CCFP EXCLUSIVE FROM THE BACKSTREET BOYS;
"MUSIC SHOULD NEVER BE SILENCED"
Backstreet Boys drinking wine at the Dead Sea. (Photo: Traci Szymanski)
After having to reschedule three sold-out shows last summer as a result of the Israel-Gaza conflict, Backstreet's back -- and played the Ra'anana Amphitheater May 19, 20, and 21. The boys traveled to Israel with CCFP Professional Network Committee member Traci Szymanski and shared, "Music is one of our greatest gifts that we have the ability to share with people all over the world."
Despite enduring nearly a year of constant pressure to cancel via social and traditional media - they resisted; "The power of music should be cherished and never silenced," The band told CCFP, "We see how music impacts our fans and it is important for us to be (in Israel) for them."
Read more about Traci Szymanski's important work on bringing artists and musicians to Israel in a recent Jerusalem Post Magazine here.
ONEREPUBLIC CALLS BANDS CANCELLING SHOWS IN ISRAEL BULL****
Members of the band OneRepublic visit IDF soldiers in Ashkelon (Photo: IDF)
The American band did not succumb to pressure to cancel their May 28th concert. Members of the band even arrived a few days before their scheduled performance to tour the country and see all the historical sights. During the show lead singer Ryan Tedder told the sold-out audience, "We've heard that there were bands that cancelled their shows in Israel and we think that's bull****. From where we come from, we love good people, all people, we don't take sides." When asked about the BDS movement, "I'm grateful (Roger Waters) didn't call me, although I really would've liked to give him a piece of my mind!"
ROBBIE WILLIAMS ROCKS
Robbie Williams after landing at Ben Gurion Airport. (Photo: Sivan Farag)
"I've been here for two days and when I get home they'll say 'Rob, what was Israel like?' And I'll say f***ing amazing!" On May 2, Robbie Williams performed hit after hit for 40,000 fans in Tel Aviv's HaYarkon Park. Williams arrived to Israel a few days before the show with an entourage of 50 people including his wife, newborn daughter, son and father. "I've always wanted to visit Israel and to see you and feel you, and I think now I have." He promised fans he will return to Israel in the future.
ART GARFUNKEL BRIDGES TROUBLED WATERS
(Photo Gil Cohen Magen)
On June 7, half of famed duo Simon & Garfunkel returned to the Israeli stage for the first time in three decades. After performing 18 of his cherished songs in front of the Jaffa crowd, Garfunkel returned to the stage for an encore and played Simon & Garfunkel's most poignant and appropriate; "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
Fittingly to conclude his performance, Garfunkel walked to the front of the stage, put on his kippah and sang the "Shehechiyanu" a blessing of thanking
G-d for new and unusual experiences and enabling us to reach this day.
(Photo Courtesy of Yuval Erel)
Dionne Warwick did not succumb to the BDS pressure and performed as planned at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv on May 19th. Prior to arriving in Israel, Warwick released a statement through her representative saying, "Ms. Warwick would never fall victim to hard pressures of Roger Waters, from Pink Floyd, or other political people who have their views on politics in Israel." To end the show she invited Israeli pop artist Maya Buskila, pictured above, on stage for a duet of "That's What Friends Are For."
LOCARNO FILM FESTIVAL STANDS STRONG IN THE FACE OF BOYCOTT DEMANDS
The Locarno Film Festival received pressure to drop Israel as its selection for the 2015 Carte Blanche spotlight. Instead of caving in, organizers issued a principled statement in support of artistic expression and the free exchange of ideas. "We strongly believe that the Carte Blanche focusing on Israeli cinema will represent an important opportunity for debate and dialogue, within the context of cultural enrichment that is and always will be an inalienable quality of the Locarno Festival."
FORBES RANKS ISRAEL
#3 IN HOLLYWOOD IMPORTS
Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin in Homeland from a scene filmed in Israel. (Photo: Ronen Akerman, AP)
According to the business magazine, Israel is the third biggest provider of American TV, only behind the UK and the Netherlands! That's right, a country of just 8 million is a leading producer of concepts for television shows in the US. "Israeli filmmakers simply learned how to tell a story, as opposed to just making statements, and Hollywood realized that here you have a great pool of talent," says Israeli Ambassador Ido Aharoni.
THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT PRIMUS
It was reported that Primus cancelled its June 10th headlining show at Rock in the Park Festival due to BDS pressure, however this is not true. The concert promoter for the festival released the following statement: "The show was postponed because of technical reasons. We are working to reschedule a new date for the show and look forward to seeing Primus here." We couldn't agree more, your fans in Israel look forward to seeing you soon!
LET THE MUSIC
Creative Community for Peace is an entertainment industry organization that represents a cross-section of the creative world, dedicated to promoting the arts as a means to peace. We share the desire for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, but believe that singling out Israel as the target of a cultural boycott is NOT the answer. Art and culture are essential ingredients in the human journey, critical to the well-being of society, to building trust and understanding, and to healing.
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