Elton John World News: Anti-Zionists Oppose Upcoming Tel Aviv Show

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Tuesday 9 February 2010 @ 17:50 - GMT

Anti-Zionist British academics have urged Elton to pull out of a performance in Israel, in an open letter to the singer.

Tickets go on sale today for the June concert, which will be his first appearance in the country for nearly two decades.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, who recently tried to persuade botanist David Bellamy to cancel an appearance for the Zionist Federation, called Israel a racist state in its letter.

The letter said: "Political or not political, when you stand up on that stage in Tel Aviv, you line yourself up with a racist state.

"Okay, you turn up in Ramat Gan, and it gets to that Candle in the Wind moment, and thousands of lighters flicker but there won't be any Palestinians from the Occupied Territories swaying along with the Israelis the army won't let them leave their ghettos.

The academics urged Elton to read the UN Goldstone Report into Operation Cast Lead which found both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes.

Israeli boycotters have unsuccessfully targeted Leonard Cohen, Madonna and Paul McCartney, who all recently played Israel.

This will be Eltons first return to the Holy Land in 17 years and his third visit to Israel.

In 1993, Elton John was attacked by paparazzi as he landed in Ben Gurion airport, whereupon he promptly turned back and cancelled his performance.

But after so many pleaded with him to return, he agreed to play the second concert in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park and flew back to the region.

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