The BDS movement has gained considerable status in recent years, having succeeded in enlisting various celebrity figures to take a stand against the Jewish State. While a slew of notable Hollywood names, including; Stephen Hawking, Meg Ryan, Dustin Hoffman, and Julianne Moore, have all succumbed to the whirlwind of baseless hatred aimed at Israel, by opting to cancel previously scheduled appearances there, the Pet Shop Boys of 80’s fame have remained staunch supporters of the State. The British duo is slated to belt out its hits this coming Sunday in Tel Aviv.
This welcome bit of news is certainly music to our ears. The spurious claims concerning Israel being an apartheid state is nothing short of farcical to anyone who is well-versed in Israeli politics or history. Israel’s ongoing relationship with its significant Arab population in no way resembles the deplorable era of apartheid South Africa, and any claims to the contrary are not only un-categorically false but carry severe anti-Semitic undertones.
Pet Shop Boys band member, Neil Tennant, reiterated this very notion in an official statement released on the band website. “I don’t agree with this comparison of Israel to apartheid-era South Africa. It’s a caricature. Israel has (in my opinion) some crude and cruel policies based on defense; it also has universal suffrage and equality of rights for all its citizens both Jewish and Arab. In apartheid-era South Africa, artists could only play to segregated audiences; in Israel anyone who buys a ticket can attend a concert. Neil x”
The British rock group joins the unwavering multi-Grammy winning singer, Alicia Keys, who has not relented under the myriad of appeals she has been besieged with to cancel her upcoming July 4th show. While this demonstration is certainly an important act on the part of the band, it is but one voice amidst a heavy anti-Israel climate in the UK.
In fact, London is scheduled to play host to this week’s conference focused on the BDS Israel movement. Although the conference hosts, the Pears Institute for the Study of anti-Semitism at Birkbeck, in conjunction with the International Consortium for Research on anti-Semitism and Racism allege that the event will be a forum to examine the BDS phenomenon from a purely academic perspective, vocal and virulently anti-Israel advocates will be in attendance. This seems nothing short of absurd for an institution founded on the basis of examining acts of anti-Semitism to allow known adversaries to Israel the opportunity to spread their messages of hate. It appears that the line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism has become blurred just as the line between sanity and insanity has grown hazy.
While there will always be opponents to the Zionist vision, the malice of such antagonists need not be spread at events hosted by supposed research institutions of anti-Semitism. Genuine examiners of anti-Semitism aim to speak out against malevolent acts committed against the Jewish people and Jewish State. They do not wine and dine them while listening to their hateful rhetoric.
For now, we enthusiastically await the upcoming Pet Shop Boys concert in Tel Aviv. Rock on, boys!