This week Tel-Aviv hosted the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s first ever concert in Israel. The California-based legendary rock group was scheduled to play in Tel-Aviv ten years ago, but canceled the show after back-to-back terror attacks took the lives of 35 Israelis shorty before the concert was to take place.
Playing in Israel is a uniquely meaningful experience for the rock band whose original guitarist, Hillel Slovak, was himself an Israeli. Slovak was born in Haifa and played lead guitar for the Chili Peppers on their first two albums before drug addiction took his life in 1988.
Not everyone is cheering the Pepper’s decision to play Israel. Over 7,000 people signed a petition calling on the band to cancel the show and over a dozen groups, all involved in the boycott and divestment campaign against Israel, have also voiced their anger over the band’s decision.
Thankfully, not everyone in Hollywood is so foolish as to believe that boycotting the only democracy in the Middle East – Israel – is the moral thing to do. It’s very easy for entertainers to get caught up in the anti-Israeli frenzy, especially when a decision to visit Israel automatically invites a visceral response from countless fans, BDS groups, and just about every loudmouth who aims their venom solely towards the Jewish State.
Furthermore, it is very appealing for self-appointed protagonists of ‘human rights,’ like Pink Floyd’s very own Roger Waters, who has called for boycotting Israel and has become a mouthpiece for anti-Israel propagandists, to fashion their reputation as defenders of ethics and morals by bashing Israel and joining the BDS movement.
I’m glad the Chili Peppers are not part of the circus of celebrities who play to the applause of today’s anti-Zionists by canceling their concert and boycotting Israel. I have been a fan of theirs for many years, and though I won’t be attending tonight’s show in Tel-Aviv, I still have many fond memories of seeing the Chili Peppers playing out in the far reaches of Upstate New York. Wow, that was a millennium ago, how the time just flies….
Welcome to Tel-Aviv! I am sure the Israeli audience will give the Chili Peppers as much of a night to remember as they will the fans.