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ISRAEL: Pixies cancel Tel Aviv concert in apparent Gaza flotilla fallout

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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.

Comments () | Archives (16)

Sidney: I wonder why the Iranian built missiles are always being shot into Israeli cities. Or how it's always the Egged bus lines being blown up. And how come it's the Jerusalem pizzerias and Tel Aviv discos being attacked at the height of their business days. Could it be Arab Apartheid?

No, just Arab terror. Arab Apartheid is not allowing Jews to own land in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia.

And you have your own form of Apartheid. Always blaming Israel, but never blaming the warring Arab states.

I can see how exciting it is to mismanage terminology in order to make a political statement. Whoopdeedoo indeed.

I don't think that the Pixes didn't go to Israel because they are against them . i saw frank Black walk out of a show at Slimm's in san Francisco because the collage tpye atmosphere was to much and he got upset and diva'd out . But it's not hate it's just the way they are . Death To The Pixes

Who are the Pixies? Were they, like, an opening act for another band that no one's ever heard of?

English:I think Israel should be given sovereignty of Cornwall. Its quite nice, the pasties are GREAT and theres no horrible Muslims around, not yet anyway./

Cymraeg (Welsh) translation: rhowch Kernow i'r Israel: mae pasties yn arderchog iawn, ac dim Muslim yna i llad.

The Pixies didn't make any political statement.

"Events beyond our control" would not include politcal statements, of which they would be in control.

Believe it or not but entertainment artists cancelling events have been one of the strogest signs of a failed segregation and apartheid coming to an end. First the US South, than South Africa, and now Palestine. I love always hearing the Israelis say they are the only Democratic govt when they have Jew Only roads, housing, govt benefits and more. Israel was also the last and most strongest supporter of the Whites in South Africa. Only reason they have support in the US is because they buy our Senetors and Representatives wholesale with campaign contributions. Glad to see progress in the right of Palestinians to live freely (along with Isralis). Remember Hamas was Democratically elected when the US, EU, Israelis called for elections...but after Hamas won the above decided not to recognize them and created the current situation. KNOW YOUR HISTORY AND FACTS. Thanks.

Thank you Pixies. Your support matters a lot. Israel murdered 9 people aboard the Flotilla.

They are not punishing, rather they are sending a strong and just message to the criminal government of Israel and as well as the ones supporting their criminal behavior. The world will boycott you and this is just the beginning.

We need more of this behavior from all people and organizations from all walks of life. I hope that our government will get the clue and step up to the plate, do the right thing, and follow suit.

All these boycotts achieve is the radicalization of the Israeli right, by affirming their fears. They also make political dialogue more difficult. I could understand such action if the occupation were a subject that needs more public attention, but that's not the case.
Another thing these bands should keep in mind

Any groups that cancel now should be persona non grata in Israel forever.

From Yonatan Amir:

' most of the boycott proponents are pro-Palestinians rather than humanitarian,"

You've phrased this as a contradictory kind of thing, as if supporting the Palestinians is at the opposite end of the spectrum from being humanitarian.
In this instance, however, with this flotilla incident, the two would really be linked together. Moreover to be humanitarian would NOT be anti-Israeli if Israel acts to end the blockade once and for all.

Thank you Pixies, I've always enjoyed and respected their music, now I have greater respect for them.

All these boycotts achieve is the radicalization of the Israeli right, by affirming their fears. They also make political dialogue more difficult. I could understand such action if the occupation were a subject that needs more public attention, but that's not the case.
Another thing these bands should keep in mind, is that like the passengers of Mavi Marmaris, most of the boycott proponents are pro-Palestinians rather than humanitarian, and by participating they are adding to the conflict rather than to the conflict's end.

dont cry israelis, im sure ted nugent will still play israel...

In the 60s, artists refused to play in the South because of segregation, so it is very relevant. Instead of blaming the artists, how about Israelis turn to their government and say enough with the blockade, enough with the settlements, take the peace process seriously.

Who exactly are they punishing??? Were they scheduled to preform for the prime minister of israel?
They're punishing the simple people, their local fans which most likely share their values anyway!!
This is a cowardly and uneducated response from so-called "involved" artists.


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