BDS supporters rejoice as Shakira shakes off Israel gig rumors

Tour promoter says the Colombian-born singer was never scheduled to play concert in Tel Aviv but hopes to schedule one in the future

Singer Shakira speaks to the crowd during the Global Citizen Festival concert on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Thursday, July 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
Singer Shakira speaks to the crowd during the Global Citizen Festival concert on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Thursday, July 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Supporters of a boycott against Israel celebrated on social media Tuesday as it was announced that pop superstar Shakira will not perform in Israel this summer.

Earlier this month Hadashot news reported that the Colombian-born singer, 41, whose father is Lebanese, would perform in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park on July 9. However, the tour promoters announced via Twitter on Monday that the report was incorrect and there were currently no plans for the singer to perform in Israel.

Promotors Live Nation stressed that she hopes to perform in Israel in the future.

“The media has incorrectly reported that Shakira will be performing in Tel Aviv this summer,” the promoters tweeted. “While no dates this summer will work, Shakira and Live Nation hope to bring a show to her fans in Israel in the future.”

Some Hebrew media outlets had reported that Shakira was planning on performing in Israel in October.

The Tel Aviv gig did not appear on Shakira’s tour website. She has no concert scheduled for July 9 but will be performing in Turkey and Lebanon on July 11 and 13 respectively.

Hadashot news reported that the multiple Grammy award winner, who has penned hits such as “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa),” postponed her concert due to the situation on the Gaza border.

Shakira had announced earlier this month that she would perform in Lebanon on July 13 at the Cedar International Festival as part of her El Dorado World Tour. Held in the mountain town of Bsharri, the festival will attract some 14,000 attendees, according to the festival website.

Local Lebanese media reported at the time that the Colombian superstar was reportedly scheduled to perform in Israel beforehand according to Israeli media, adding that BDS campaigners were protesting the Lebanese concert and her plans to perform in Israel.

The first time Shakira performed in Lebanon was in 2011, which she preceded with a visit to Israel.

Lebanese media mentioned that Lebanon officially bans individuals who have traveled to Israel from entering its borders, but that exceptions are made to the ban.

BDS supporters in Lebanon wrote to Shakira, asking her to cancel her performance in Tel Aviv and referring to the cancellation of other performers, including New Zealander Lorde, who famously backed out of her planned June performance after announcing it in January.

Supporters of the BDS boycott of Israel took to social media Tuesday to celebrate the news Shakira would not perform in Israel.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, the initiator of the boycott in 2004, tweeted that as a UN Children’s Fund Goodwill Ambassador Shakira had a moral duty not to perform in Tel Aviv.

“We welcome news that Shakira will not be performing in Tel Aviv, dashing Israel’s hopes to use her name to art-wash its latest massacre in Gaza,” the group posted. “Artists, especially UN Goodwill Ambassadors, have a moral duty not to be complicit in covering up human rights violations & apartheid.”

The singer, whose father’s parents immigrated to the US from Lebanon, has sold over 140 million records in her career, making her the top selling South American singer ever and one of the best selling artists of all time.

Shakira has never performed in Israel, but participated in president Shimon Peres’s 2011 presidential conference.

On that trip she visited two schools in the city, one of which is a bilingual Israeli-Palestinian school which educates children in Hebrew and Arabic in a bid to foster coexistence.

Last week Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil canceled his planned July concert in Israel as part of the Israel Festival, citing “the sensitive times that Israel is currently undergoing.”

The “March of Return” demonstrations began on the Gaza border nearly two months ago and culminated on May 14 in violent clashes with the IDF that left over 60 Palestinians dead and thousands injured. Hamas, the terror group that rules the Gaza ZStrip, said 50 of the dead were its members and a further three were claimed by the Islamic Jihad terror group.

On Tuesday dozens of rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel and in retaliation the IDF struck targets in the Gaza Strip.

Pop singer Lorde canceled her June 5 concert in Tel Aviv after buckling to BDS pressure, but dozens of performers have played, or are scheduled to play, Israel this summer including Ringo Starr in late June, and Enrique Iglesias who performed this week.

Times of Israel staff and AFP contributed to this story.

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