By Jenni Frazer
April 24, 2009
It was only a matter of time before the mad professors of Bricup, the academic boycott group, turned their attention to the proposed visit of Leonard Cohen to Israel in September, and urged him not to stage a concert there.
According to a report in Ha'aretz, Haim Bresheeth, Mike Cushman, Hilary Rose and Jonathan Rosenhead, representing the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, sought to soften Mr C up by telling him "Your songs have been part of the soundtrack of our lives, like breathing, some of them."
They then went on to warn him: "You will perform in a state whose propaganda services will extract every ounce of mileage from your presence. They will use it to whitewash their war crimes."
Additionally, the Bricup crowd apparently fear that a Cohen show will be attended by Israeli soldiers who are "drinking beer" and "playing backgammon with their mates and going to discotheques." Goodness, how extraordinarily evil and self-involved. Can't have that.
I yield to none in my admiration for Leonard Cohen, perhaps the best poet and songwriter of the fabulous triumvirate of Cohen, Dylan, and Paul Simon. Having met him, I think he is more than capable of making up his own mind. It is worth noting that he flew to Israel in 1973 to perform for Israeli soldiers in the desert. Both he and Israel have moved on since then but I am optimistic that the blessed LC will do the right thing - regardless of the desperate bleatings of Bresheeth and his gang.