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Chili Peppers For Tel Aviv

12:01 PM Tuesday 2/14/12 | |

The news that Cat Power pulled out of her show in Israel will likely be overshadowed by the announcement that Red Hot Chili Peppers will play Tel Aviv in September.

Cat Power, whose real name is Chan Marshall, is believed to have scrapped her Feb. 12 show in the Israeli capital because of the country’s ongoing Palestinian conflict.

In 2001 RHCP ducked a headline show at Tel Aviv’s 35,000-capacity Hayarkon Park, but promoter Shuki Weiss told Pollstar that was because of security rather than political reasons.

Weiss had arranged for cordons of security and said Hayarkon Park would have been “the safest place on earth.” But, in the three weeks leading up to the show, the political tension had boiled over.

The U.S. government warned of the dangers of traveling to the area after a suicide bomber had killed 15 in a Jerusalem pizza parlour.

The act followed its government’s advice a day after another suicide bomber injured 15 people at a restaurant in Haifa.

RHCP will be at Hayarkon Park Sept. 10 and Weiss is hoping to soon announce more acts playing Israel.

He says he’s happy to invite Cat Power and the world’s artist community to see the complexity of Israel’s reality for themselves.

“We guarantee complete freedom of speech on stage or off it, and the artists will always have the right to speak their minds to their fans,” he explained.

“It is important for every artist to realize that by coming to any country it doesn’t mean that they agree with its government’s actions. I’m sure Cat Power played the U.S. during recent administrations she may not have been that excited about.”

The American singer-songwriter tweeted that due to “much confusion,” she felt she could not play for her Israeli fans and that she felt “sick in her spirit.”

She had also faced calls to boycott the Jewish state.

  • Cat Power

    Lilith Fair, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Md.
    August 3, 2010

    (James Hendershot)


Acts that have pulled out of shows in Israel include Elvis Costello, Pixies, Santana, Gorillaz Soundsystem, and Bjork.

Elton John, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Roger Waters and Depeche Mode are among those who have made the trip.