TEL AVIV, Israel – Pounding his piano in blue-tinted
sunglasses before nearly 50,000 screaming fans, Elton John took center
stage in a battle over Israel’s image.
The legendary British rocker’s concert on Thursday
night followed a string of cancellations
by artists like Elvis Costello and the Pixies. Resisting a growing wave
of calls from pro-Palestinian activists to boycott the Jewish state,
John gave Israelis a rare reason to smile amid their increasing sense of
“Ain’t gonna stop me from coming here, baby,” he told
the cheering crowd in Tel Aviv, saying he believed music spread peace
and brought people together: “That is what we do. We do not cherry-pick
our consciences, OK?” he added, in an apparent swipe at the artists who
have canceled concerts in Israel.
John’s concert was notable precisely because Israel
seems to be losing the battle against the country’s isolation worldwide.
That isolation w… >>>