Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

BDS-Backers ‘Happy’ To Grab Credit as Pharrell Williams Scraps Israel Gig

Critics of Israel have claimed credit for the cancellation of a planned Tel Aviv concert by ‘Happy’ singer Pharrell Williams — but others blamed anemic ticket sales.

The left-leaning Jewish Voice for Peace, which supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel applauded the Grammy-winner’s decision to cancel the gig set for next week.

JVP also suggested that the move may have come after “calls for solidarity w/ Palestine.”

Williams’ representatives said the cancellation of the July 21 gig was due to unanticipated scheduling problems, Haaretz reported, while industry sources blamed slow ticket sales.

Williams has come under fire from pro-Palestine solidarity activists before. In 2014, South African BDS-backers protested at a concert, objecting to the singer’s partnership with major South African retail group Woolworths which imports from Israel.

Last year, amidst rumors a tour was in the works, other BDS campaigners urged Williams not to go to Israel.

Then, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel wrotethat by performing in Tel Aviv, Williams would show himself “indifferent to the suffering of Palestinian children.”

The cancellation comes as Carlos Santana is also being urged by activists to not “entertain apartheid” by performing at Israeli venues.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at or follow him on Twitter, @skestenbaum




    NY-12 Candidate Forum


    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.