Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hollywood Group Takes on Music Industry Anti-Israel Boycotters

The United Nations International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural rights states, in Part three, Article 15 that

The States Parties to the present covenant recognize the right of everyone:

1.To take part in cultural life;
2.To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications';
3. To benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
2. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for the conservation, the development and the diffusion of science and culture.
3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity.
4. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the benefits to be derived from the encouragement and development of international contacts and co-operation in the scientific and cultural fields.

In spite of this, anti-Israel activists have proposed an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, conducting an enormous pressure campaign against artists who chose to play for their fans in Israel.

From an article by William Bigelow

"A group called Creative Community for Peace is fighting back against the cultural boycott of Israel in the music industry. Made up of 30 leading music executives, talent agents and entertainment lawyers, the CCFP includes music powerhouses who represent luminaries like Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Aerosmith, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Timberlake...

Some artist have defied the boycott and defended Israel’s right to hear them: among them are Lady Gaga, Elton John, Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Rufus Wainwright, Herbie Hancock and Lenny Kravitz. Madonna is planning to debut her World Tour in Tel Aviv this summer, and there will be appearances by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Cirque du Soleil.

But the pressure on artists continues; the Red Hot Chili Peppers, scheduled to perform in Israel in September, have been targeted by BDS with a a Facebook page demanding the Peppers “Defy Injustice, Cancel Israel.” Will they have the guts to do what Elton John did in 2010, when he walked out on stage in Tel Aviv and said, “They’re not gonna stop me from coming here, baby”? Or have guts like Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s 30-year-old manager, who got death threats such as “If Justin Bieber comes to Israel, we’re gonna kill the Jew manager”?

...But in the meantime, CCFP is determined to fight back. As Steve Schnur, worldwide head of music for Electronic Arts (EA) video games, put it: “Musicians that play there don’t have to agree with the current or previous policies of the Israeli government — but they can go there and speak toward it or against it. Where else in the Middle East can an artist do that?”

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