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Israel: Pixies Pull Show Stopper

Pixies Doolittle album cover

Doolittle album cover (1989) Pixies

In the wake of mounting international criticism and condemnation of Israel’s clash with activists intent on breaking the blockade on Gaza, the Pixies, a veteran rock band, have canceled their concert in Israel. This comes hot on the heels of performance cancellations by the Klaxons, Gorillaz Sound System as well as Elvis Costello. However, it was news of the Pixies no show that hotted up the Twitosphere and got many finding the link between music and politics.

The Pixies did not specify the reason behind the last minute cancellatio. Shuki Weiss, the band’s Tel Aviv promoter, released this statement:

בצער רב אנו מודיעים היום על החלטת הפיקסיז לבטל הופעתם בישראל
It is with great regret that we announce today The Pixies’ decision to cancel their appearance

This sparked mixed reactions and brought both pro and anti Israel sentiment to the fore.
There were those, like @ismpalestine, who thanked the Pixies for not supporting an apartheid state:


Pixies cancel Israel show. Thank @Pixies for rejecting apartheid! #flotilla #israel #pixies

Others, like @SMaher85, commended the Pixies for upholding justice and promoting peace:

Another victory for #BDS! #Pixies cancel #Israel concert! Thank you for standing with justice & peace: http://bit.ly/aXJvea #Palestine

From Israeli Pixie fans, there were strong, vitriolic reactions with some using the band’s own lyrics to make a point. @Dachniella asked :


where is your mind, pixies? why mix art and politics??? #pixiessuck

Many fans, like @OrTheDude, also accused the band of having a weak understanding of the Israel’s political situation:

The #Pixies are COWARDLY yielding to biased politics, shame on you for not getting to the bottom of things! #pixiessuck #israel #music

@photomiky added :

Pixies do-little to understand Israel's security needs. #pixiessuck

But it’s not just on Twitter that people have been reacting. The Pixie’s Facebook fan page was bombarded with fan’s comments about the cancellation. At the time of writing, there were 242 comments, most of them in response to the bands decision not to play in Tel Aviv. These comments give interesting insight into a conflict that is older than the Pixies and far darker than their lyrics could ever be.
Some like Riky Cohen, accuse the band of being anti-Semitic, terrorist collaborators:

Hypocrisy, hypocrisy and disgusting. Will you stop running in countries like America, England, and others who fought in Iraq? You are collaborators with an anti-Semitic terrorist

But there are also comments on the Facebook fan page, like those by like Pamela Hardyment, which applaud the Pixie’s decision:

LOVE YOU, THANKS FOR AVOIDING THE SCUM OF THE EARTH IN ISRAEHELL

Elton John and Rod Stewart are still scheduled to play in Israel this summer. There is, however, pressure on the artists to reconsider and cancel. On Twitter, @bataleh writes:

4gt itRT @DiamantChehadeh: EltonJohn,im sure Israel wl roll u out redcarpet covered in innocent blood.Do it Cancel your show #Flotilla

Another Twitter user, @DANALTWEETS, also advocates that artists not play in Israel :

snoop dogg,klaxons,gorillaz,santana, and elvis costello have all cancelled concerts in israel, finally, whose next? #bds #flotilla #freepali

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