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Pet Shop Boys urged to 'stand with the oppressed'
Pet Shop Boys urged to 'stand with the oppressed' 

Pet Shop Boys: Israel not apartheid state

British pop duo responds to calls by Pro-Palestinian activists to cancel next week's Tel Aviv concert, saying 'Israel has universal suffrage and equality of rights for all its citizens, both Jewish and Arab'

Published: 06.17.13, 13:08 / Israel Culture

As international concert season begins, calls for cultural boycott of Israel resume: British pop duo The Pet Shop Boys is facing pressure in Britain to call off its planned performance in Tel Aviv next Sunday.


Pro-Palestinian are planning to protest outside an event the band members will be participating in later this week.


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"Open your eyes to the ugly reality of apartheid Israel," reads a poster prepared for the protest, which is being promoted by a pro-Palestinian called Innovative Minds. "Cancel your Tel Aviv concert. Stand with the oppressed."


The poster features a picture of the Pet Shop Boys, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, wearing glasses with the captions "1 child killed every three days" and "2 kids caged every day."

הכרזה של ההפגנה המתוכננת

Poster promoting planned protest


Neil Tennant said in response to the boycott calls that there was no room to compare between the Israeli government's policy and apartheid in South Africa.


"I don't agree with this comparison of Israel to apartheid-era South Africa," Tennant wrote on the group's official website. "It's a caricature. Israel has (in my opinion) some crude and cruel policies based on defense; it also has universal suffrage and equality of rights for all its citizens, both Jewish and Arab.


"In apartheid-era South Africa, artists could only play to segregated audiences; in Israel anyone who buys a ticket can attend a concert."


The pro-Palestinian demonstration will be held on Wednesday outside the British Film Institute during a screening of classic film "Battleship Potemkin" in the presence of the duo, which composed a new soundtrack for the movie.


It should be noted that so far, the planned protest has not created a significant buzz in British media and social networks.


Plug Production Generators, the company producing the concert in Israel, offered the following statement in response: "As in most times when artists come here, pressures are being exerted by the same organizations once again. We're not taking it very seriously. The preparations for the show are underway and the band is very excited about visiting Israel."


The Pet Shop Boys have already performed in Israel in the past.



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