Hollywood Insiders Form Group To Counter Celebrity BDS Campaigns

Creative Community for Peace Lines Up Showbiz Execs

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

By Nathan Guttman

Published October 22, 2013, issue of October 25, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

The latest show business clash over Israel involved Grammy award winner Keys, who performed in Tel Aviv on July 4 despite a massive mobilization of critics that organized a petition signed by 16,000 people, calling on Keys not to “play apartheid Israel.” The protest was joined by Pink Floyd musician Waters and by author Alice Walker, who wrote a series of personal open letters to Keys appealing to her to boycott Israel.

In response, the music industry executives on CCFP’s advisory board contested Walker’s comparison of Israel to apartheid-era South Africa. The group also organized a counter petition in which more than 18,000 signatories called on all artists to proceed with their plans to perform in Israel and to allow “the power of your music to help bring hope and peace to the region.”

At the end of the day, it was the pro-Israel activists who won this battle when Keys went ahead with her July 4 performance.

Renzer, former head of Universal Music Publishing Group; Steve Schnur, a top executive at the leading video game producer EA, and Ran Geffen-Lifshitz, an Israel-based music producer, are the founders of CCFP.

The group’s website offers a view of Israel aimed at pop artists and their followers, showcasing Israel’s cultural diversity and technology. But it touches only briefly on issues relating to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians, the topic at the core of the boycott campaign.

The website describes CCFP as a group composed of members with diverse political views about how Israel can attain peace. But it also takes positions that appear to be held by only a narrow spectrum among Jews who support Israel. Among other things, it argues against the notion that settlements are an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians though Secretary of State John Kerry recently stated that “the United States of America views all the settlements as illegitimate.” A recent survey of American Jews by the Pew Research Center found only 17% of American Jews believe that settlements help Israel’s security.

As does StandWithUs, CCFP also disputes the use of the term “occupation” — a description that even right-wing Israeli leaders such as Ariel Sharon have acknowledged as accurate — to describe Israel’s hold over the West Bank.

The website also strongly challenges the pro-boycott activists’ claims of Israeli apartheid practices as a “false description.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.