Will the Revolution be TelAvivized?
For weeks, activists have been asking Gil Scott-Heron to join the boycott movement against Israel and not play an upcoming concert date in Tel Aviv. Scott-Heron, an influential artist and activist on issues of social justice and equality, was a member of United Artists Against Apartheid in the 1980s and a featured singer on the breakthrough song “Don’t Play Sun City.”
On Saturday night, as Gil Scott-Heron was set to take the stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall, protesters shouted slogans in protest of Scott-Heron’s upcoming Tel Aviv gig. According to numerous reports, the protests continued throughout the show, until Scott-Heron claimed that the gig was not official, then stated that he wouldn’t play in Israel “until everyone is welcome there.”
By Sunday morning, activist blog Jews Sans Frontieres had published a press release with the headline “Gil Scott-Heron announces cancellation of Tel Aviv concert.” The headline was quickly parroted throughout the blogosphere, on Facebook, and Twitter.
Unfortunately, it appears that the announcement may have simply been a rumor, based on the tweet of a concert attendee. Although several sources, including the BBC and The Guardian, confirm that Scott-Heron implied that he will be canceling his June Tel Aviv concert date, Haaretz claims that the concert producers say the show is still on, and as of this evening, the date was still listed on Scott-Heron’s site, and tickets were still being sold.
As of right now, it appears that the revolution will still be TelAvivized.