(photo credit: REUTERS)
After taking to the stage in front of a packed house at Tel Aviv’s Barby club last week, British soul singer Joss Stone took to social media to dismiss those who invoke geopolitics to deter artists from performing in Israel.
“I feel so lucky today; I never thought I’d be playing in Israel,” Stone told the audience at her first-ever show in Israel on July 25 as part of her Total World Tour.
Backing that up, the English soul and R&B diva took to Facebook to rave about her experience at the gig in Tel Aviv and issue a rebuke seemingly aimed at proponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
“Firstly, I loved the experience of playing in this place... Mainly because of the people. Because of their beautiful spirit. Because of their warmth and kindness, their ability to let go and feel,” she wrote in a post on Saturday.
While Stone refrained from specifically mentioning BDS, she went on to acknowledge the controversy that arises when popular, international artists plan stops in Israel.
“... I’d like to say how pleased I am when I read comments from people who clearly understand the point of the world tour, and how sorry I am that so many of you had to enter into arguments on whether I should have visited Israel or not.”
Stone, known for her soulful hits and flowing blonde locks, underlined that she was “not trying to make political statements.”
However, she pointed toward the BDS movement that seeks economic and cultural boycotts of Israel over the Palestinian issue, saying she doesn’t “blame millions of individuals for what their government has chosen.”
“If we want to discount the people of countries that have done dreadful things, then we would only have the Antarctic left,” she scoffed, adding, “To condemn those you have never met in the hope for peace is quite simply counterproductive.
To put it as politely I can... it is a little bit silly. Some may even say foolish.”
Stone continued, indicating that the malevolence that is spurred by protests seeking to bar art and music from a collective population because of their state’s political entanglements in turn worsens the situation.
“I understand the reasons people call for a boycott... I understand... But surely you want the boycott because you want peace; surely you want to spout anger because you want peace; surely you fight because you want peace. Well, news flash: Adding fire to fire just makes things hotter.”