One of the Lebanese opening acts for the Red Hot Chili Peppers
concert in Beirut on Thursday evening canceled its performance, apparently in protest of the band's upcoming Israel
show, Middle Eastern website Al-Monitor reports.
The American rock group is scheduled to perform in Istanbul on Saturday evening before heading to Tel Aviv.
According to reports, Lebanese band Mashrou Leila had been under strong pressure recently on the part of pro-Palestinian organization, which called on all opening acts to call off their participation in the concert "as an act of solidarity with the Palestinians."
Mashrou Leila’s manager told Al-Monitor that the decision to withdraw had been tough to make.
“We don’t really want to get too much into the boycott debate, but it is a decision that we have thought a lot about,” he said. "At some point we will have to explain (the decision not to perform), but out of respect for the Chili Peppers and the organizers of the concert, we will be waiting to comment further.”
The Campaign to Boycott the Supporters of Israel welcomed the band's decision to cancel its performance, saying that “their participation would have been a cover for normalization with Israel through alternative art.
“Anything that is alternative and against the mainstream should attempt to portray the oppression of Israel as well as its racism and the negation of the rights of Palestinians," the organization's spokesperson told the website.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are expected to land in Israel on Sunday and perform at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park the next evening.