The Rolling Stones played in front an enthusiastic 50,000 fans in Tel Aviv Wednesday night, despite pressure from fellow rock group Pink Floyd to boycott shows in Israel.
In May, Pink Floyd members Nick Mason and Roger Waters wrote an open letter on Salon.com
urging all musicians, The Rolling Stones in particular, not to perform in Israel during such "a critical time in the global struggle for Palestinian freedom and equal rights."
"With the recent news that the Rolling Stones will be playing their first-ever concert in Israel . . . we, the two surviving founders of Pink Floyd, have united in support of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions," the letter read.
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"[BDS is] a growing, nonviolent global human rights movement initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005 to end Israel's occupation, racial discrimination, and denial of basic Palestinian rights," Mason and Waters continued. "The BDS movement is modeled on the successful nonviolent movements that helped end Jim Crow in the American South and apartheid in South Africa."
The Rolling Stones, though, kept their date in Israel, delighting fans in the country, according to the Jerusalem Post.
"Mick Jagger had them at 'Erev tov, Hag Shavuot Semeach,'" wrote the Post's David Brinn. "But the legendary British band making their first appearance in Israel could have won the crowd over on musical merit alone."
"Playing nonstop for two hours that encompassed a 19-song greatest hits revue — including 'Jumpin' Jack Flash,' 'Tumbling Dice,' 'Brown Sugar,' and 'Sympathy For The Devil' — the Stones, as guitarist Keith Richards promised the Tel Aviv audience in a TV interview last week, were 'firing on 12 cylinders,'" Brinn continued.
The Times of Israel reported that promoter Shuki Weiss
guaranteed the band $6.7 million for the one-night performance. The newspaper added that, while The Rolling Stones went on with their show, singer Lenny Kravitz canceled an October concert.
Justin Timberlake, Foreigner, Tom Jones, Cyndi Lauper, and Rihanna have all played Israel shows since the fall, while the Backstreet Boys, the Pixies, Neil Young, and Lana Del Rey all have upcoming shows scheduled.
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