Israel’s Surprise Defenders

March 24, 2011

In the past couple of weeks, Palestinian murderers entered the home of a sleeping Israeli family and slaughtered them, right down to cutting the head off a 3-month-old baby. Real tough guys. News of this horrific crime was greeted by other Palestinians by the handing out of candy and general celebration. Every day, Hamas launches rockets into Israel with the goal of killing as many Israelis as they can. Now comes an improvised explosive device that killed one and injured several others when it exploded next to a bus. Reuters tells that story with this gem of unbiased reportage:

Police said it was a “terrorist attack” — Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike. It was the first time Jerusalem had been hit by such a bomb since 2004.

Naturally, the entertainment world is up in arms about these crimes. Elvis Costello refuses to play in Israel. Carlos Santana took time out his busy schedule of talking to the spirits of Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix to pull out of a concert in Israel. The Pixies refused to take their “we need some money” reunion tour to Israel. Ditto Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, on one of his endless recyclings of The Wall tours.

Hold on a minute…why are they boycotting Israel? Shouldn’t they be boycotting the ones who are launching the rockets, setting the IEDs, and slaughtering the families?

Well, yes, they should.

Fortunately, there’s a little sanity in the entertainment world and it comes from two unlikely sources.

John Lydon, the sneering sage of punk rock issued this statement last year, and it may well be the most punk rock thing he’s ever said (well, aside from the lyrics of “Bodies”):

I really resent the presumption that I’m going there to play to right-wing Nazi jews [sic]. If Elvis-fucking-Costello wants to pull out of a gig in Israel because he’s suddenly got this compassion for Palestinians, then good on him. But I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won’t understand how anyone can have a problem with how they’re treated.

And now, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons has gone to Israel and has some very choice words for those who would boycott Israel while absolving the Palestinians from any wrongdoing. From the Jerusalem Post:

Even though he had never returned to Israel until this week, Simmons has always been an ardent supporter of the country, most recently sending a televised message to an IDF soldier (and Kiss fan) wounded during the 2006 war with Hezbollah, in which he called the soldier a “hero.”

Although Kiss has never appeared in Israel, Simmons dismissed other entertainers who have chosen to boycott the country as “idiots.”

“As an American, there’s no choice but to be supportive of Israel,” he said. “This is the Holy Land, and it’s no secret that everybody in America perceives Israel as its only real friend in the Middle East—who else are you going to rely on?”

Now that’s rock ‘n’ roll.

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