As of late, pro-Palestinian activists have taken a new route in protesting Israel – by convincing rock stars and singers to boycott Israel because of their “Apartheid against the Palestinians.” As a result of this pressure, performers like the Pixies and Elvis Costello cancelled their show. Others, such as Elton John, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney and Metallica resisted the pressure and performed regardless. As of late, they have focused on another popular entertainer: Macy Gray.
Pro-Palestinian activists have been trying for the last several weeks to mount enough pressure on Gray so that she will cancel her two shows in Israel on February 11 and 12. Gray, resisting the pressure, decided to take an unconventional route to find a solution. She asked her fans what to do. Gray posted a message on her Facebook fan page asking her whether she should cancel the shows “in protest of Apartheid against the Palestinians.”
Gray wrote: “I’m booked for two shows in Tel Aviv. I’m getting a lot of letters from activists urging and begging me to boycott by not performing in protest of apartheid against the Palestinians. What the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting, but I want to go. I have a lot of fans there that I don’t want to cancel on, and I don’t know how my not going changes anything. What do you think? Stay or go?” Approximately 2,000 people reacted, with the majority writing that it was important to protest the apartheid and stand up for human rights, while others begged Gray not to give in.
Clearly, Gray took the responses seriously as she announced via Twitter that she would be honoring her commitment to perform in Tel Aviv. “Dear Israel fans. Me and the band will be there in 20 days. Can’t wait. See you then. Peace,” she wrote.
According to the organizers of the Tel Aviv shows, Yaron Cohen and Ilan Elkayam, Gray had been in touch with them and she informed them that she would not be cancelling. They added that this sort of effort is quite common as most performers are subjected to the pro-Palestinian lobby’s pressure to cancel and the pressure on Gray would likely mount as the date closes in.