From the Refrain Playing Israel blog, great news about a cancellation by the Yardbirds:
Many Yardbird fans are thrilled to hear that these British legends, famous for the unmatched single “For Your Love,” will not play in apartheid Israel. Professor Haim Bresheeth, Mike Cushman, Professor Adah Kay, and Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, calling themselves “ancient geezers,” wrote an OPEN LETTER to the Yardbirds on August 30. They stated:
“…The world famous Yardbirds appear to have respected the South African liberation movement”s call for artists and musicians to assist them by denying legitimacy to the racist state. Have you thought through the implications of your appearance at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv on October 29? You”re telling Palestinian civil society organisations that are similarly calling for a cultural boycott of Israel that their dispossession and their oppression don”t matter. The Palestinian Teachers” Federation; the Writers” Federation; the League of Palestinian Artists; the General Union of Palestinian Women; and many others – your performance at the Barby will in effect tell all of these people that you side with the Israeli military occupation, that you don”t mind helping to airbrush the cruelties of racism and ethnic cleansing, and that you”re happy to behave as if there isn”t a Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice.
So we”re hoping you might think again.
Here”s Roger Waters talking about why he supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. Here are Faithless and other musicians singing “Freedom for Palestine“. Here is Elvis Costello explaining why he withdrew from his two scheduled concerts in Israel.
There”s a wave, Yardbirds – a whole international wave of people supporting justice for the Palestinians via consumer boycotts, academic boycotts, cultural boycotts. You can cancel your gig and ride that wave – or you can let one night at the Barby dash you on the shore. Please think again. Please don”t go…”
On September 8th, a facebook page was created called “Yardbirds: Please Don’t Play in Apartheid Israel.” The page was created to list reasons why the boycott call asks musicians to refrain from playing in Israel. Many more peace activists wrote to the band’s US and European agents and directly to Jim McCartney and Chris Dreja, who are the two original members of the band. (See the Israeli Auris Media’s cancellation notice for the Yardbirds)
It comes with great applause that the Yardbirds have chosen to ride the “wave” supporting justice for the Palestinians via consumer boycotts, academic boycotts, and cultural boycotts.