JERUSALEM — The fireworks before the Alicia Keys concert in Tel Aviv on July 4 have been from activists demanding that the singer cancel her performance in Israel. But she was not swayed by these false comparisons between Israel and South Africa under apartheid.
Good for her. Israel is no Sun City, the race-restricted resort created by Pretoria in the 1980s to evade the international boycott against the apartheid regime.
Musicians were rightly targeted for giving credence to a renegade government by performing in that pretend resort. This effort was part of a legitimate rallying cry against injustice by entertainers worldwide. But today, musicians and other entertainers should come to Israel and speak their mind to audiences about the nation’s successes and failures. Just as Israeli musicians — Jewish, Muslim and Christian — do.
These activists who campaign under the banner of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) assert that Israel is an apartheid state similar to the former South African regime, where racial discrimination and separation was legislated in every aspect of public life. This is unequivocally untrue about Israel.