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Brazilian musician cancels Israel gig due to ‘sensitive times’

Gilberto Gil, who served as Brazil’s culture minister in 2003-2008, says he’s ‘confident there will be other opportunities’ to visit Jewish state

Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil seen as he arrives to a ceremony in The Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv on July 27, 2015. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil seen as he arrives to a ceremony in The Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv on July 27, 2015. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil on Tuesday canceled his planned July concert in Israel, in a decision welcomed by boycott activists.

Gil, who served as Brazil’s culture minister between 2003 and 2008, was scheduled to perform in Ra’anana on July 4.

Gil said he canceled July’s concert after “careful consideration with his band members,” telling promoters in an email that “we are all concerned about the sensitive times that Israel is currently undergoing,” the Haaretz newspaper reported.

“We love Israel and have always been welcomed warmly,” he stressed, adding: “We are confident that there will be other opportunities and we hope for better times.”

Supporters of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement linked his decision to violence at the Gaza border earlier this month.

The “March of Return” demonstrations began 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 said 50 of the dead were its members and a further three were claimed by the Islamic Jihad terror group.

The 75-year-old musician defied calls to boycott Israel in 2015, when he performed in Tel Aviv along with fellow Brazilian Caetano Veloso.

Both were asked in 2015 by former Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters to cancel their show, as part of the ongoing cultural boycott campaign waged by Waters to protest what he terms the human rights violations against Palestinians by Israel.

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