Elvis Costello announced on his website recently that he has canceled two shows he was to have performed in Israel on June 30th and July 1st:
I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlements and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.
So Costello cancels a concert in Israel because some of the concert goers agree with his position?
That seems really well thought out.
The only consolation is that Costello's wife Diana Krall will still be performing in Israel in August.
However, other artists such as Carlos Santana and Gil Scott-Heron and Sting have also recently canceled performances in Israel. In these two cases it appears both artists were intimidated into canceling with Scott-Heron being heckled by concert goers in London until he agreed to cancel his date in Tel Aviv.
But then again perhaps it's just as well that Costello and company don't perform in Israel. In 2006, ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters performed in Israel despite protests from Palestinian groups. However, Waters met with one of these groups (the Palestinian Campaign for an Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel) and agreed to move his concert and also spoke out against Israel's security fence.
Waters would also visit a section of the security fence and spray painted "no thought control" and "tear down this wall." He would compare Israel's security fence to the Berlin Wall. Never mind the Berlin Wall kept East Germans in while the security fence keeps Palestinian terrorists out. I wrote an article about it titled, "Hey, Suicide Bomber, Leave Those Kids Alone".
Now I must admit I've long been a Pink Floyd fan and still listen to their music despite Waters' ignorance. Elvis Costello's music, on the other hand, I could take or leave. From this point forward I'll take my leave.