Shalom Life | August 04, 2015

Surprised? Bon Jovi Pressured to Cancel Israel Show

Palestinian campaign calls on American rock band to reconsider its October concert in 'apartheid Israel,' saying it is being used 'to divert attention from Israel’s human rights abuses and war crimes'

By: Ami Friedman

Published: July 7th, 2015 in Culture » Music » News

Surprised? Bon Jovi Pressured to Cancel Israel Show

Photo: Bon Jovi


It was only a matter of time: A petition calling on American rock band Bon Jovi to cancel its upcoming concert in Israel for political reasons was posted online Thursday by an organization called PACBI – The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

"World renowned band, Bon Jovi, is scheduled to perform in Israel on October 3," read the petition, published on the Change.org website. "We ask the members of the band – Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Tico Torres – to reconsider their concert in apartheid Israel, until Israel complies with international law and respects the rights of the indigenous "Though producer Marcel Avram said in an interview that 'Bon Jovi couldn’t care less,' we make this appeal based on the assumption that Jon Bon Jovi cares about human rights. We know that through his Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation he helps 'combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair.'

"Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people have caused enormous despair, death, injury, and displacement, to millions of people. After Israel’s latest attack on the besieged Gaza strip, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports Israel destroyed, or severely damaged 18,000 houses. Almost no homes have been rebuilt since. 108,000 Palestinians in Gaza are homeless."

Picture accompanying petition

Picture accompanying petition

At the end of the long letter, the group urges Bon Jovi to "do the right thing, and boycott apartheid Israel, just like artists boycotted apartheid South Africa several decades ago. The band’s concert is already being used to divert attention from Israel’s human rights abuses and war crimes.

"Please make a firm statement against apartheid, systematic impoverishment and military occupation. Please Boycott Israel until apartheid comes to an end."

The petition further noted that "the band should also be aware of the local production company’s commercial involvement with Israel’s military rule over the occupied Palestinian territories.

"Some of BlueStone Productions’ clients are Motorola, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Bank Leumi. Motorola provides Internet access on 630 carriages and all train stations of the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem A1 Fast Train which cuts through stolen Palestinian village land in the occupied West Bank, HP provides the biometric control systems installed in Israel’s checkpoints and restricting Palestinian movement, and Bank Leumi finances housing projects and mortgages for home buyers in Israel's illegal settlements for Jewish Israeli citizens in the occupied West Bank. The bank also provides financial services to local settlement authorities, and loans for Israeli businesses in occupied territories.

"BlueStone also seems to find amusing the Israeli occupying army’s version of 'The Harlem Shake,' which it posted on its Facebook page, showcasing soldiers dancing on a tank and waving their weapons in the air, near the besieged borders of Gaza."

The organization behind the petition had also called on Lauryn Hill to boycott Israel in the past. The appeal led to the cancellation of the American R&B and hip hop singer's concert in Israel in May.

The Bon Jovi concert producers in Israel, Guy Besser and Shay Mor Yosef, told Ynet in response that they had expected such pressure and that there wasn't the slightest fear that the American band would give in to the pressure and cancel the show. So far, the petition has gained 1,500 supporters.

Reprinted with permission from Ynet News

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