Stars under fire for Israel concerts
SOME of the world's biggest stars - from Madonna to the Red Hot Chili Peppers - are being accused of putting profit before principle in a growing backlash against artists performing in Israel.
Campaigners angry at human rights abuses against the Palestinian people - symbolised by Israel's policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians and allowing Israeli settlers to take over their land - are demanding a boycott of Israeli venues in a campaign that echoes the 1980s protests against South Africa and the infamous venue Sun City.
Last week Madonna came under fire for her decision to perform in Israel to kick off her world tour.
"By performing in Israel, Madonna has consciously and shamefully lent her name to fig-leafing Israel's occupation and apartheid and showed her obliviousness to human rights," said Omar Barghouti of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
Attempts by Madonna to deflect criticism by offering free tickets to local campaigners backfired, with a number rejecting the offer. Boycott from Within, an Israeli campaign group, accused the singer of "a blatant attempt at whitewashing Israeli crimes".