Concerts — June 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

Pixies cancel first-ever Israel concert after last week’s deadly Gaza flotilla raid

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.”



  1. I think this is a move to keep them firmly within the mainstream opinion of Israel. Let’s see, the total number of Jews in the world comes to about 13 million. Of that, maybe half actually side with Israel. Total number of Muslims worldwide – 1.66 Billion.
    Remember what Alan Dershowitz said:
    “can anyone deny that if Israel’s enemies laid down their arms and renounced terrorism there would be peace, can anyone deny that if Israel laid down her arms there would be genocide.”

  2. Breno Smith

    Nick O’Riley, aparently genocides keeps happening by the Terrorist State of Israel anyway.

    Israel is the 51th state of the USA and its only purpose is to use the deadly weapons forbidden by war laws against innocent people, destroy other countries, rob peoples lands and warm up the american economy buying american weapons.

    I’m from Brazil and I am happy to see that the band that I love has a palestinian in its heart.

  3. What’s with all these boycotts? Gimme a break, good thing Jesus didn’t boycott the sinners because he didn’t agree with them, instead, he went to live among them. Boycotts are lame, they should go to Israel, rock out, spread a message of peace and be good examples and thats that, of course I’m from Arizona, we’re getting boycotted ourselves

  4. Hey Breno,

    How’s that Koolaid workin’ out for you! Did you get your talking points form

  5. Mike Wasko

    Breno, I couldn’t agree with you more. After all, the only country (at least compared to its immediate neighbors and Gaza) that allows this music is Israel. Clearly it was a smart decision to shrug off the only indie/alternative scene in the Mid East, despite the irony.

    Of course as a Brazilian, you have every right to accuse Israel. Indeed, President Lula’s regular visits with Ahmadinejad, shows what a great, forward-thinking country Brazil is in siding with Iran. You should be proud that your President plays ball with a country that squashes any internal free speech, denies the Holocaust happened, and who’s solution to the Mid East is to wipe off every Jew on the planet.

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