Israel denies Chomsky entry, Costello cancels gigs

Issue 

Veteran left-wing academic and author Noam Chomsky was banned from entering Israel on May 17. Chomsky, a strong critic of Israel and US foreign policy, had been planning to give a lecture at Bir Zeit University in the Israeli occupied West Bank.

On May 18, English singer Elvis Costello announced he was cancelling two planned gigs in Israel, citing the “grave and complex" sensitivities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, Christian Science Monitor said on May 19.

Costello said: “There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung.”

Palestinian organisations have called on performers to boycott Israel as part of the growing international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against the state for its apartheid policies towards Palestinians. In recent weeks, radical African-American poet and musician Gil Scott Heron and Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana also cancelled gigs in Israel