Alicia Keys To Perform in Tel Aviv Despite Boycott Requests

June 6, 2013

2 min read

(Photo: Wiki Commons)
(Photo: Wiki Commons)

R&B singer Alicia Keys has refused to bow to pressure from fellow artists such as author Alice Walker or singer Roger Waters who have asked her to cancel her July 4th concert in Tel Aviv.  Walker called Israel “an apartheid country,” in her statement, and Waters declared that her performance would “… give legitimacy to the Israeli government policies of illegal, apartheid, occupation of the homelands of the indigenous people of Palestine.”  But Keys, in a statement to the New York Times, said, “I look forward to my first visit to Israel. Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show.”

The Simon Weisenthal Center praised her courageous decision.  “When Ms. Keys sings in Israel on July 4th, she will be singing in the only free country in the entire Middle East, where women enjoy equal rights with men and Israeli Arabs have more rights than any of their brothers and sisters in the Arab world,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC Founder and Dean.

“Equating Israel with apartheid South Africa is a sinister distortion of the truth,” Rabbi Hier added, “Just look at what is happening in Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.”

“Israel has said countless times that it is willing to sit down with the Palestinians without preconditions. But Israel cannot be expected to make peace with Hamas, a terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction, just as African-Americans cannot make peace with the KKK.”

Keys, 32, is one of the most successful pop and soul singers of the past decade, with sales of over 35 million copies of her albums and 14 Grammy Awards to her name.

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