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Maan: PACBI – Paul McCartney “condones or ignores apartheid” with Israel concert

To view original article, published by Maan News Agency on the 16th September, click here

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Former Beatle Paul McCartney’s insistence on going ahead with a planned concert in Israel was denounced on Tuesday by Palestinian activists who say the gig will whitewash Israel’s human rights record.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) issued a statement on Tuesday saying the concert “will convey a message that McCartney either condones or apathetically ignores Israel’s reality as a colonial power and an apartheid state that oppresses the indigenous Palestinians and occupies Arab land.

PACBI added, “Just as in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Palestinians are asking international artists to exercise their moral responsibility by staying away from Israel until freedom, justice, equality and human rights are respected for all.”

“I was approached by different groups and political bodies who asked me not to come here. I refused. I do what I think and I have many friends who support Israel,” McCartney told Israeli reporters.

McCartney received death threats from extremist activists for the planned Israel concert. PACBI, a coalition of civil society organizations, said it “strongly and unequivocally condemns” these threats.

The 25 September concert in Tel Aviv will be McCartney’s first in the country. The Israeli government cancelled a planned Beatles concert in 1965. According to an official document quoted in the Guardian newspaper, the concert was cancelled “because several politicians in the Knesset believed at the time that [their] performance might corrupt the minds of the Israeli youth.” Israel recently apologized to McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two surviving members of the band.