Bruce Springsteen’s Guitarist Slams BDS “Ignorant, Obnoxious Idiots”

May 4, 2016

3 min read

As rumors abound of an upcoming performance by Bruce Springsteen and his E Street band in Israel this summer, BDS supporters and anti-Israel activists have taken to social media to criticize the group.

Not one to quietly back down, Steven Van Zandt, the E Street guitarist, blasted the protests on his personal Twitter feed, calling Israel boycotters “politically ignorant obnoxious idiots.”

Although the band had mentioned the possibility of stopping in Tel Aviv to perform during the European leg of their two-and-a-half month tour, no concert was ever announced or confirmed. Due to the fact that the 2016 tour begins next week, it seems unlikely that any show will actually occur.

Steven Van Zandt arrives at the 2012 MusiCares Gala honoring Paul McCartney at LA Convention Center on February 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo: Helga Esteb /
Steven Van Zandt (Photo: Helga Esteb /

Regardless of whether a show will in fact take place or not, BDS supporters are still throwing a stream of criticism against Springsteen for the simple suggestion of bringing a performance to Tel Aviv.

The recent negative Twitter action against Van Zandt came rather unexpectedly amid a seemingly unrelated topic after the band cancelled a show in North Carolina over a current ongoing scandal regarding public restrooms. One user responded to the announcement accusing Springsteen of touring other places “which do much worse.”

The conversation, which originally had no Israel tie-in, sparked rage from a Twitter user named Patrick who made no effort to hide his anti-Israel agenda. He accused Van Zandt of supporting the “rogue state of Israel” and asking “when will there be a Gaza city concert?”

Van Zandt replied to Patrick, telling him that “Israel is one of our two friends in the Middle East,” that a “boycott would accomplish nothing”. He suggested Patrick “go get educated.”

User Katherine Mellow then asked the guitarist, “What is YOUR solution for getting Israel to end apartheid and start providing human rights to all?” to which Van Zandt had the ultimate comeback: “The problems there have existed for a thousand years and you want the solution in 140 characters?”

Van Zandt is not the only one among his bandmates who has faced fire for expressing pro-Israel sentiments. Bassist Garry Tallent has also been heckled by those in the Twitterverse. Even Springsteen experienced backlash by a self-described anti-Zionist Stanley Cohen, who went after the Boss himself back in February, The Jerusalem Post reported.

This is not the first time celebrities have been chastised by Israel boycotters. Artists such as Jon Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Elton John (who will perform in Tel Aviv this month), and Beyonce are only a few of the musicians who have received heavy condemnation for their decision to play in Israel just in the last couple of years.


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