The Guardian promotes anti-Israeli cyber-bullying of Lauryn Hill– and hides recent failures of the BDS groups

A guest post by AKUS

Big news at the Guardian had the faithful Israel bashers a-twitter this week.

A performer named Lauryn Hill decided not to perform in Israel “after cultural boycott pressure”, as the Guardian gleefully referred to the threats and intimidation she succumbed to from “a social media campaign by activists who urged her to boycott Israel over its occupation of Palestinian land.”Guardian Hill

Listing her accomplishments, the Guardian article salaciously pointed out that after recording one well-known song, Hill “decided to drop out of the public eye … [and] served a brief prison term over tax evasion”. Cyber bullying of this performer (and tax evader) achieved its goal of intimidating her.  Israelis will not get the opportunity to see her perform in Israel.

The following paragraph from the Guardian report of her cancelled trip  is a shocking indictment of the ability of cyber-bullies to intimidate a person; not the happy ending the Guardian apparently thinks it is:

“Activists pressured Hill to cancel, with a campaign that quoted Killing Me Softly – a cover song she is famous for – to describe Israeli policies.”

Unknown “activists” waged a cyber-bullying campaign, which the Guardian does not condemn, to which this weak-kneed individual succumbed (oh, Charlie Hebdo – where are you when we need you to stand up for personal freedom of choice and expression in the arts?).

As a matter of fact, an earlier Guardian article from September 21, 2014, pointed out that Miss Hill is no longer a particularly successful performer. Israeli audiences may have been spared an embarrassing debacle by a has-been:

Lauryn Hill’s London gig trends on Twitter – for being awful

“First of five UK shows sees the singer booed amid complaints about her punctuality, treatment of her songs, and sound quality …. Lauryn Hill’s return to Britain for the first of five UK shows proved to be a disaster on Saturday night.”

The Guardian, which so quickly pounced on this story of Hill’s canceled performance as a BDS success, rather than presenting it as the bullying it actually represents, managed to miss recent reports concerning more principled performers who have, in no uncertain terms, made it plain that they will not be bullied out of visiting Israel.

The Jerusalem Post was happy to report US diva Dionne Warwick is coming to Israel, says won’t succumb to BDS pressures:

“After entertainer Lauryn Hill cancelled her show in Israel for political reasons, American diva Dionne Warwick said Wednesday that she has no plans to cancel her upcoming Tel Aviv performance, saying that “art has no boundaries.” 

A statement released to the press read that Ms. Warwick “would never fall victim to the hard pressures of Roger Waters, from Pink Floyd, or other political people who have their views on politics in Israel.””

Ynet was also quick to point out that Bon Jovi in talks for summer gig in Israel:

“The summer’s round of big concerts may soon add the name Bon Jovi to its list of famous names. Official sources in production told Ynet that early discussions have begun to bring the rock band to Israel in September, most likely to take place in Park Yarkon.” 

So this is the Guardian’s game: try to make every minor BDS fail look like a huge success, and distort the view its readers have of the absurd failures of the BDS effort by simply not reporting the occasions in which many more artists of principle stand up for their right to perform where and when they wish.

Foreign artists who have performed in Israel and stood up to the bullying include Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake and numerous others. Succumbing to BDS cyber-bullying may work with washed-up up former performers like Roger Waters and Lauryn Hill. They may see it as attractive opportunity for them to escape the obscurity in which they otherwise exist by getting a nod from the Israel-bashing Guardian and others.

Artists who can stand on the merits of their acknowledged success follow the dictates of their own moral compass when being pushed to do otherwise and live the principle of freedom of expression by their own actions, showing the BDS crowd for what it is – a failed hodge-podge of cyber-bullies on whom artists should turn their backs.



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13 replies »

  1. A big thanks to those BDSers who were successful in persuading the distinctly average – and I’m being generous – Lauryn Hill not to perform in Israel and thus stopping those Israelis who might have been tempted to go to her concerts because she is a ‘big name international artist’ (she’s not: really, she’s not) from wasting their money.

    May 4, 2015

    On the educational benefits of the campus boycott Israel movement
    The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is a worldwide effort to turn Israel into a pariah state. I have written about it, and its foothold on American college campuses, here.

    South Africa has been a moral center of the movement. The BDS campaign is modeled on the campaign to end apartheid in South Africa, and South African figures like Desmond Tutu are often appealed to, as if to say: “if these people, who know a little something about apartheid, say Israel is an apartheid state, then it surely is.”

    Funny moral center. As I have documented in a number of places, including here, South Africa’s BDS movement is a standing refutation of those who assert that BDS has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. Yair Rosenberg of Tablet Magazine writes about the latest example, at Wits University in Johannesburg.

    Mcebo Dlamini is student body president at Wits University. He also loves Hitler, and is not too shy to say it: “What I love about Hitler is his charisma and his capabilities to organize people. We need more leaders of this caliber. I love Adolf Hitler.”

    When challenged by the vice chancellor of the university and informed that he might face disciplinary action, Dlamini issued a response, which stated, among other things, “I fear that Wits University punishes black radical thought, anyone who dare offends [sic] its white established values or offend white Jews will be punished.”

    BDS supporters in the United States complain about the degree of support that Israel still enjoys in the United States. But perhaps it is no coincidence that in neighborhoods in which attempts to demonize Israel have been most successful, anti-Semitism is a growing problem.

    George Galloway Loses Seat, Rants Like a Lunatic
    May 8, 2015

    The execrable George Galloway lost his seat in parliament last night, and had this to say in his concession speech: “I don’t begrudge the Labour members here their moment of celebration of course. But there will be others who are already celebrating: the venal, the vile, the racists and the Zionists will all be celebrating. The hyena can bounce on the lion’s grave but it can never be a lion and in any case, I’m not in my grave.

    As a matter of fact I’m going off now to plan the next campaign.” Racists? Zionists? Galloway – an old white man – lost to Naz Shah, a Muslim woman of Pakistani origin. Why would the “racists” and “Zionists” be pleased by that? Perhaps he’s suffering from Tourette’s.

    • Surely you don’t expect this pile of excrement to be rational, do you? He lost his marbles years ago.

  4. I am so glad that George Galloway has lost his seat. Horrible person. Galloway was on Saddam’s payroll.
    Galloway was an apologist for Assad as he was gassing Syrians with the support of Iran.
    The look on his face when he realized he had lost was priceless.

  5. Ayaan Hirsi Ali calls it Bully Deceive and Sabotage.
    And BDS really does have so much in common with the Guardian with its profoundly anti liberal views of Jewish independence and democracy. Of course, it’s really about more than the Jews, or Israel. BDS and their Guardian supporters are anti-western deceivers. The tactics and modus operandi speak for themselves and do not represent a liberal, pluralistic tradition, but rather another far more odious one.

  6. completely off topic , sorry in advance . but am just so happy to see George Galloway poleaxed in the election . hee hee . right up to the 10pm deadline the idjut thought he had won . Then came the result .then came his speech blaming Zionists and something about Hyenas and Lions . The look in his eyes – a classic . it was nearly indefatigable .