ISRAEL: Pixies cancel Tel Aviv concert in apparent Gaza flotilla fallout
Besides giving Israel the obvious diplomatic grief, international outrage over the flotilla events is spilling into other areas too. Among the first civilian victims of the fallout is the Pixies' concert, now canceled. With only four days to go, the band's management told local producers the show was off. They didn't quite cite a reason, but it's not that difficult to guess.
"We'd like to extend our deepest apologies to the fans, but events beyond our control have conspired against us. We can only hope for better days, in which we will finally present the long awaited visit of the Pixies in Israel," was the message reported on the Ynet website Sunday.
If readers' comments are anything to go by, fans won't be waiting up.
"Your apologies are not accepted," wrote talkbacker #2 in response to the news report, saying he's lost all respect for the band.
"Yes, it is easier, safer and more lucrative to jump on the Israel-bashing bandwagon," continued the writer, who said he is about to trash all his Pixies CDs, including an original vinyl album.
"Perhaps your new, political expedient fellow travelers will appreciate you as much as your die-hard fans used to -- but it will be for your political conformity, not your music," a person with the handle farfurfan signed off.
The Pixies' Facebook page also reflected bitter disappointment.
"Last night I took part in a peace demonstration against our government policy and today I am being punished by your cancellation," wrote Gal. "We are music fans, not politicians, and by punishing us you are empowering the conflict. Just wanted to let you know you've made the absolute wrong choice."
For others, this is totally the right choice -- even if a bit late in coming.
Various bodies have been campaigning for months to dissuade artists from playing Israel. Groups promoting an academic and cultural boycott have petitioned artists like Elton John not to contribute to Israel's "celebration of its occupation and apartheid," and last month Elvis Costello scratched a planned concert in Tel Aviv, citing "instinct and conscience."
Last week, it was reported that both the Klaxons and Gorillaz Sound System had canceled their shows at a Tel Aviv festival too.
Not all the protest comes from the outside. In March, a group of Israeli Pixies fans joined international boycott campaigners and wrote the band a letter saying as much as they'd love to see the band, they won't "cross the international picket line" to do so and urged the Pixies not to perform in Israel until "there's real freedom here."
At the time, the local producer had denounced this as "cultural terror." This week, he's refunding tickets.
--- Batsheva Sobelman in Jerusalem
Babylon and Beyond's Twitter feed: twitter.com/latimesworld
Photo: Lead singer Frank Black, right, and Joey Santiago of the Pixies perform their landmark Doolittle album as part of their Doolittle Tour at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood on Nov. 4, 2009. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times.