriyet.com.tr/GaleriDetay.aspx?cid=36575&p=1&rid=2 (photos from a Turkish newspaper, showing wounded Israel soldiers)
    [3] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYjkLUcbJWo
    [4] – http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3901746,00.html

  3. Not getting in to politics here, but The Gorillaz never scheduled a show in Israel, it was the Gorillaz Sound System, some sort of spin-off of the original band, consisting of their VJ and DJ.

    And yes, it sucks. Cancelling gigs is stupid and unprofessional. If you have problems or reservations, then don’t sign the damn contract and don’t announce the show to begin with. That’s fine with me, an Israel citizen who loves music and respect the opinions of musicians who don’t want to perform in Israel. But don’t call the whole thing off two days before you get here. That’s just… shitting on your fans who paid for tickets.

  4. Look, we have a saying in Hebrew, it’s called “Yalla Yalla”, which is actually Arabic, but its meaning, in plain English, is “Common Common”, which can be simply reduced to one “Common”, and that is, basically, the proper approach to the Pixies cancellation. So, Yalla-Yalla it, Internets!

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