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“We don’t cherry-pick our conscience”

This is a guest post by Gavin Gross

I was at Elton John’s sold-out concert last night at Israel’s Ramat Gan stadium, and thought this greeting he delivered was spot-on and deserves wide distribution.

Elton told the crowd that he was happy to be back in Israel (he played here in 1993), and in a reference to anti-Israel boycotters who called on him to cancel the show, proudly proclaimed “ain’t nobody gonna stop us from coming here.” He said that as a musician his job was to spread love and peace, and that “we don’t cherry-pick our conscience,” a line for which he received extended applause.

I took this to be a sharp dig at the hypocrisy and sanctimoniousness of figures in the West who focus their ire almost exclusively on Israel, and particularly at his fellow musicians who have recently cancelled their shows here, such as Elvis Costello, the Pixies, Gil Scott-Heron and others.

How many musicians have cancelled their concerts in America because of the thousands of civilians the U.S. military has killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and in drone attacks in Pakistan?