The Rolling Stones finally confirmed their long-rumored concert in Israel, scheduled for the beginning of June. And since the Rolling Stones are nothing if not a major force in culture, it didn’t take long for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement to try bullying the band to cancel. According to the British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, the concert announcement provoked “a furious response” from the BDS.
“We urge the Rolling Stones to refrain from playing in apartheid Israel and not to condone Israel’s violations of international law and human rights against the Palestinian people,” said Rafeef Ziadah, a BDS spokesman.
Ziadah also said, apparently without irony, that the June 4 concert in Tel Aviv would serve Israel’s “campaign to rebrand itself and will be used as a publicity tool by the Israeli government.”
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What is ironic about Ziadah’s statement is that it’s the BDS movement, not Israel, that’s using the concert to gain publicity. By attacking a group like the Rolling Stones, which hold enormous cultural status and thus commands public interest, the BDS movement and its delegitmization of Israel, get covered in newspapers such as The Daily Telegraph.
This sort of cultural exploitation is one of the main tactics the BDS movement uses to spread its anti-Israel message. Too bad the media is so willing to be used as a tool to promote the BDS narrative.
Meanwhile, it’s hard to imagine a group as formidable and sophisticated as the Rolling Stones caving in to BDS pressure. The article, however, did note that BDS supporters such as Roger Waters might get involved. Ziadah herself implied that the campaign against the Stones appearance was far from over. “We will be working with all of our supporters to urge the Rolling Stones to abandon this ill-advised concert,” she said.