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Elvis Costello Cancels Concerts in Israel
By DAVE ITZKOFF
The New York Times
May 18, 2010
Elvis Costello said his decision to withdraw from the concerts was “a matter of instinct and conscience.”
Elvis Costello has canceled two concerts he was planning to perform in Israel this summer, citing the complexeties of the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Agence France-Presse reported.
Mr. Costello was scheduled to appear at the Caesarea Amphitheater on June 30 and July 1. But in a statement on his official Web site, he wrote, “It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances.”
Mr. Costello went on to write that “there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung,” adding:
I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.
I am also keenly aware of the sensitivity of these themes in the wake of so many despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.
Mr. Costello wrote that his decision was “a matter of instinct and conscience.”
In a statement reported by Agence France-Presse, Limor Livnat, the Israeli sport and culture minister, criticized Mr. Costello for canceling his shows.
“An artist who boycotts his fans in Israel is not worthy of performing in front of them,” Ms. Livnat wrote.
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