Pop sensation Bruno Mars is facing mounting pressure from advocacy groups, including Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a pro-BDS group, to cancel his upcoming concert in Tel Aviv, expected to take place in October. The event, scheduled to take place at Hayarkon Park, has sparked outrage due to its association with the Israeli government’s policies and practices in the region.
JVP and various movement partners have called on Mars to reconsider his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, citing concerns over the Israeli government’s use of such concerts to “divert attention from the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“This is a crime against humanity in international law.”JVP letter
In an open letter addressed to the artist, JVP wrote that “by playing in Tel Aviv, you would be crossing an international picket line,” the letter states. “Whatever your intentions may be, Israel’s far-Right government, its most racist, homophobic, and authoritarian ever, will embrace and promote your performance to whitewash, or art-wash, its crimes against Palestinians.”
The letter asserted that the "Israeli government and its supporters use international artists’ performances in Israel as propaganda."
“Israel’s discriminatory and racist policies and practices have led Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, leading Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, and Palestinian human rights organizations to conclude that Israel imposes a system of apartheid against the Indigenous Palestinian people,” the letter continues. “This is a crime against humanity in international law.”
The controversy surrounding Mars’ concert comes after all tickets for both shows sold out rapidly. Live Nation, the event's promoter, is reportedly considering adding a third show to meet the high demand.
As fans eagerly await Mars’ decision, the international community watches as well to see whether the artist will use his platform to make a statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mars’ concerts in Tel Aviv are scheduled for October 4th and 7th.
Tel Aviv performances uniquely successful
The controversy surrounding Mars’ concert comes in the wake of reports suggesting that his Tel Aviv performances have been highly successful, with all tickets for both shows selling out rapidly. Live Nation, the event's promoter, is reportedly considering adding a third show to meet the high demand.