After staging a sassy performance in Tel Aviv for his Israeli fans on Tuesday night, Boy George on Wednesday pushed back against online criticism by Israel boycott activists, rejecting comparisons between the Jewish state and South Africa in the apartheid era.
“So George are you saying you would have played South Africa during apartheid??” a Twitter user with the handle Graham Booth asked the 80’s musical icon.
“I could have an[d] I didn’t. Could have earned well from such a gig. Israel is in my heart. Completely different equation,” replied the Culture Club frontman.
“I play for my fans, not politicians. I have never looked at any political figure and thought ‘yeah, you speak for me.’ The flow of positive energy is the key!” the singer wrote in response to another user addressing his Israel performance.
On Tuesday, Twitter user Magenta Purple wrote to the singer: “Disappointed that you have played Israel. I wish you would get involved with the @BDSmovement [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.]”
“I’m disappointed by your tweet,” Boy George responded. “Also by the fact that you are actually doing zero to help anyone or anything? Your energy is negative!”
The pop singer flew in to Israel on Tuesday from Australia, where he is currently acting as a judge on reality show “The Voice Australia.”
It had been 30 years since the pop singer and his band played in Israel. The Tel Aviv performance was part of a reunion tour that includes original band members Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss.
George is represented by Paul Kemsley of Nixxi Entertainment, who works with his wife, Dorit Kemsley, in the family business. It could be that his Tel Aviv performance was influenced by Dorit, currently starring on “Real Housewives of Beverley Hills.” Raised in Connecticut, she has an Israeli father.
Boy George lives with the Kemsleys when he is in Los Angeles, where he’s known as “Georgie” and has stayed with the family for four to six months at a time.
“I think when you stay in someone’s house and you live in their lives and you’re playing with their children and you see them as a couple [it’s different],” Dorit Kemsley told Bravo’s The Daily Dish. “I mean he sees us before bed; he sees us first thing in the morning, and it’s not like this lunch date per se. You kind of get more intimately connected, and that’s definitely what happened.”
Kemsley, who likes to throw in the occasional Hebrew word and cooks Israeli and Moroccan food, may even have tutored Boy George about what to say on stage Tuesday night.
George is known for his sartorial splendor, including the shirt he wore for the video for “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” which said “Tarbut Aguda” in Hebrew, which clumsily translates into Culture Club.
He recently signed a new record deal with BMG, his first major label signing in nearly 30 years, and his first project will be a solo cover album, according to his website.