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Apr-26-2010 23:11printcomments

Tel Aviv Israel Concert Canceled by Gil Scott Heron

Scott-Heron is perhaps best-known for the classic The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, was a leading voice in calling for the cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa.

Gil Scott Heron
Classic image of Gil Scott Heron

(LONDON) - Gil Scott-Heron, whose political poetry influenced a generation of rap artists, sensationally announced the cancellation of his planned gig in Tel Aviv.

Speaking on-stage at London's Royal Festival Hall, Scott-Heron told the audience he "hated war" and, in a lengthy monologue, told the packed audience his Israel tour date would not be going ahead.

His concert had earlier been disrupted by fans dismayed at the booking, repeatedly heckling the performer and asking him to cancel.

Security was called and audience members threatened with removal.

A Facebook page was set up to urge the legendary performer against going ahead with his Israel appearance.

It stated "This is a huge mistake from an enduring cultural and political hero. Let's see if we can change his mind."

Over one thousand people have joined the page.

Scott-Heron is perhaps best-known for the classic The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, and was a leading voice in calling for the cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa, joining United Artist Against Apartheid in the 1980s.

His sharply political songs have provided a space for his own militant, anti-racist politics.

With Palestinian artists and musicians calling for a cultural boycott of Israel, campaigners were deeply saddened by Scott-Heron's apparent decision to play a high-profile gig there.

"Gil Scott-Heron's music has always been about fighting racism," said protester Sara el-Sheekh.

"But Palestinians daily face the most terrible oppression from the Israeli occupation – easily comparable to apartheid in South Africa.

Musicians and artists should not be giving this apartheid state any legitimacy."

It's great news that this date has been cancelled. Scott-Heron was cheered and applauded when he made his announcement."

Campaigners have vowed to continue the fight for a cultural boycott of Israel.


Special thanks to: WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE


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Anonymous January 4, 2012 12:44 pm (Pacific time)

I am an Israeli who truelly belives the occupation of the palastians is filled with injustice and should end. Having said that i also believe we have a right to live and prosper in the state of Israel, and we have not stolen this land but settled in it. there was no state here before we came and the fact that also other groups were sitting here does not make it injustice. as long as that is not acknoleged by palastians there will be no progress in peace. I wish for a peacfull Palastine to thrive as a neighbor nation. I wish my goverment would make that effort but also wish the palastiens would.

Giles May 11, 2010 11:46 pm (Pacific time)

Well why don't you state which facts you believe to be skewed then?

Giles May 11, 2010 7:35 am (Pacific time)

Daniel, thanks for that but i noticed that many of the posts (including my own) DO very much dispute your timeline which is erroneous and leaves out essential facts. The comment urging you to "read a book on the subject" seemed to appear quite often... You surely do not intend this timeline as any serious source?

Tim King: Giles, you are another Israeli apologist willing to skew the facts to continue the oppression of indigenous people.  I see four comments in a row friend, and I think you are a little propaganda machine.  Do you get paid for doing this?

Giles May 10, 2010 3:17 pm (Pacific time)

To Editor:

I absolutely believe the majority must have been Zionists because they had moved to Israel in order to be Jewish living in Israel and thats the definition of "Zionist" (despite the fact that the term was not invented until later, the motivation was the same). Since Palestine has never officially existed or been recognised until modern day (and only then by the UN, since there are no Palestinian embassies around the world and never have been), the area was not officially known as anything. Therefore those Jews that returned throughout the 2000 years of exile obviously did so out of "Zionistic motives" and I don't see how their return can be explained in any other way.

By the way, as an "editor" aren't you supposed to be a little more objective? Slightly biased political viewpoint you have "Israel stole the land". Do you blame Israel only for wrongs committed? The Arabs have done a pretty good job at starting wars these past 100 years of the conflict. Us Israelis have lost thousands through these wars. Hardly the most balanced approach I'm disappointed to see that.

Daniel Johnson: You might be interested in a little more Palestinian background--none of it disputed, in my article of almost a year ago:  

Giles May 10, 2010 8:51 am (Pacific time)

To "Rubya" who states that Israel is home to "foreign Jews"; There are generations of famillies who live in Israel that date back 10, 20, 30 generations. Jews have always lived in this land as is verified by the well documented archaeological evidence from Jewish governments, Israelite kings etc. Tell me, can you name a Palestinian King? No. So who is spreading the lies...??

Editor: There were Jewish people in what is now Israel, but they for the most part as I understand it, are not zionists.  At any rate, it is not an excuse to steal the land from the Palestinians.  No matter how you dress it up, it still comes out the same way.  

Rubya April 27, 2010 2:48 pm (Pacific time)

Israel is an Apartheid State "brynababy". open your eyes and educate yourself as to the real conspiracy of darkness over the people of Palestine. A people whose land is occupied by foreign Jews who have no birthright to the land. Study the history, see the movie "Occupation 101," open your hearts to injustice and see why a people so oppressed turn to fanatics for justice when there is no justice. It is indeed a very similar tale such as South Africa was during Apartheid. We once called Nelson Mandela a terrorist you know...why were we wrong then, why are you wrong now?

gp April 27, 2010 11:39 am (Pacific time)

Alicia, if I were him, I would have taken the gig in order to cancel it and make news.

brynababy April 27, 2010 10:09 am (Pacific time)

Israel is not an apartheid State and it is outrageous that uncivil demonstrators are allowed to be successful. Concerts and cultural events by highly regarded Artists, who come to Israel and see it from within and bring their messages of Peace, are the very things that will help to resolve the painful situation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This musician was a fool not to find out for himself what's true and what's not true. He let a gang of hoodlums determine his decision.

The Sanity Inspector April 27, 2010 8:54 am (Pacific time)

Because he needed the work, most likely. But yes, speaking as a strong supporter of the right of Israel to exist free of genocidal jihadists blowing up their public transport, I'm surprised that a proggy entertainer like Scott-Heron planned to go there in the first place.

Alicia April 27, 2010 6:40 am (Pacific time)

This is great news, but I guess my biggest question is why he even had a gig booked in Israel in the first place, considering that it's not exactly unknown that Israel is regarded as an apartheid state. Any info on that?

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