Alicia Keys to cross the picket line and play Israel concert
Alicia Keys is at the centre of a spat concerning her upcoming concert in Israel on July 4th. On one side are the artists and campaigners urging her to join an artistic boycott of Israel and cancel her first visit to the country. But equally vociferous are the pro-Israel campaigners urging her to keep her promise and sing in Jerusalem on US Independence Day.
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters is part of the movement calling for all artists, including Alicia Keys, to boycott Israel. Doing so props up the government’s ‘apartheid policies’ and its treatment of Palestinians, which has been widely condemned by human rights campaigners. Previously artists such as Coldplay, Elvis Costello and U2 have cancelled shows in the country under pressure from the Boycott Israel campaign.
But Alicia is standing strong. “Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of the show,” she said. If Alicia doesn’t back down before the concert, she’ll be joining the likes of Madonna, Bob Dylan and Macy Gray to have played there.
Although perhaps not without a sense of regret. After her controversial decision to play in Tel Aviv in 2011, Gray stated that afterwards she had a “reality check”, stating that she wouldn’t have crossed the picket line if she’d had access to all the information.
Nobody can claim that Alicia Keys wasn’t warned, so let’s hope she’s making this decision for the right reasons.