The Shmooze

Stars Are Pressuring Alicia Keys to Cancel Israel Tour

By Chavie Lieber

  • Print
  • Share Share
Getty Images

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and “The Color Purple” author Alice Walker have written open letters to R&B star Alicia Keys urging her to cancel her Tel Aviv concert.

“Dear Alicia Keys, I have learned today that you are due to perform in Israel very soon. We have never met, though I believe we are mutually respectful of each other’s path and work. It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists,” Walker wrote in an open letter on the website for the US Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel.

“I have kept you in my awareness as someone of conscience and caring, especially about the children of the world,” Walker added. “A cultural boycott of Israel and Israeli institutions (not individuals) is the only option left to artists who cannot bear the unconscionable harm Israel inflicts every day on the people of Palestine, whose major ‘crime’ is that they exist in their own land, land that Israel wants to control as its own.”

In Waters’ letter, the British star implored Keys to “stand united with all our brothers and sisters against racism, colonialism, segregation and apartheid.”

“Please, Alicia, do not lend your name to give legitimacy to the Israeli government policies of illegal, apartheid, occupation of the homelands of the indigenous people of Palestine,” he went on. “Others may try to persuade you that by playing in Israel you may magically effect some change; we know that this is not true, appeasement didn’t work with South Africa and it has not worked in Israel. I know I tried it ten years ago, things have only got worse.”

Keys is scheduled to perform July 4 at Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena. Stars like Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, Santana, and the Pixies, have canceled concerts in Israel in the past, while artists like Madonna, Paul McCartney, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have dismissed calls to boycott Israel and have performed in the past. Keys has not yet responded to Waters or Walker’s letter.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Israel, Alice Walker, Alicia Keys

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.