Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am Rejects Calls to Boycott "Israel"
The singer's concert was even more scandalous because it was taking place on the international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Calls from pro-Palestinian activists were unable to convince Will.i.am, the Black Eyed Peas’ frontman, to refrain from performing in “Israel”.
The Grammy-winning group was performing in occupied al-Quds on Monday. Speaking to The Associated Press ahead of the concert, which ironically was taking place on the UN's international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, Will.i.am said that personal and business ties keep him performing and investing in "Israel".
Artist vs. businessman
Resisting the boycott calls over the years, Will.i.am has deepened his ties to "Israel" with his technology. His i.am+ tech firm acquired an Israeli start-up in 2016.
He was in "Israel" participating in an innovation conference held by Improvate, an Israeli organization that works to advance Israeli technology.
The singer claimed on Monday that "politics don’t dictate his actions," but clearly his financial benefits do.
What is the BDS?
The BDS movement is a nonviolent campaign against Israeli abuses against Palestinians. BDS stands for "boycotts, divestment, and sanctions" against "Israel".
The movement prides itself in being a "movement that works to end international support for "Israel's" oppression of Palestinians and pressure it to comply with international law."
The Palestinian-led movement has for years urged artists to boycott "Israel" for its inhuman actions against Palestinians. Major performers, such as Lorde and Lana Del Ray have canceled appearances in solidarity with the Palestinian people and the apartheid violence they are subjected to, while writers such as Sally Rooney have refused to deal with Israeli publishing houses.
The international community has become far more supportive of BDS efforts, notably with the increase of Israeli crimes against Palestinians. Even pop stars Justin Bieber is being called on to cancel his scheduled performance in occupied Palestine in his upcoming tour.
The BDS France website issued a statement that said the concert was "even more scandalous" because it was taking place on the international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people. It urged supporters to use the hashtag #WhereIsTheLoveforPalestinians — a nod to the group's hit "Where is The Love" — to call for the group to cancel its performance.