Pixies, circa 2009

The Pixies today canceled their first-ever concert in Israel — which had been slated for Wednesday — and while the band didn’t give a specific reason, the move follows last week’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla and its global political fallout, as well as similar cancellations by Gorillaz and Elvis Costello.

A statement released earlier today by Israeli promoter Shuki Weiss reads, “It is with great regret that we announced today the Pixies’ decision to cancel their appearance in Israel on June 9. We’d like to extend our deepest apologies to the fans, but events beyond our control have conspired against us.”

The cancellation comes two days after Gorillaz and Klaxons dropped out of the same Tel Aviv festival, Pic.Nic 2010. Those acts also didn’t directly tie their cancellations to last week’s Israeli commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship from Turkey, but it’s believed the incident — which left nine activists dead and created a worldwide storm of controversy — was behind the bands’ decisions.

Similarly, Costello recently canceled two concerts scheduled for late June and early July in Israel in protest of that nation’s treatment of the Palestinians, writing on his website that his decision “is a matter of instinct and conscience” and that “sometimes a silence in music is better than adding to the static.”

The Pixies — who were urged to boycott Israel by an Israeli human rights group in March — have not announced the cancellation themselves on their website, but fans already are squaring off on the band’s official Facebook page, with some applauding the group for “standing up for justice” and having “moral courage” while others condemn them for “supporting suicide bombers” and “mixing art and politics.”



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