Gilberto Gil cancels Israel show over 'sensitive moment'

He credited a "general sentiment" of "apprehension" among his crew as the reason he was cancelling the show.

May 22, 2018 13:07
1 minute read.
Gilberto Gil and his band

Gilberto Gil and his band. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Gilberto Gil, a Brazilian singer and songwriter, has canceled an upcoming show in Israel over political tensions.

On Monday, the local Israeli concert producer published a note that Gil had sent to them a day earlier.

“We are very sorry but after careful consideration with our artists and band we will not be able to perform in Israel this year,” Gil wrote. “The general sentiment of all is one of apprehension as Israel is going through this sensitive moment. We expect your understanding as this matter is also delicate for us. We love Israel and have always felt warmly welcomed. There will surely be other opportunities and we will be hoping for better times.”

Gil was undoubtedly referring to recent clashes along the border with Gaza, where more than 60 Palestinians – mostly Hamas members – were shot dead by IDF snipers during violent riots.

The local production company said tickets for the July 4 show will be fully refunded.

“We regret the cancellation and we hope to schedule a new date for his show next year,” it said.

Gil, a 75-year-old singer, songwriter, guitarist and Brazil’s former culture minister, was last in Israel in 2015. Before that concert, he and his friend and fellow musician Caetano Veloso faced strong calls from the BDS movement to cancel.

At a press conference in Tel Aviv ahead of their show, they said they came to perform and also to learn.

“We’ve been saying since we got here, we are here to sing, we came here to sing and also share our views and thoughts,” Gil said at the time. The duo took part in a tour with Breaking the Silence as well as other sightseeing in the area.

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