Johnny Rotten defies Israel-gig protest

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010
Johnny Rotten

Johnny Rotten

Former Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten has vowed to perform in Israel despite a campaign by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign for him to boycott the concert.

John Lydon – the punk singer’s real name – said in a radio interview that he has been sent hate mail because his band Public Image Limited is due to play in Tel Aviv in August.

But the controversial star, known for his anti-government stance, said he would not give in even as pro-Palestinian activists said they would picket an upcoming Bristol concert.

The Bristol Palestinian Solidarity Campaign has launched a Facebook campaign under the title: “Johnny Rotten you ain’t no human being if u play the Israeli fascist regime.”

Mr Lydon called the idea that playing in Israel was “some kind of political faux pas,” ignorant.

He said: “Of course there’s all kind of politics going on down there. But there is just about all over the world.

“You cannot separate yourself from your audience because of political powers that be.

Activists have also rounded on singer Joan Armatrading after she played in Tel Aviv in June.

They said she has lined “her pockets with blood money” and called on fans to demonstrate at her tour dates this summer.

Last updated: 1:18pm, July 14 2010