Anti-Zionists urge Elton John to boycott Israel gig

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2010
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Elton John is due to perform in Israel in June

Elton John is due to perform in Israel in June

Anti-Zionist British academics have urged Elton John to pull out of a performance in Israel, in an open letter to the singer.

Tickets go on sale today for the June concert, which will be the Candle In The Windsinger’s first performance in Israel for 17 years.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, who recently tried to persuade botanist David Bellamy to cancel an appearance for the Zionist Federation, called Israel a “racist state” in its letter.

The letter said: "Political or not political, when you stand up on that stage in Tel Aviv, you line yourself up with a racist state.”

"Okay, you turn up in Ramat Gan, and it gets to that 'Candle in the Wind’ moment, and thousands of lighters flicker — but there won't be any Palestinians from the Occupied Territories swaying along with the Israelis — the army won't let them leave their ghettos”.

The academics urged Elton John to read the UN Goldstone Report into Operation Cast Lead which found both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes.

Israeli boycotters have unsuccessfully targeted Leonard Cohen, Madonna and Sir Paul McCartney, who all recently performed in Israel.

The concert in June will be Elton John’s first return to the Holy Land in 17 years and his third visit to Israel.

In 1993, Elton John was attacked by paparazzi as he landed in Ben Gurion airport, whereupon he promptly turned back and cancelled his performance.

But after so many pleaded with him to return, he agreed to play the second concert in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park and flew back to Israel.

Last updated: 12:02pm, February 9 2010