Britney Spears has a concert planned in Tel Aviv, Israel on July 3, 2017. The pop star notedly has bucked the current trend among musicians to boycott performing for Israeli audiences and is scheduled to perform at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park before an audience that could potentially approach the park’s capacity of 100,000 eager pop music fans. Due to the ongoing boycott that has caused artists to skip over performing in Israel due to the country’s conflict with the Palestinians, a midsummer concert by one of the biggest names in pop music of the past several decades is a pretty big deal. In light of this, Israel’s Labor Party, HaAvoda, has postponed its planned elections on July 3, 2017 by one day due to the Britney Spears concert, according to Jerusalem Online. The elections will now be held on July 4. 2017.
“The election date was delayed by one day due to the fact that there is a major event at Yarkon Park on July 3, 2017,” the party’s election committee said.
Though HaAvoda’s election officials did not mention Britney Spears specifically in their statement, her concert is the only major event planned for Yarkon Park on July 3, 2017.
The stated reason for the postponement is the expected large crowd for the Britney Spears concert potentially making it difficult for party members in central Israel to make it to their polling stations, but research for this story was not able to rule out the possibility that HaAvoda members just really love Britney Spears and don’t want to risk missing her performance.
According to Consequence of Sound, Radiohead and Coldplay are also planning on disregarding the boycott and will be playing concerts in Israel this summer. While there has been some backlash, both artists have remained firm in their commitment to play the concerts in Israel.
— Radiohead (@radiohead) February 8, 2017
Perhaps Radiohead, Coldplay, and Britney Spears just don’t appreciate being told by other artists and industry insiders where they should or should not play, or which of their fans deserve to see them perform live.
According to Al-Monitor, the July election will determine who the next chairman of the Israeli Labor Party will be. The party is looking to the future in hopes that it can challenge the conservative Likud Party of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the 2015 general election, the Israeli Labor Party was soundly defeated by the Likud Party, so it is in what can be called a rebuilding period. There are seven candidates vying to be the next chairman: party Chairman Isaac Herzog, former party Chairman Amir Peretz, Knesset member Amar Bar Lev, Knesset member Erel Margalit, former Minister Avi Gabai, social activist Eldad Yaniv, and professor Avner Ben-Zaken. Britney Spears has not yet announced her preferred candidate.
Due to the widespread music industry boycott against performers holding concerts in Israel, the Britney Spears, Radiohead, and Coldplay concerts will be huge events in the Middle Eastern country. Supporters of the boycott movement argue that the people of Israel should be prevented from enjoying concerts by their favorite artists due to the questionable behavior of their government. Apparently, Britney Spears, Radiohead, Coldplay, and some notable others do not agree, and instead, are bucking the trend to perform for their Israeli fans.
There could be some backlash for artists who play Israel, though the Rolling Stones played Israel in 2014 and it hasn’t really seemed to hurt their career to any noticeable extent. One artist you likely won’t be seeing in Israel anytime soon is Roger Waters. The former Pink Floyd bassist is perhaps the most vocal proponent of the boycott, according to The Independent.
“The way apartheid South Africa treated its black population, pretending they had some kind of autonomy, was a lie,” Waters said.
“Just as it is a lie now that there is any possibility under the current status quo of Palestinians achieving self-determination and achieving, at least, a rule of law where they can live and raise their children and start their own industries. This is an ancient, brilliant, artistic and very humane civilization that is being destroyed in front of our eyes.”
— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) October 6, 2016
As of this writing, Britney Spears has not released a statement regarding the political elements involved with her performing in Israel. Spears has never been a particularly politically-vocal artist, so it would be a surprise to hear her weigh in on the political aspect of her performing in Israel this summer.
— Eitan Weiss (@EitanWeiss) March 18, 2017
[Featured Image by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images]