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22/02/12 Dear Nika, I am one of many fans of yours here in Israel.

I've noticed that a few political activists have recently started using the social media to attack your decision to perform in Israel. Unlike those activists, who didn't know of your existence and your music before your announcement, and will forget about you a few days after the gig, there are many real fans of yours in Israel who are super excited to finally see you live. I assume that as you're reading this letter, you're being told by these activists that your show would support the Israeli occupation of Palestine. If they care enough about changing your mind, they might even send you threats warning you that they'll make sure your music will be boycotted around the world. I hope it's not that bad. I really hope they haven't tried to bully and terrorize you with these techniques. I can tell you that this is a popular trend amongst anti-Israel activists and that a few days after your performance, you won't hear from them again. Performing in Israel does not mean you support the Israeli government, its policies, or any of that bollocks. It only means you care about your fans, regardless of where they were born and what their religion is. In fact, living in Israel doesn't mean one supports any of the above. Fortunately I live in a democracy and I can have a private opinion and express it's the new clich says, bands play for people, not for governments. The kind of people who will come to your gig will mostly consist of apolitical intellectuals and left wing liberals, some them will even be critics of the Israeli government's policies. Plenty of us are frustrated with corrupt authorities and the lack of progress with the peace process, and your performance will give us a much needed boost to continue our attempts to stay sane and still believe in an optimistic future and that one day, peace will be achieved. By canceling your show in Israel you'll miss the opportunity to interact with us and support some of the sane and progressive voices in Israel. As a famous music blogger named Ido Shaham has written in his blog, he'll never forget the show "Rage against the Machine" had here in 1997. Zack De La Rocha yelled from the stage "This song is dedicated to Bibi Netanyahu! (The Israeli prime minister)" and the band began playing "Tire Me". The government was crap back then as well, and RATM, the most political band in the world, came here and told us what they think of it. They didn't come here because they supported Bibi and no one thought that they ever did. So yes, as you've probably been told, there were a few musicians who have cancelled their gigs because of the pressure you're currently experiencing. Most of them just didn't know enough about the complex situation and only heard from anti-Israel activists before they made their decision. The rest, in my opinion, naively and incorrectly, thought their decision will improve the situation, but it has not. What about all the singers and bands who performed here such as Sir Elton John, Jane's Addiction, Moby, Leonard Cohen, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Blonde Redhead,

Justin Bieber ,and Metallica? Or 50 Cent, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Ziggy Marley, Twilight Singers, Suede and Mark Ronson? And list goes on Their shows here only had to do with spreading their meaningful messages through their music and appreciating their fans. Now don't get me wrong, you could choose the easy way out and just give into this political pressure by cancelling your gig, instead of coming here and seeing the reality through your own eyes. You'll probably find out the situation isn't as black and white as it may have been presented to you, that there are different voices here and there are bad and good people on both sides of the border. Indeed there are horrific videos and articles describing some of the Palestinian casualties and struggles caused by our ongoing conflict with them, but on the other hand, those who ask you to cancel your show, have not shown you the other side of the coin, where thousands of Israeli civilians have been murdered by terrorism and hundreds of thousands of Israelis are having rockets shot at their towns weekly and sometimes daily. I will end this letter with a quote of a musician, who just like you, faced the same pressure by political activists demanding the cancellation of his gig in Israel: "I was approached by different groups and political bodies who asked me not to come here. I refused. I do what I think, and I have many friends who support Israel. People asked me this question through the years: 'Do you think music can change things?' I think it can. I think it's good for people's souls. I think without music it would be a seriously bad world. I'm bringing a message of peace, and I think that's what the region needs." Paul McCartney


Ido Daniel Just another Israeli fan