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Cat Power cancels show in Israel, citing 'confusion in my soul'

By Mairav Zonszein and Assaf Shatil

The American artist Chan Marshall, who goes by the name Cat Power, has just let her cat litter out of the box. By canceling her show in Tel Aviv at the last minute (it was scheduled for this Sunday, February 12) she has joined a group of musicians who are guided by hypocrisy, ignorance and vanity.

Any artist who books a show in Israel and starts selling tickets should know from the get-go that they have done so in a place that is and has been controversial for a long time. The situation hasn’t changed here in the last few months or years – so why did Cat Power book the show in the first place? Was she not aware just a few weeks ago of the ongoing Israeli military hold on Palestinians and its discriminatory policies? Was she not morally conscious then? If she cares so much about Palestinians, why didn’t she bother to check with them before booking the show? If she is so concerned with humanity, why wasn’t she aware of the BDS call then?

Her tweet from February 9, asking her fans to “find a show in Ramallah for the people of Palestine” just goes to show how little she knows or cares about the Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, since they do not recognize the gesture of parallel shows in Israel and Palestine as some kind of “balance” or compensation but rather as simply furthering normalization with Israel. It also doesn’t say much for her supposed “indy” style that she tweeted a request to find her a place to play in Ramallah – if she really wanted to, she could just get directly in touch with Palestinians on the ground to set up a show. (She also obviously doesn’t really know a thing about Palestinian life here either, since many Palestinians wouldn’t be able to make it to or afford a show in Ramallah anyway.)

From the letter by Israelis from BDS Call from Within:

Many artists have come to perform here with the good will and intention to use their art as a means of changing Israeli public opinion and spreading the message of peace. However, this has been far from successful (not even with Roger Waters, who now supports BDS). On the contrary; High profile performances, such as your scheduled concert, have served the government’s agenda of whitewashing its war crimes and creating an image of Israel as a “modern state”, where celebrities come to perform and see the sights. In reality, some of the sights are situated on occupied land, and over 3 million people, including Palestinian fans of yours, cannot attend concerts in Tel Aviv, even though they are living under Israeli control, namely the occupation.

In one of her tweets explaining the cancellation of her show, Cat Power wrote: “Music is healing and it is not humane if all cannot have the choice, the right, to attend.” Indeed, many – not only Palestinians -  do not have the choice or right to attend many shows in the world, primarily due to their socioeconomic standing. So maybe if that’s the case she should make her concerts heavily discounted to all those who cannot afford them or do not have the means to attend. And how about all the shows she plays in America? Why play there when its policy actively and passively supports the Israeli occupation, not to mention a slew of other human rights abuses in the world?

Irrespective of what one thinks of the call for a cultural boycott, which is not at issue here, artists who book shows and then cancel them are not bowing to any moral pressure – but rather to PR pressure. They know that appearing in Israel could hurt their ticket sales in many places in Europe and elsewhere, but they can afford to cancel one show in Tel Aviv and lose some Israeli fans  - so why not feign the moral high ground?

As far as we know, Cat Power, The Pixies, Elvis Costello and others who have canceled shows in Israel due to the political situation are not in fact artists with any political agenda. It is doubtful that they suddenly decided to become activist musicians just before their scheduled shows in Israel. While those calling for boycott likely do not care why an artist cancels a show, there is no reason for anyone to admire the artists themselves as any more humane or scrupulous than before they cancelled their shows here.

Here’s an ode to Cat Power:

 

Assaf Shatil is a musician living in Jaffa.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Jehudah Ben-Israel

      “It (BDS, JBI) uses the treasured tactics… to erase Israel’s character as a Jewish state”, and herein is the racist element of this seemingly innocent movement.

      Israel is a tiny liberal democracy and by right the nation-state of the Jewish people. Its right is derived from three elements: historic, ethical and legal.

      Israel is the manifestation of the re-institution of the Jewish people’ sovereignty in Eretz Israel (Land of Israrel), the homeland of the Hebrew/Israeli/Jewish people and the cradle of its civilization of 4,000 years: Judaism. Despite all odds, members of the Jewish people have been the only ones who have maintained constant presence in their homeland as Jews for all of this time and have never considered any other place as their homeland. This historic right was appreciated by those who, in the 19th century, recognized the Jewish people’s ethical right.

      It is a universally accepted right of all peoples, including that of the Jewish people, to national self-determination and independence in each people’s homeland. This ethical right was understood by the powers that be when the non-violent (not pacifist, mind you) national liberation movement of the Jewish people, Zionism, demanded the right to re-institute Jewish sovereignty and independence in the Jewish people’s homeland of Eretz Israel. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 is an expression of this ethical right.

      These historic and ethical rights were then translated into legal right. It was first the San Remo Conference, 1920, that designated “Palestine” – the name of a territory, not a nationality or a state, mind you!! – to be “the national home for the Jewish people”. This language, taken directly out of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was adopted by the League of Nations, 1922, which partitioned “Palestine”, handing over 77% of it to the Arabs who subsequently renamed their part Jordan, and the rest, 23% of it, between the Jordan River to the Med. Sea, to the Jews, who subsequently re-named their part Israel. This legal process was completed when the United Nations, in 1945, incorporated the League of Nations decisions of 1922 into its Charter, Article 80, as an irrevocable act.

      Hence, Israel, being the independent “national home for the Jewish people”, i.e. the nation-state of the Jewish people, is here by right: historic, ethical and legal; having been proclaimed as such on 14 May 1948.

      Singling out the nation-state of the Jewish people, and therefore, by extension, the people whose nation-state Israel is, is an act of racism, anti-Jewish racism. And, calling for its elimination under such slogans as “one state”, “no state”, etc. amounts to a double insult of not only singling out a people, the Jewish people, but implicitly denying this people’s very first human right, the right to live and to defend one’s life; and the ability to apply this denial of right to Jews, for no other reason but for the fact that the members of the Jewish people are Jews.

      Regardless of the amount and colors of feathers used by the BDS members to veil, their words and actions amount to racism, anti-Jewish racism at that!!

      Reply to Comment
    2. Carl

      Mairav, ease up on the woman. She made the right choice eventually in my opinion. And I say that even though I find much of her music phenomenally tedious.
      .
      She may have bowed to PR, or perhaps just become aware of the situation and changed her views accordingly. I think we’re second guessing if we try and work that out.
      .
      Jehuda: it’s the magnetic North of debate isn’t it? Doesn’t matter where Mairav started from or where she was going, there’s always someone like yourself to lead the debate back to the same, tired place.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Isn’t it tragic that free will extends to people who don’t agree with you, for whatever reason?

      Cat Power – along with the many other artists and performers who have joined the BDS campaign – gets to make choices about her performance, even if you don’t like them.
      And it is not hard to imagine why an artist might be appalled and disgusted to find out that what was billed as a performance in a cosmopolitan city would be barred from being viewed by people living a mere hour’s drive away – due to a diabolical system of permits.

      It doesn’t take a political agenda to do the decent thing in such a situation.

      Reply to Comment
    4. aristeides

      Self-righteous much, Mairav?

      .
      I’d say there’s one good thing that comes out of cancelling these shows at the last minute, and that’s the publicity. The cancellation gets more notice than not booking the show in the first place. And thus the reason for the cancellation.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Laura Minor

      this is certainly troubling, but did you write scathing, sexist comments towards the Pixies or Elvis Costello when they cancelled, linking the image of crazy, dumb-hippie child, “cat” woman (nice pun) to their media reception? Did you make insulting “Elvis” or “fairy” videos for them as well? Despite the context, you are clearly throwing her inability to handle fame in the early stages of her career back in her face for a dig. Even if you’re invested, your lack of objectivity in presenting this information contributes to a sickening trend in debasing women artists.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Henry

      Good article, but I’m not sure I agree with this point:

      “They know that appearing in Israel could hurt their ticket sales in many places in Europe and elsewhere, but they can afford to cancel one show in Tel Aviv and lose some Israeli fans – so why not feign the moral high ground?”

      I agree with the notion that most of these artists aren’t thinking very hard about this — but I think that’s up to and including doing the math you’re suggesting re: European ticket sales. I mean, we’re talking about popular musicians, not a notoriously clever group. Anyway, wouldn’t their management be doing this math.

      I think the decision is simultaneously dumber and less craven than this point asserts. It’s not about money, it’s about some rather unsophisticated person being persuaded on a whim by a tweet or something. It’s just a simpler explanation, which I take to be more likely — you’re seldom going to lose betting that someone did something new and uncharacteristic for a flimsy, knee-jerk reason as opposed to a thoughtful calculation.

      And for what it’s worth, you’re not missing much.

      Also, Jehudah, you’re boring. We’re all on board: there is an Israel, and there should be and will be. There are, however, some outstanding ancillary issues on which we’re not all comfortable appealing to a 4000 year old text on animal husbandry as a final arbiter.

      Reply to Comment
    7. A hatchet job, Mairav. Surely you can do better.

      Hasn’t it occurred to you that Cat Power is going through a ***learning process?***

      No, not all the artists whom the Campaign (including the Israeli group) contacts, are aware of the gravity of the human rights crisis here. You’d be surprised, but not every NYC artists follows 972, Haaretz, or Btselem. Some of them are not aware at all of the Palestinian BDS call.

      Yes, some artists do think it’s a good idea to organize a gig in Ramallah in addition to the one in TLV (a reasonable first thought, and then they learn why it does not help the campaign to end Israeli apartheid).

      Reply to Comment
    8. chicago

      Cat Power you are my hero keep up the good work

      Reply to Comment
    9. Jazzy

      Cat Power = poor man’s Feist. Sharon Van Etten is the sticky hot jam…

      Reply to Comment
    10. Ama

      First of all, the puns aren’t necessary and Chan Marshall is a troubled soul with debilitating stage fright–something I’ve witnessed personally several times. She’s canceled shows (at the last minute or not shown up at all) because of this–not to disappoint people; in fact much of her stage fright (or terror) comes from that fear. She’s also very sensitive and is a recovering alcoholic–and needs to do what she can to take care of herself first. It wasn’t PR. It was personal. Of course, it’s disappointing to miss her performance…but she’s a good human being with a right to change her mind and is one of the few better-known musicians who actually listens to her soul more than the PR peeps. The stance that she’s being hypocritical and vain is just hateful–and as my grandmother would say, “tacky.”

      Reply to Comment
    11. Thanks for your audition for a role in Mean Girls 2- Electric Zionism. We’ll let you know.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Carl

      Henry, your last sentence has just made my week.

      Reply to Comment
    13. A

      I don’t know what make me more sick: the style and rhetoric of this post, or its content.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Paola Bobadilla

      Man, I am just annoyed that Cat Power did this and gave you fodder to write a really pathetic, self-righteous and BORING article. Really? Cat Power cancels show in Tel Aviv so the logical path is for her to basically never perform in the U.S. because the U.S. supports Israel and has done “bad stuff”. Wow LAZY LOGIC. Also, Henry-”There are, however, some outstanding ancillary issues on which we’re not all comfortable appealing to a 4000 year old text on animal husbandry as a final arbiter.”=hilariously brilliant.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Hani

      Plenty of people are uninformed and unaware of the situation in Palestine. And so definitely unaware of the BDS movement.

      Tel Aviv has managed to market itself well as a supposed cosmopolitan party city. Plenty of musicians and artists have visited and played, and I’m sure that many never really had to encounter and understand the Occupation. Plenty of people have visited Israel with nothing more than an idea that ‘oh there’s a bit of trouble over here’…

      That is undoubtedly a problem, but we all know that the mainstream media, Western coverage, and the predominant power structures as a whole do not offer any meaningful factual and contextual insight of the Occupation, and Palestinians as a whole. That is one of the reasons BDS exists. Part of BDS’ remit is to promote awareness and meaningful discourse of the issue, along with action.

      BDS has played a part in encouraging another artist, her fanbase, and others to ACTIVELY recognise, and acknowledge the total injustice of the situation. This is undoubtedly a good thing.

      This article does not seem to understand the simple idea of what goes on day to day in peoples general lives as a result of the societies we are in. There are alot of issues and concepts that we do not ACTIVELY think about, and interact with.

      Therefore, claiming that Cat Power and other artists end up cancelling out of ‘hypocrisy, vanity, and self-interest’ is a very poor and one dimensional view. They have had to ACTIVELY contend with the issue as a result of them being confronted about it. And so, have come to the right decision. For that, they should be commended.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Raz

      Fantastic that she cancelled, the only hypocrites and bitter individuals are the ones writing this article.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Mordechai ben Yosef

      Mairav. I have read many of your posts here. What happened this time? What pushed you into the classic reactionary defensive/offensive mode? Who is this Assaf? You don’t need him.

      Reply to Comment
    18. directrob

      “guided by hypocrisy, ignorance and vanity”, gee that is vitriolic. Actually there is no reason to believe that playing in Israel hurts sales.

      Reply to Comment
    19. O

      What is the point then of having NGOs and other such groups active in the first place? Their sole purpose is for global awareness, social consciousness and mass support. They would get nowhere. Sitting on your own moral high horse and expecting everyone’s awareness to be at the same level is not the right way M.

      Lastly, if anything, booking tickets and then canceling them on the last minute is the best thing that could ever happen. Fans ought to be disrupted in every way and form. Maybe then they’ll wake from their slumber of democracy.

      Well done Cat Power.

      Reply to Comment
    20. i agree with the main points of the article and i think the author is courageous to adress this subject. For me the main point is the “moral” double standart of this artists and people in general. If you are a yankie or a british artist you can ´t boicot anyone!! First you have to look to the mirror and boicot yourself!!. No patience for artists who go to the “sierra maestra” for a while and after play in Texas, London, etc.

      PD: Cat Power is “American”? Did she born in Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Mexico, Canada or Argentina? I never heard that Maria Bethania, Caetano Veloso or Mercedes Sosa call themselves “Americans” with “A”? America is not patrimony of USA and in more than a way they are the less americans of all the american continent. sometimes a word say a lot, and sometimes not.

      Reply to Comment
    21. AT

      I try very hard to understand BDS against Israel but it makes no sense to me. Why is Israel singled out? The US apartheid system against Mexicans make Israel’s Palestinian policies seem like gentle caresses. Let us put aside the fact that half of the US has been on illegally occupied Mexican territory since 1848. In the US today, tens of thousands of Mexicans and others are held in ICE gulags with no rights of Habeas Corpus and under horrific conditions. Tens of thousands of others are essentially slaves in US’ migrant worker system. Parents are deported and their children taken from them and put in foster homes. Draconian laws are being passed which make it a crime to even help “illegals” I.e Mexicans. They call this self deportation and Mitt Romney, who may be the next US Prseident essentially endorses these Nuremberg like laws.

      Why do European artists who support BDS against Israel continue to do shows in the US? Why are US artists, who for the most part don’t ever speak out against these crimes (and the many other crimes of their country) not boycotted by activists around the world?

      I am not asking this question facetiously. If you truly believe BDS is an important moral stance in the fight for justice, why are Palestinians rights in focus, whille the rights of other indigenous peoples who suffer even more not even on the left’s agenda?

      Reply to Comment
    22. Jehudah Ben-Israel

      “Plenty of people are uninformed and unaware of the situation in Palestine”.

      In fact, plenty of people don’t even know the geographical and legal history of the place.

      “Palestine” – the name of a territory, not a nationality or a state, of course!! – was partitioned back in 1921 and 1922.

      In 1921 77% of the territory was handed over to the Arabs who subsequently renamed their part of the territory Jordan – since “Palestine” is not an Arab concept – and set up Amman as its capital city.

      In 1922 the remaining 23% of the territory was assigned to the Jews who subsequently renamed their part of the territory Israel – since “Palestine” is not a Jewish concept either – and set up Jerusalem as its capital city.

      These legal acts carried out by the League of Nations and incorporated into the United Nations Charter, Article 80, 1945, are legally irrevocable.

      “Palestine”, at that point, ceased to exist.

      Thus, it is not entirely clear about which “Palestine” the poster writes.

      Reply to Comment
    23. AbdulFreud

      Cat Power did right by what needed to be done. Sour grapes for indie lovers who live in ethnically-cleansed Arab areas in Jaffa, who like to call themselves “Peaceniks” and have US stars serenade them on their weekends… my heart is breaking. Zionism is the problem, BDS is the cure.

      Reply to Comment
    24. I object to Cat Power’s perspective. She should play in Israel, express through her personality and her performance what is real liberty, and then do a concert in the West Bank and Gaza to show she practices what she preaches.

      I appreciate the motivation of the BDS, but suggest to them it is worthless until they demonstrate they can get their act together as a people, have elections and a functioning government (predominately free of corruptions, instead of the current mafia), and challenge Israel through massive peaceful protests and rational views in inter-government discussions. It was not South Africa boycotts that brought down the apartheid in that country, if was South Africans of all colors having a chance in consciousness that produced that result.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Maya

      Even if last minute, it is good that Cat Power joined BDS. Cancelling show last minute is good publicity and it has better influence on Israeli society then not booking a show in the first place. People buy tickets, they want to see a show and then last minute it is cancelled, maybe it will get them thinking, why artist do not want to perform in the state who occupies and violates human rights. I think it is the only way to shake the Israeli public, the Israeli mainstream who won’t care about the Occupation and Palestinian plea, until it will feel it;s consequences on their skin. I really can’t comprehend why you Meirav call Cat Power a hypocrite?

      Reply to Comment
    26. Mordechai ben Yosef

      AT, nice try at smoke and mirrors, but I have seen better magicians. You are right about the horrific conditions of Mexicans and other US immigrants.There have been boycotts and other actions to support them for at least 50 years from the Grape boycotts of the 60′s to the very current(and successful) boycotts to support tomato harvesters in Florida. Even the US Federal Gov’t has criticized and taken legal action against some of the draconian anti-immigrant laws in some states. There has been no widespread movement of Mexican citizens and workers to establish their own state or reintegrate with Mexico. The humanitarian agenda(you refer to as the left agenda) in my part of the world includes many other issues other than Palestine/Israel, domestic issues like racial gender, sexual orientation, and income equality(remember OWS) as well as international issues such as Darfur, Libya, Syria, Egypt etc. Here in the US, AIPAC and political and media allies have made strenuous efforts(with some success) in keeping the Israel/Palestine discussion limited in scope and content. However, the “Israel is victim” wail is losing its impact, as well as Newt Gingrich’s and Jehudah ben Israel’s “invented Palestine.”

      Reply to Comment
    27. AT

      MBY, your response does not answer my question, but rather diverts from it. I am well aware of all the activism around the Mexican immigrant issue, particularly by Latinos themselves. But several caveats to your arguments. First re: boycotts. The current tomato “boycott” is more a series of actions made to shame large grocery chains to support the Fair Worker document. it it is equivalent to trying to shame Caterpillar from selling bulldozers to the Israeli army. It is not a call for divesture from all things made in the US nor from any cultural exchange with the people of the US. As for the the Federal governments actions against the states laws are you actually serious in mentioning that? It is a fact that the Federal government runs the ICE gulags and this administration has evicted more so-called illegals than any previous one. Finally just because Mexicans in the US are not necessarily calling for their own state and the return of their land (although some are) doesn’t mean the attack against them and their rights is not harsher than that of Israel’s actions against the Palestinians.

      Returning to the issue of boycotts, i noted that anti-slavery advocates and immigrant rights activists are not calling for BDS against the US, probably because most of them feel blanket BDS is both ineffective and immoral. But for thise of you who believe BDS is an important tool in the fight for justice I asked a very specific question: why do you single out Israel. And i also specifically asked about artists in Europe and US who have refused to come to Israel – have any of these participated in activism or made mention of the unjust actions of the US government and the people of the US against Mexican immigrants and even against Mexican citizens of the US? Has Elvis Costello or Cat Powers, for example, spoken out on these issues? Not that I am aware of.

      By contrast, if Manu Chao chose not to perform in Israel, I would have no criticism of him. Although, given his past actions, he would probably perform and use it as a platform to criticize actions of the Israeli govt.

      Reply to Comment
    28. AT

      PS

      I did find at least one group calling for a BDS against the state of Arizona:

      http://thesoundstrike.info/

      Cat Powers is playing in Tuscon on 4-27. she is a hypocrite of the worst sort.

      Reply to Comment
    29. chicago

      cat powers you are my hero. thanks for showing the zionist government of israhell that you cant claim to be democratic and kill people that are protesting for peace. thank you

      Reply to Comment
    30. Tal

      On one hand BDS takes a moral and just stance against the occupation of the Palestinian people. On the other hand, it advocates injustice for the Israeli people and a hellish yugoslavian future for this country by calling for the full implementation of the right of return.
      I hope that one day Palestinians from the west bank will be able to visit concerts in Tel Aviv by crossing an international peaceful border. If this day arrives, I will be happy to visit Hebron or any town in the WB with a visa.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Steve

      Wow, really weird column by Mairav Zonszein.

      It seems Mairav Zonszein is not offended by discrimination against Jews/Israel and discrimination against Tel Aviv, which is an Israeli city that is NOT in the West Bank or some controversial place, but she is offended by people who don’t realize early enough that they should discriminate against Jews/Israel.

      Strange stuff.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Steve

      Is there BDS against Palestinians for supporting Hamas terrorists, or against Syria for being murderers, or for Yemen for being corrupt, or against Muslim countries that favor Muslims over non-Muslims, or against China, or against Russia, or against Jordan for ethnically cleaning Jews out, or against Kuwait, or against ANYPLACE in the world?

      Or just against Israel?

      Reply to Comment
    33. Steve

      Also, expect neo-nazis to buy more Cat Power albums soon thanks to this development

      Reply to Comment
    34. aristeides

      Neo-nazis are too busy painting six-pointed stars on the walls of Palestinian homes and on their tombs.

      .
      The symbol is slightly different, the hate is the same.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Steve

      Wow, dishonest and disgusting comment, above

      Reply to Comment
    36. Steve

      What’s really “neo-nazi” is declaring that Jews are not human and are the source of all evil in the world, like Hamas religious leaders, Palestinian Authority religious leaders and various other middle east religious leaders enjoy teaching children on TV shows each weekend

      Reply to Comment
    37. Piotr Berman

      Steve,

      first, a word of advise. Making three posts in a row can make an impression that one is a troll.

      Second, was it the case that Cat Powers just finished a tour through Yemen, Syria, and Kuwait and SINGLED OUT Israel to skip then your comment would make sense. Nonsensical comments also can make an impression that one is a troll.

      In any case, is it proper for a Jew to listen to a female singer that is quite deficient in tzniut?
      http://consequenceofsound.net/2011/12/video-cat-power-king-rides-by/

      Reply to Comment
    38. Carl

      Steve this is my second to last post to you, unless you grasp that this and other are actually debates, and it hence they have topics. The topics come from the article, written by the journalist.
      .
      Try and start debating with people about the topic (I don’t count people who can only spell Israel ‘IsraeHELL’). The topic being the article at the top of the page, and not just what you want to talk about. Apply the same reason next time you strike up a conversation at the car mechanics. If they tell you that your car is fundamentally crap, you don’t respond by telling them,repeatedly that the iron dome should primarily for civilian protection, not just the military. Well if you do, maybe I’ve a career in life-coaching ahead of me… .. .
      .
      Also, for wining an argument and changing peoples views, you have a lot better chance if you have a ‘suit-for-every-occasion’ as it were. Force of argument though utter boredom (doubled up with the off topic technique),is another one to avoid: Jehuda provides all with a stellar examples on this particular topic.
      .
      Lets all thank him, and go on to learn from it.
      .
      On a final on-topic note: I just remembered that although I find most of her work the sought of music that hateful couple on the Match Dot Com dating site advert who get together by meeting in a junk shop due to being being dressed ‘kooky’ whist strumming some hateful ‘lo-fi’ lullaby on a Ukele or something – and here’s the ‘but’ – that duet, Great Waves, with Dirty 3 on the Cinders LP she did was blistering. (For the Non UK residents and lucky residents), I’m sure you can Interweb that hateful beast of an advert. Also the aforementioned top tune.

      Reply to Comment
    39. Mairav, seems to have read a bit about the BDS movement. Although for someone so well informed, her moral compass seems a bit odd. And Mairav clearly knows nothing about the music industry or Cat Power’s history. And journalists are supposed to do their research before they write. So let me hip you to few things Mairav.
      To start with, for an artist to book a foreign show, which means paying for transportation, lodging, publicity etc. then canceling at the last minute, that is a huge financial loss. You may not like Chan’s decision, but she sure didn’t do it out of greed.
      Second. Chan has a long history of doing benefit shows for social justice organizations, including some that deal with the situation in Palestine. To try to cast her as ignorant or apolitical is pure ignorance or pure political opportunism on your part.
      Chan had trouble deciding what to do just as a lot of us have had trouble with this decision. We all know horrible stuff is going on over there. But we also know there are good people over there, including Israelis who have risked their lives to oppose the system you seem to be defending Mairav. So a lot of artists are struggling with this decision right now. Chan lives her life in public, so the public has now witnessed her making a difficult choice. Yet another example of her unique role as a performer.
      Chan is a great artist. You seem to feel comfortable taking cheap shots at her. OK, here is some of your own medicine for you.
      You Mairav are a pseudo-intellectual. Someone who knows a word for everything, but the meaning of nothing.

      Reply to Comment
    40. Serge

      Cam here to learn more about this. I have to admit that it doesn’t seem like a big deal to me — Cat Powers is free to play or to not play wherever she likes, and if she wants to stick to the U.S. and U.K., then by all means.

      That said, I’m not sure I understand the relevance of the fact that people living in Ramallah would have a hard time attending the show in Tel Aviv (and many would have a hard time affording the show in Ramallah). To the latter, there are wealth disparities in many of the countries in which she plays, and many Americans will never be able to afford her shows either. To the former, Ramallah is not in Israel: it is hardly surprising that people from one country may not be able to simply attend a show in another country, especially when those two countries are at war.

      So, by all means, let Cat Power decide that, on second thought, all those Tweeters are right, and that Israel is run by a nasty and evil regime — or, for that matter, Israel’s existence constitutes a nasty and evil regime; it’s really up to her — in which a pure soul like her ought not set foot, in order that she can stick to well-governed places with rights-respecting governments like Ramallah and Istanbul. She has every right. What I don’t get is what access by Ramallans or, for that matter, Beirutis or Tehranians, has to do with all this.

      Reply to Comment
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