May 31, 2013
The Simon Wiesenthal Center congratulates R&B singer Alicia Keys for her courageous decision today to go ahead with her July 4th, Tel Aviv concert and refusing to bow to people like Pulitzer Prize-winning author and activist Alice Walker and Pink Floyd member, Roger Waters. Walker's appeal to Keys stated, "It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country ... ."
Waters also asked the singer not to perform, as her appearance would, “... give legitimacy to the Israeli government policies of illegal, apartheid, occupation of the homelands of the indigenous people of Palestine.”
"When Ms. Keys sings in Israel on July 4th, she will be singing in the only free country in the entire Middle East, where women enjoy equal rights with men and Israeli Arabs have more rights than any of their brothers and sisters in the Arab world,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC Founder and Dean.
Equating Israel with apartheid South Africa is a sinister distortion of the truth,” Rabbi Hier said, adding, “Just look at what is happening in Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt."
“Israel has said countless times that it is willing to sit down with the Palestinians without pre-conditions. But Israel cannot be expected to make peace with Hamas, a terrorist organization committed to Israel's destruction, just as African-Americans cannot make peace with the KKK," Hier concluded.
Last year Walker refused to authorize a new Hebrew translation of her acclaimed novel “The Color Purple.”