[Boycott - Cultural]
Gil Scott Heron to boycott Israel?
26 April 2010
As pressure mounts on Gil Scott Heron not to perform in Israel, with an official appeal from Palestine - from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), and from Johannesburg - from the South Africa Palestine Solidarity Committee, and personal statements from Emory Douglas - Former Minister of Culture of The Black Panther Party, from performers Lowkey, Boikutt and many others, plus pickets outside his performance in London and protests from the audience during his performance, Gil Scott Heron has announced on stage that he will not be performing in Israel until "everyone is welcome there".
There has however been no official announcement from his management to confirm the cancellation of the Tel Aviv concert, tickets are still being sold and producers of his concert at the Barbie club in Tel Aviv said the concert will be held as scheduled, so the pressure needs to be kept on until an official announcement.
PACBI: Open Letter to Gil Scott-Heron - Don’t Play Apartheid Israel!
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
21 April 2010
Occupied Ramallah, 21 April 2010
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is gravely disappointed by the announcement that well-known, progressive artist Gil Scott-Heron is due to perform in Israel on May 25. We call upon Mr. Scott-Heron, a member of United Artists Against Apartheid in the 1980’s and a featured singer on the breakthrough song 'Don’t Play Sun City’, not to play apartheid Israel.
We urge you as an influential artist, and, more importantly, as a well-known activist on issues of social justice and equality, not to perform in Israel, a state that maintains a cruel system of occupation, colonization and apartheid against the Palestinian people and has been widely accused by UN experts and leading human rights organizations of committing war crimes and grave violations of human rights. Your performance in Israel would stand in stark contrast to your anti-apartheid, anti-racist record and simply be part of Israel’s attempt to 're-brand’ and whitewash its apartheid system.
Your work has been an inspiration to activists around the world who are fighting for justice alongside the Palestinian people; do not tarnish your record and this admiration by turning a blind eye to the realities of Israeli apartheid. A performance in Israel would come a year and a half after Israel’s bloody military assault against the occupied Gaza Strip which left over 1,440 Palestinians dead, of whom 431 were children, and 5380 injured. The 1.5 million Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, the overwhelming majority of whom are refugees, were subjected to three weeks of relentless Israeli state terror, whereby Israeli warplanes systematically targeted civilian areas, reducing whole neighbourhoods and vital civilian infrastructure to rubble and partially destroying Gaza’s leading university and scores of schools, including several run by the UN, where civilians, including children, were taking shelter. This criminal assault came after months of a crippling and ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza.
The situation for Palestinians outside Gaza does not fare well either. Palestinian refugees, the majority of the Palestinian population, are not allowed to return to their homes from which they were expelled in 1948. Palestinian citizens of Israel are treated as second class citizens where rampant discrimination and differential access to services is the norm. Palestinians in the West Bank are locked in by an Apartheid wall with its connected system of Israeli-only roads, settlements and checkpoints. Literally, Palestinian areas are transformed into open air prisoners and laboratories for the latest Israeli weaponry.
If you have any doubts that the situation of Palestinians is similar to that of black South African’s under apartheid, we urge you to heed the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who in a recent letter to Berkeley students wrote: “I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.” 
In the face of decades of unrelenting oppression, Palestinian civil society has called upon supporters of the struggle for freedom and justice throughout the world to take a stand and heed our call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it recognises Palestinian rights and fully complies with international law. Many prominent international cultural figures including John Berger, Ken Loach, Arundhati Roy, Roger Waters, John Williams, among others, have declared their support for the boycott. Other renowned international artists, including Sting, Bono, Snoop Dog, Jean Luc Goddard and Joan Manuel Serrat have also heeded our call and cancelled their gigs or participation in festivals in Israel .
Your performance in Israel would be the equivalent to having performed in Sun City during South Africa’s Apartheid era, in violation of the international boycott unanimously endorsed by the oppressed South Africans. We hope that you will not play apartheid Israel.
 See International Guidelines for the Academic Boycott of Israel http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1107&key=international%20academic%20boycott
Apartheid Anywhere is Apartheid Everywhere
26 April 2010
A letter from the Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa to Gil-Scott Heron on the concert he had been scheduled to play in Tel Aviv.
Dear Gil Scott-Heron,
A respectful message from Johannesburg.
Those of us in South Africa who fought against Apartheid took strength and courage from your music. The song “Johannesburg” became somewhat of a resistance anthem in the aftermath of the Uprising of June 16, 1976. It was thus a shock and a disappointment to hear that you might be performing in Tel-Aviv, defying the cultural boycott against Israel.
For those of us who lived under Apartheid and continue to face its legacy we see many parallels with the treatment of Palestinians. It has been fifty years since the massacre at Sharpeville where 69 people were killed at an anti-pass protest. Palestinians are still forced to carry passes and face daily violations of their fundamental human rights. We see many similarities with the treatment of Palestinians; indeed, the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) a parastatal supported by the South African government, has released findings that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in Palestine . Palestinian civil society organisations have called on Israel to be boycotted until such time as it abides by international law .
Israel was founded and still exists on racist principles and it has created the largest refugee population (more than 6 million people) in the world. Israel has consistently flouted international law and has throughout its over 60 years of military occupation colonized and annexed more and more of Palestinian land. Today Palestinians have less than what the apartheid regime in South Africa allowed Black South Africans to own in the Homelands or Bantustans. The Israeli state also continues to erect what many refer to as the “Apartheid Wall”, despite the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision in 2004 that it is illegal. This wall further annexes and turns Palestinian land into bantustans. Your performing in Israel actually supports an initiative by Israel to ‘rebrand’ itself. This ‘rebranding’ campaign, launched after the attack on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009 where more than 1400 Palestinians were massacred , is aimed at making Israel appear to be a liberal democracy and to whitewash its ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
Your music has always been deeply politicized and scathing of inequality and structural racism. It is in the light of this that we call on you to cancel your event in Israel. We remember your lyrics, ’I know that their strugglin' over there ain't gonna free me,
but we all need to be strugglin'
if we're gonna be free’. Have you heard, brother Gill, that most of us in Johannesburg say, apartheid anywhere is apartheid everywhere. Or in the words of Nelson Mandela, "South Africa will not be free until Palestine is free".
The Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa
 Call for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Related Link: http://psc.za.org/
Gil Scott Heron Boycott Israel Campaign (incl statements from Emory Douglas, Lowkey, Galloway and Boikutt)
Gil Scott Heron Boycott Israel Campaign
23 April 2010
Backlash against Hip Hop trailblazer’s proposed gig in Israel
Fans across the globe have expressed outrage at poet, campaigner and musician Gil Scott Heron’s decision to play in Tel Aviv in May of this year.
When a musician agrees to perform in Tel Aviv, they are co-signing the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian people. If Gil Scott Heron goes ahead with this performance it will render all of his previous work entirely meaningless. This can only be interpreted as siding with the opressor rather than the opressed. You either believe in the equality of all or you believe in the supremacy of some.
Gil Scott Heron, known as the “godfather of rap”, started his career as a spoken word artist who fused music, lyrics and black activism to create iconic tracks such as “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and “Whitey on the Moon”. No surprise that within this strong tradition of social commentary and anti-oppressionism that he voiced his opposition to apartheid regime in South Africa, and performed the track “Let Me See Your ID”, on the famous, “Sun City” album.
So when Heron announced a gig in Tel Aviv, Israel on 25 May 2010, his fan base reacted immediately, drawing parallel’s between Israel and South Africa, pleading with him to cancel the gig. His facebook fan site and website have been filling up with messages. Palestinian Barry Hadadd wrote: “I am shocked that you will play Tel Aviv. I’ve been a big fan this whole time. I live an hour drive from Tel Aviv but I cant come; I’m locked up in an Israeli prison called the West bank. You are undermining our struggle, big time! Shame on you! Join the people's struggle and boycott Israel.”
The South Africa Palestinian Solidarity Campaign upon hearing about the gig were "shocked and disappointed" and said that their message to Gil was "We remember your lyrics, ’I know that their strugglin' over there ain't gonna free me, but we all need to be strugglin' if we're gonna be free’.
RESPECT MP George Galloway said "Gil Scot Heron's proposed gig is a stab through the heart of everyone who loves his music and seen him as an icon of popular resistance against oppression. It's not too late for him to change his mind and to inform the Apartheid regime in Israel an 'air mail special' - that he'll only play in Palestine when the Palestinians are free."
The UK-based Gil Scott-Heron Boycott Israel Campaign has been launched to appeal to him to abandon his proposed show in Tel Aviv in May.
Campaigner and playwright Omar El-Khairy said: “The Gil Scott-Heron Boycott Israel Campaign takes no pleasure is asking Gil and his management to deprive Israeli fans of their long awaited moment to see him live, but feel that with circumstances as they are in the Palestinian territories and Gaza in particular, the priority must be to appeal to them to refrain from giving credibility to the Israeli state by playing there”.
Others in the campaign are planning to protest at his upcoming gig at the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday 24 April. Neither Heron, nor his management, have released a statement regarding the Tel Aviv gig.
For more information on the campaign, please contact:
Notes to Editors
• Sukant Chandan is coordinating the GSH Boycott Israel Campaign
• The GSH Boycott Israel Campaign started in response to GSH’s proposed gig in Israel on 25 May 2010
• The GSH Boycott Israel Campaign seeks to persuade GSH to cancel this gig
Other statements of protest to the GSH Boycott Israel Campaign
EMORY DOUGLAS, Former Minister of Culture of The Black Panther Party:
Why Gil Scott Heron? Are you desperate? Have you lost your mind? Or is it the ‘ME’, I'm the greatest syndrome?
The Government of Israel is an Apartheid government. Did you support the Apartheid government of South Africa? If not, why do you support the Apartheid Government of Israel ?
Have you gone blind, lost your hearing, all humane feelings of compassion and understanding for the oppressed people of Palestine and now your loosing your voice? Shame On You.
I'm wishing you have a speedy recovery, I hope it's not to late. DON'T GO
BOIKUTT: Musician and MC based in Palestine:
Mr. Gil Scott-Heron, I would like to express that by performing in Tel Aviv you are supporting Apartheid and insulting all the people of Palestine who are not allowed to enter Tel Aviv because of the racist Israeli regime policies. We ask you to take a stance against oppression and refuse to perform there until we, the Palestinians, are no longer living in Israeli-built prisons and have the freedom to at least attend your show and enjoy your music.
"As a longtime fan and follower of Gil Scott Heron's work, I am shocked and dissapointed to learn that he is planning to perform in Tel Aviv. When a musician agrees to perform in Tel Aviv, they are co-signing the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian people. If Gil Scott Heron goes ahead with this performance it will render all of his previous work entirely meaningless. This can only be interpreted as siding with the opressor rather than the opressed. You either believe in the equality of all or you believe in the supremacy of some. Gil Scott Heron needs to make clear where he stands."
Gil Scott-Heron: don't go to the moon
Matthew Cassel, The Electronic Intifada
20 April 2010
Dear Gil Scott-Heron,
I've always defended your track "Whitey on the Moon" to fellow white Americans who dismissed the song as racist. I argued that considering the centuries of enslavement of your African ancestors, and the continued oppression of and racism against Black Americans, it's not unfair for a Black person to criticize the "white" system in the United States.
"Whitey on the Moon" is centered around your sister Nell, a symbolic character who represents Black communities long neglected by the US government. The same government which, as you highlight, spends billions sending rocket ships to a place that has no relevance to the lives of most Americans -- the moon. Your song exposes the absurdity in devoting our resources and attention to such an endeavor while back on Earth, people are struggling.
Like most of your songs, it has a timeless message that decades later we can still draw lessons from. It's in the spirit of your music that I understand the importance of cultural resistance against injustice. And it's in that spirit that I came to understand the injustice in Palestine.
Around the world there are millions of Palestinian Nells. Nell is a refugee born in exile living in a refugee camp, a young girl whose father was killed while working on his farm, a student living under siege and under attack in the Gaza Strip where even schoolbooks are denied by the state that you will soon visit.
Nell could easily be compared to the Handala character created by assassinated Palestinian artist Naji al-Ali. Handala, a young boy with his back turned to the world, represents al-Ali's childhood as a refugee forced to flee his home in Palestine for a refugee camp in Lebanon and has become an iconic symbol for the Palestinian struggle.
By performing in Tel Aviv next month, you will entertain an unjust system that denies the rights of the six million refugees who Handala represents. For more than 62 years these refugees and their descendants have been denied their most fundamental right of return. Performing in Tel Aviv, in the context of your art, would be the equivalent of you abandoning Nell on Earth and taking off for the moon.
Your scheduled concert in Tel Aviv is also in direct violation of the call by Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. A similar boycott, which you full-heartedly supported, was called for in South Africa and helped bring an end to apartheid in that country. Now, decades later, a similar system of apartheid exists in Palestine. Many of those South African activists with whom you showed solidarity are now leaders of the global boycott movement against Israeli apartheid.
When I lived in occupied Palestine a few years ago, I used to share your music with friends during times of Israeli curfew and invasions. We listened over and over to the "Revolution Will Not Be Televised," as I did my best to explain each and every cultural reference. I'll never forget one friend smiling and telling me after hearing your song, "The intifada will not be televised!"
Like Blacks in the US decades ago when you wrote "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," Palestinians also resist their oppression. In recent years, the intifada (meaning "uprising" in Arabic) has been brutally repressed by Israel. Thousands who have risen up have been killed and injured, and thousands of others have been imprisoned. Some of the friends with whom I once enjoyed your music are now locked away in Israeli prisons for organizing students at Palestinian universities or protesting against the massive apartheid wall that steals land and separates communities.
What message would you have sent to Blacks in South Africa struggling for justice had you played at Sun City? Playing in Tel Aviv will send that same message to Palestinians now struggling for their rights.
In the anti-apartheid anthem "Johannesburg" you sing: "I know that their strugglin' over there ain't gonna free me/but we've all got to be strugglin' if we're gonna be free." It's songs like "Johannesburg" that have made your name synonymous with solidarity with peoples' struggles in the US and beyond. Stay with the people and on the side of justice, show solidarity with those struggling and cancel your concert in Tel Aviv.
Matthew Cassel is based in Beirut, Lebanon and is Assistant Editor of The Electronic Intifada. His website is http://justimage.org.
Gil Scott Heron Boycott Israel press release:
GSH ANNOUNCES CANCELLATION OF TEL-AVIV CONCERT [incl response from Emory Douglas]
Sukant Chandan, GSH Boycott Israel Campaign
25 April 2010
I welcome Gill’s announcement that he does not intend to play in Tel-Aviv, even better if he could switch the venue and do a fundraiser in Palestine for those who suffer Israeli state oppression and racism.
Race equality campaigner
Gil Scott Heron announces cancellation of Tel Aviv concert
Artist won’t play in Israel “until everyone is welcome there”.
Fans of revolutionary poet and singer-songwriter Gil Scott Heron welcomed his decision last night to cancel the concert he had been scheduled to play in Tel Aviv this May. Heron announced the decision during his set at London’s Royal Festival Hall, the opening night of his world tour.
Activists from the Gil Scott Heron Boycott Israel Campaign had picketed the event earlier in the day, attracting considerable public interest and support. Ten activists from the campaign then continued their protest inside the concert, raising the issue of Israeli apartheid right at the start of Heron’s set and after the first song.
The activists were great admirers of the artist who were shocked by Heron’s decision to play Israel, and said that they protested “reluctantly” given his longstanding commitment to equality and civil rights in both the USA and South Africa.
Upon hearing of the proposed gig in Tel Aviv, South Africans in the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign said they were “shocked” and “disappointed” at the decision.
Heron waited until just before his last song to announce the decision to the audience. His tone was unapologetic and he did not definitively tie the decision to any rationale, simply stating that the tour would “end in Athens, not Tel Aviv” and that he would only play in Israel “when everyone is welcome there”. The campaign is now awaiting confirmation from Gil Scott Heron’s management that the concert has indeed been cancelled.
Emory Douglas, renowned artist of the Black Panther Party, commented “My choice to join the voices opposed to your going [to Tel Aviv] wasn’t personal, but the right thing to do. I will be one of the first in line at your next concert in my town. May you continue to inform and inspire.”
For more information on the campaign, please contact:
Notes to Editors
• Sukant Chandan is coordinating the GSH Boycott Israel Campaign
• The GSH Boycott Israel Campaign started in response to GSH’s proposed gig in Israel on 25 May 2010
• The GSH Boycott Israel Campaign was established to persuade GSH to cancel this gig
I commend you on your reversal of not going to perform in Israel, a place ruled by an Apartheid Government. Perhaps the courage you’ve shown by not going will now set the standard and be an inspiration for other performers to be mindful of the choices they make.
My choice to join the voices opposed to your going wasn’t personal, but the right thing to do. I will be one of the first in line at your next concert in my town. May you continue to inform and inspire.
-One Love, Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture of The Back Panther Party
George Galloway commented:
“Gil Scott-Heron sees sense and cancels his Tel Aviv gig. Well done to everyone who campaigned for him to cancel.”
The GSH Boycott Israel Campaign said:
“We have long been great admirers of Gil Scott Heron’s contribution to the cultural struggle of the oppressed around the world, and were originally planning to attend the concert simply to celebrate and enjoy the great man’s songs. It was therefore with some reluctance that we organised last night’s picket and protest of his concert, but felt it was necessary given Israel’s apartheid policies. His decision last night to cancel the show will be a great boost to all those Palestinians struggling under Israeli occupation, none of whom have freedom of movement even within the West Bank, let alone to go to concerts in Tel Aviv.”
Haidar Eid from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel:
“Gil Scott Heron’s decision to cancel his concert in Tel Aviv is warmly welcomed by most of us here in Gaza and Palestinian civil society at large. This does not come as a surprise to us due to his luminous heritage in support of the anti- apartheid struggle in South Africa
“Once again, we wholeheartedly thank him for his support for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it complies with its obligations under international law and fully respects Palestinian rights.”
Lee Jasper, British race equality campaigner and former Senior Policy Advisor on Equalities to the Mayor of London:
“I welcome Gill’s announcement that he does not intend to play in Tel-Aviv. even better if he could switch the venue and do a fundraiser in Palestine for those who suffer Israeli state oppression and racism.”
Black Panther Huey Newton meets Arafat -
Long history of solidarity between the
struggles in the US and Palestine
Dan Glazebrook, Morning Star
26 April 2010
I had been looking forward to it for months. Gil Scott-Heron is the man whose iconic music provided the soundtrack to the struggle of a generation, not just in the US but globally.
Palestine solidarity activists mounted
a protest at Gil Scott-Heron's London
gig and prompted an apparent about-face
by the artist on his Israel tour date
From The Revolution Will Not Be Televised to Whitey's On The Moon, Scott-Heron's music and lyrics were - and remain - an inspiration to people struggling for their rights under all kinds of racial and class oppression.
Johannesburg was a heartfelt plea for solidarity with the black South African population, then suffering under apartheid rule. "They need to know we're on their side."
So it was hard to believe, two weeks before the concert, that Scott-Heron was planning to break the cultural boycott of Israeli apartheid and take his show to Tel Aviv.
How did this square with his anti-racist radicalism - indeed, with the entire legacy of his life's work?
Banners were printed up by Palestine solidarity campaigners urging the artist to abandon the Tel Aviv concert and a lively picket was held before the event following much discussion within the movement.
The boycott itself has generated heated debate within this country. Is it not hypocritical for us, as British citizens, to be calling for a boycott of Israel when our own government's treatment of Afghans and Iraqis - and historically many, many others from Ireland to Kenya to India - is hardly better than Israel's treatment of Palestinians?
On the other hand, in a society with compulsory military service, where almost the entire adult population will have been active in enforcing the occupation, is playing in the country not essentially the same thing as playing to the army?
But, for me, what I or indeed anyone else in this country thinks about these issues is not the point.
The point is, the whole Palestinian movement, civil and political, is calling for this boycott, just as every significant South African resistance group called for the boycott of South Africa.
Will we be so arrogant as to refuse to give our solidarity in the face of this unified tactic?
Supporters of Palestine began tackling the issue from the moment Scott-Heron took to the stage, urging him to reconsider and shouting slogans such as "Gaza is today's Johannesburg."
He tried to dismiss them, but he could not shut them up, and more voices were raised after the first song, Bluesology, had ended.
Between songs and protests, the concert was interspersed with a series of what, under different circumstances, would have been engaging and comical anecdotes, but which, in this tense and charged atmosphere, fell somewhat flat.
The songs, of course, were excellent, and Scott-Heron's voice is sounding as great as ever - perhaps even more so.
Deep and earthy and soulful, enhanced rather than damaged by the passing of the years.
But it was hard to listen to songs like We Almost Lost Detroit and Work For Peace knowing that they were coming from a man who had seemingly abandoned the solid principles of solidarity which gave rise to them.
Then came the bombshell. After leaving the stage while his piano player performed a solo piece, he returned with the news that he would, after all, cancel the Tel Aviv show.
He did want to play there, he said, but not until "everyone is welcome there" - a reference to the fact that most Palestinians are penned in to a tiny corner of their erstwhile country, denied even the most basic freedom of movement.
You could palpably feel the atmosphere lift and the crowd - who, it must be said, had not been overly sympathetic to the protesters - gave him a standing ovation in time for the roof-raising finale of classic tracks Celebrate, Celebrate and The Bottle.
One final note of caution, however. The Tel Aviv concert is still being advertised on Scott-Heron's official website, tickets are still being sold, and there has been no official announcement from his management to confirm the cancellation.
It may be too soon to announce a victory on this front just yet...
Reports from the protest at Gil Scott Heron's London concert
25 April 2010
Well done to all the protesters who were brave enough to face down the wrath of the crowd and to throw leaflets through the air and shout in between songs, it clearly had an effect on Gil throughout the show and I don’t think he would have announced the cancellation of the Tel-Aviv show without this very direct pressure being applied.
I think he was embarrassed and ashamed, as he didn’t engage with the protesters in any way at the start of the show; he wanted to shrug them off, when he had a perfect opportunity to engage with them, as all he was doing at that point was telling some bad jokes and chatting. Then, almost at the end of the show, he said that the Tel-Aviv booking wouldn’t go ahead, but he mumbled something about scheduling and dates and people not being able to read. He got a standing ovation anyway, and a lot of tension was released. It was clear then that a lot of people had been at the show and felt very conflicted. Personally, I couldn’t enjoy it at all. Listening to him singing ‘Work For Peace’ and singing about how ‘everyone is talking about peace but no one wants to work for it’ was very difficult to stomach as I imagined him performing the same show in Israel.
Glad he didn’t sell out, he should’ve confronted this issue head on though and not mutter something about ‘scheduling’ to get him off the hook.
I was at the gig. He was fairly abusive to people in the audience who were trying to persuade him to pull out of the Tel Aviv gig. About two thirds of the way through he made an announcement, which I didn't entirely follow. He definitely said "We do not have a date in Tel Aviv". He implied that that was to do with some kind of scheduling conflict, but also drew a parallel with boycotting Apartheid South Africa. Haaretz says his promoters are still saying the gig's going ahead, and it's still listed on his website. F*ck knows what's going on.
Gig review: Bit of an easy-listening, greatest hits (with the notable exception of The Revolution...) set, which is a shame as some of his new stuff is great. The man obviously has great charisma and wit but the extreme obsequiousness of his audience did my head in a bit. It felt a bit like going to see Sinatra play Vegas or something. I have some sympathy for the man who shouted "F*cking sell out" as he walked out of the gig.
I'd be interested to hear what other people at the gig thought.
Gil Scott Heron
Human rights activists are attempting to pressure American hip-hop artist Gil Scott-Heron to cancel his scheduled concert in Israel, slated to take place in Tel Aviv on May 25th. Over the weekend Scott-Heron, who is presenting new material this year for the first time in 16 years, gave a performance in London. His concert was greeted with protesters who demonstrated outside calling on the performer to boycott Israel. A pro-boycott Web site claimed that the musician had in fact agreed to cancel his Israeli trip, but the producers of his concert at the Barbie club in Tel Aviv said the concert will be held as scheduled. (Noya Kochavi)
Aside from a lengthy solo track by pianist Kim Jordan mid-way to promote her new album (of which the least said the better), the only truly curious moment came when pro-Palestine protesters shouted slogans between and during songs, apparently in protest at reports Scott-Heron was set to play in Tel Aviv next month.
Though at first he swatted off the criticism with witticisms, he later became visibly aggravated, later in the set denying any plans to perform in Israel had ever been finalised.
Moreover, Scott-Heron, who refused to perform in apartheid South Africa, suggested he would only play in Israel or the Palestinian territories once peace had been restored in the region.
His firebrand youth has given way to sagacious maturity, and while he's still full of righteous anger (he refuses to play Tel Aviv because "we dislike wars") his singing style has mellowed into a comfortable croon.
Also Of Interest
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