I don’t know whether to pity or despise Shuki Weiss, Israeli concert promoter, who’s losing international stars to the Israeli boycott faster than he can replace them. The IDF’s conspicuous disregard for Arab life doesn’t seem to be helping his cause very much. But Weiss isn’t doing himself any favors by making statements such as this after the Pixies (and earlier Elvis Costello) withdrew from Israeli concert engagements due to the recent unpleasantness on the Gaza coast:
“I am full of both sorrow and pain in light of the fact that our repeated attempts to present quality acts and festivals in Israel have increasingly been falling victim to what I can only describe as a form of cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide.”
I’m not sure who’s the terrorist in this analogy: the artist or the dastardly activists who induce the artists to abandon Israel in her hour of cultural need. Also, who else in the ‘arts worldwide’ is being targeted by this ‘cultural terrorism?’
Once you use the word “terrorist” in Israel it’s open season on the rhetorical victim. So will we now start calling the supporters of BDS “terrorists” because they foment “cultural violence” on Israel? Perhaps we’ll even start a new coinage like “cultural genocide.” Yes, depriving Israelis of hearing Veronica and their favorite Black Francis songs certainly should qualify if Shuki had anything to say about it.
I have some advice for Shuki. Stop complaining about cultural terrorism and start protesting the way your government is messing up the lives of its Arab neighbors.