A Round of Applause for Alicia Keys

by Gordon Haas

As one of its priority areas, the CRC works to counter the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that puts pressure on organizations and influentials to stop doing business with Israel. The movement usually relies on false information and accusations against Israel. Most recently, it has been targeting musical performers.

In collaboration with the Israel Action Network (IAN), a joint project of Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the CRC sent out an action alert to the Greater MetroWest community to encourage R&B singer Alicia Keys to keep her scheduled performance in Israel. We also wrote letters.

Alicia Keys and Idan Raichel
Alicia Keys and Idan Raichel
We are happy to report that despite pressure from BDS activists to cancel her show, Alicia Keys performed in Tel Aviv on July 7. While other performers have canceled shows due to BDS pressure, Keys sets a positive example that we hope other performers will follow.

According to a report from IAN:

“Keys, who has 14 Grammys to her name, played to a sold-out show of 8,000 people. She began by asking the crowd in Hebrew, ‘Ma koreh, Tel Aviv?’ which means, ‘What’s happening, Tel Aviv?’”

The concert was a victory for Israel advocates and fans alike; since announcing her tour date in Israel, Keys endured serious pressure to cancel her show, from the likes of noted author Alice Walker to a wide range of BDS groups.

She refused to be swayed, however, and issued a statement to The New York Times confirming her intention to perform, and expressing her enthusiasm. “Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love and that is the spirit of our show,” Keys said at the time. She even went so far as to take legal action against YouTube for an anti-Israel video set to her music, which called on the singer to cancel her Tel Aviv concert.

The CRC, along with IAN, applauds Ms. Keys for standing steadfast in the face of immense international pressure, and recognizing the misguided and unfounded claims of the BDS movement. We thank all those community members that wrote letters or signed online petitions.

Click here for the full story on Alicia Keys’ Tel Aviv show.

Click here to see Alicia Keys performing in Tel Aviv with Israeli singer Idan Raichel.

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