Alicia Keys and a Brief History of the Israel Boycott

You Can't Tell the Artists Without a BDS Scorecard

The Keys To Boycotting a Boycott: Alicia Keys played Tel Aviv on the 4th of July.
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The Keys To Boycotting a Boycott: Alicia Keys played Tel Aviv on the 4th of July.

By Anne Cohen

Published July 16, 2013, issue of July 19, 2013.
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HAVING IT BOTH WAYS:

PETE SEEGER (2011)

“I understand why someone would want to boycott a place financially, but I don’t understand why you would boycott dialogue,” Seeger, who participated in an online peace rally organized by Israelis, told the JTA. “The world will not be here in 50 years unless we learn how to communicate with each other nonviolently.”

Stevie Wonder
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Stevie Wonder

STEVIE WONDER (2012)

“Given the current and very delicate situation in the Middle East, and with a heart that has always cried out for world unity, I will not be performing at the FIDF [Friends of the Israel Defense Forces] Gala…,” Wonder said in a statement to Reuters. “I am respectfully withdrawing my participation from this year’s event to avoid the appearance of partiality….” Wonder added: “As a Messenger of Peace, I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere. In consistently keeping with my spirit of giving, I will make a personal contribution to organizations that support Israeli and Palestinian children with disabilities.”

ANNIE LENNOX (2010)

“The reason I’m here today is to use my freedom of speech, my right as an individual in a free world, to encourage people to get together and protest against this means of ‘conflict resolution’ which will never work.” Lenox said in 2009, during an anti-war rally against Gaza operations. The singer also objected to Tzipi Livni’s use of the Eurythmics song “I Saved the World Today” during her 2009 campaign. Lennox clarified her position in 2010 when she declared, “Both sides are right and both sides are wrong.”

Anne Cohen is a Forward summer fellow and is the editor of the Shmooze blog. She has contributed to Wewomen.ca, Vayable and The Huffington Post.


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