Sir Tom Jones, a rock and roll artist from the United Kingdom had performed in Israel in October despite a harsh BDS campaign against him. At one point, the BDS campaign had put out an online petition which garnered around 2,200 signatures as well as attacking the musical artist’s social media accounts, the same tactic that was used to “persuade”, or should I say bully the artist into cancelling their concert in Israel. In August earlier this year, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd had written letters specifically to Rock & Roll artists to boycott the state of Israel and cancel or otherwise refuse to give a performance in Israel. Sir Tom Jones was one of the artists that supposedly received one of these letters, yet still came to perform in Israel without a second hesitation.
Recently, Sir Tom Jones gave an interview to the media acknowledging that he was aware of the brash campaign put out by BDS activists to get him to cancel his concert, and was even aware of the online petition. He states that he never considered giving in to pressure that have caused other performers to stay away, and even gave the notion that he would love to return to Israel to perform again; which he very well might to do since he was asked to again. I applaud Sir Tom Jones for coming out in this interview and stating that music and politics should not mix.
We do wonder whether artists are viably aware of the social media campaigns when coming to perform in Israel and what is racing through their mind when the event date gets closer and closer, all the while the campaign and harassment picks up full speed. To come out and say that he never considered changing his mind once, and wants to come back shows the class that Sir Tom Jones has portrayed throughout this ordeal. This is just another huge blow for the BDS campaign, in particular the strategy to harass artists through their social media in order to get them to cancel an event in Israel.