I love Israel and I love Rihanna, so imagine my glee earlier this year on seeing a photo of her lying by EXACTLY the Tel Aviv swimming pool where I had been lounging just a few days before! Hmm, if you SQUINTED a bit, we might even be...nah, it’s not gonna work, is it! I’m somewhat less fond of Lady Gaga so I wasn’t quite as stoked to see her mooching around the Western Wall. And I can’t stand Madonna so I wasn’t especially overjoyed to see her poncing around the Promised Land like she owns the place (or is at least is on a promise).
But hey, as the Tesco ad says - every little helps! Especially in the long war against the half-witted anti-Semites who seek to demonize Israel as a uniquely heinous blot on the modern map through the medium of cultural boycott.
Of course people are free to boycott whoever they wish. For several years now I have refused to buy the produce of or visit any country which practises gender apartheid - i.e. Muslim states - as I will not contribute in any way to a vile belief system which results in females being treated in a way that is a cross between the way Tsarist Russia treated the Jews and Scrooge treated money.
Contrast Rihanna’s glorious Israel gigs with the extraordinary disrespect with which she was treated by Malaysian Islamists last year when scheduled to play in that country. The usual curtain-twitching Mrs Grundyish mullahs got their dish-dashes in a twist, with the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party branded her ‘sexier and more dangerous than Avril Lavigne’ - fair enough, but so’s my cat! Furthermore, they prissed, a Rihanna concert would be ‘akin to insulting Eastern culture, belittling local artistes, internationally causing losses to the country’s economy and supporting Israel’s war policy, which is supported by America.’ As well as killing the polar bears and causing ayatollahs beards to drop out, no doubt.
Previously the joyless Malaysian fuss-buckets had been tut-tutting over the badness of Beyonce, who scrapped two shows there in the space of two years due to Islamic narrow-mindedness, and fined the Pussycat Dolls promoter when the laydeez were accused of flouting Malaysia’s decency regulations. I don’t think it’s any coincidence, to be frank, that Beyonce, Rihanna and the lead Pussycat are black women, and thus the Islamist busybodies feel perfectly entitled to dictate how they should behave. Islam’s genocidal history of enslaving non-Muslims is one they have never apologized for - unlike Western cultures - and on seeing a sassy female who is also black, their who-died-and-made-me-Caliph mentality must go into overdrive.
I always think of Islamic inhumanity to women, homosexuals, blacks, Christians, Buddhists and the rest of we kaffirs when I read about the latest ill-informed crooning clown to diss Israel. Has-been trip-hop act Massive Attack are the latest sheep-like clod-hoppers to hitch their wagon to a bar, using their appearance at the Big Chill earlier this month to flash up images on a screen behind them. A member of the audience told the JC last week "Massive Attack had a screen behind them that was flashing up statistics and political images. Various topics were touched on such as BP and economic strife but the theme was anti-Israeli … there were slogans about Israelis' wealth compared to Palestinians', troop numbers and armed checkpoints. The general vibe was that all hardship in Palestine was Israel's fault. There was not a word about the terror attacks or fundamentalism.
Hypocrisy strike one - and probably strike two too. It would be interesting to know whether those performers who refuse to go to Israel and slate America - and here they may or may not agree with that regular laugh-riot Kamaruzaman Mohammad, a leader of the youth wing of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, which claimed that attending the California-based Rihanna's proposed concert was a form of support for Israel because "Whether Rihanna realises it or not, we know that the taxes she paid also contributed to the war in Gaza” - also prevent their records or movies or books from being sold or downloaded in these countries. I doubt it, the greedy pigs.
Let them stew in their own duplicit swill, I say. Massive Attack can join such anti-Israel heroes as Elvis Costello (who is so politically sophisticated that he once called Ray Charles ‘a blind, ignorant nigger’) and Bobby Gillespie - such a loss to the Brains Trust that he reportedly defaced a MAKE POVERTY HISTORY poster to make it read MAKE ISRAEL HISTORY. Allegedly he couldn’t even spell ISRAEL properly - ISREAL he wrote, which has GOT to be a Freudian slip - and whatever one thinks of the tiny, democratic state surrounded by filthy rich, oppressive dictatorships, how extraordinarily arrogant to downgrade such a massive issue as world poverty simply to score a point. Ick!
Yes, Israel-haters can keep that grisly pair; in our corner, in the spirit of curiosity and keeping an open mind, we have the unique, the unimpeachable John Lydon, who will lead his group Public Image Limited in concert in Tel Aviv at the end of this month. "If Elvis-fucking-Costello wants to pull out of a gig in Israel because he's suddenly got this compassion for Palestinians, then good on him," Lydon told the Independent. "But I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won't understand how anyone can have a problem with how they're treated.
John Lydon: the voice of common sense versus the dark forces of universal hypocrisy. Welcome aboard!