Monday, May 24, 2010

Elvis Costello: What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?

I've been a fan of Elvis Costello since 1979. I first saw him in 1981, and I had the privilege of being about 15 feet from the stage at this show .

So it was with sadness that I read about Elvis' decision to cancel a scheduled show in Israel. Other artists, most notably Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen and Madonna have refused to bow to the anti-Israel boycott movement. Perhaps those artists recognized that those who created the so-called BDS movement didn't do so to help bring about peace between a Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state of Palestine, but rather to call for a replacement of the Jewish state of Israel by a 23rd Arab state.

Now Elvis has the chance to actually see the country and the facts on the ground for himself, rather than relying on the fatally biased coverage of Israel by the BBC and the Guardian. StandWithUs has announced its offer to host Elvis on a tour of Israel when his wife, the jazz musician Diana Krall, plays there in August. Elvis had claimed that his decision was not a political statement, but a matter of "instinct and conscience." Perhaps after making his own observations, he will be able to make a more informed decision.

Many years ago, Elvis sang Nick Lowe's lyrics "What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?" Go to Israel, Elvis. Talk to Israelis who just want peace with their neighbors. Find out why they love their country. And gain some understanding for yourself.

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