The Rolling Stones are coming to Israel, and while it may only be rock and roll, pro-Palestinian groups certainly don’t like it.
Israeli fans of the band have waited decades to see Mick Jagger preen on stage while Keith Richards belts out his famous riffs alongside the other members of the legendary group, but supporters of the Palestinian cause who have advocated a cultural boycott of Israel over its government’s policies in the West Bank are now ratcheting up pressure to cancel the show.
“Palestinian organizations urge the Rolling Stones to refrain from playing in apartheid Israel and not to condone Israel’s violations of international law and human rights against the Palestinian people,” Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Committee, is quoted as saying by AFP.
“The Rolling Stones were at the forefront of enforcing a cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, but performing in Israel at this time is morally equivalent to performing in South Africa during the apartheid era,” Ziadah is quoted as saying.
Last week, Israeli concert organizers announced that the Stones are officially booked to perform on June 4 at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv.
Nobody was more satisfied than promoter Shuki Weiss, who announced the long-coveted show Tuesday morning in Tel Aviv.
“This is a historic and very meaningful visit. In these days when we hear calls for boycotts from around the world, it’s not taken for granted that a band of this magnitude will come to Israel,” said Weiss.
On Thursday, Weiss told Israel Radio that he was not concerned the show would be canceled.
On the band’s official website, the Tel Aviv booking is not reflected on the list of dates for the band’s 14 ON FIRE tour.