5.18.2010

elvis costello cancels israel tour dates: "it is quite impossible to simply look the other way"

The movement to Boycott - Divest - Sanction Israeli apartheid gained some important traction this week, and a great songwriter showed himself to be a person of principle.

Elvis Costello, in his own words:
It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July.

One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time, whether intending to elate or lament.

Then there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.

I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.

I am also keenly aware of the sensitivity of these themes in the wake of so many despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.

Some will regard all of this an unknowable without personal experience but if these subjects are actually too grave and complex to be addressed in a concert, then it is also quite impossible to simply look the other way.

Read his statement here.

Margaret Atwood, shame on you.

4 comments:

L-girl said...

I have some paid work this week (hallelujah) so I think I'll just be passing along stories for a bit.

Stephanie said...

Do we DARE hope that this is just the beginning ??!!??

redsock said...

Two days ago, Israel refused to allow Noam Chomsky into the country.

Carlo Strenger, a Tel Aviv University professor: "If Israel feels it cannot survive free speech, then it is one step closer to flirting with totalitarianism."

Chomsky: "The government of Israel does not like the kind of things I say, which puts them into the category of, I suppose, every other government in the world."

L-girl said...

Do we DARE hope that this is just the beginning ??!!??

It has to start somewhere.

Two days ago, Israel refused to allow Noam Chomsky into the country.

I saw David and Stephanie posting a lot about this on FB. Canada and Israel, paving the way for free speech and the flow of ideas...