Superstar Alicia Keys plans to have her very first concert in Tel Aviv, Israel on July 4 despite protests and concerns. The singer’s upcoming sold-out show is causing an uproar because of the ongoing political turmoil with Palestine.
In a statement to the New York Times, Keys said, “I look forward to my first visit to Israel. Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show.”
Keys has been hounded with open letters and protests in recent weeks. Roger Waters posted a letter to a website of a group named Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel. In it, Waters begs Keys to cancel her concert and “join the rising tide of resistance.” He further said, “Please Alicia, do not lend your name to give legitimacy to the Israeli government policies of illegal, apartheid, occupation of the homelands of the indigenous people of Palestine.”
Famed author Alice Walker penned a similar letter to Keys last week. Walker pleaded with the singer not to put herself in “soul danger” by performing in an apartheid country. “Please, if you can manage it, go to visit the children in Gaza, and sing to them of our mutual love of all children, and of their right not to be harmed simply because they exist,” Walker suggested.
As the Times reports, there have been a number of artists who have performed in the troubled region despite protests, including Rihanna and Elton John.