Unlike New Zealand singer Lorde, who capitulated to pressure from the anti-Israel BDS movement and cancelled her concert scheduled for Tel Aviv, living legend and former Beatle, Sir Ringo Starr, defied the BDS movement and announced the tour with his band will include two concerts in Tel Aviv’s Menorah Mivtahim Arena on June 23 and 24.
On his website, Starr wrote:
Ringo Starr announces the 13th iteration of his All Starr Band and new tour dates through Europe and Israel. After six years with the same band, Ringo welcomes Colin Hay back to the group and as well as new member Graham Gouldman of 10cc (I’m Not In Love, Things We Do For Love, Dreadlock Holiday, Wall Street Shuffle). Hay and Gouldman join existing All Starrs Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie, Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette.
In June, the All Starrs embark on a 21 date tour that will kick off in Paris France and includes shows in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Monaco, Netherlands and Israel, concluding in Italy. The last time the All Starrs toured Europe was 2011.
As far back as 1964, Starr was mistakenly identified as Jewish. When the Beatles arrived in Montreal on September 8, 1964, local media informed them that anti-Semites had made death threats against Starr, forcing the band to hire extra security, including a plainclothes policeman behind a drum riser.
Starr recalled in The Beatles Anthology, “Some people decided to make an example of me as an English Jew. … The one major fault is I’m not Jewish.”
Starr’s determination to visit Israel despite the BDS movement’s efforts to stop performers from playing there is reminiscent of Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, who blasted vehemently anti-Israel Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters, after Waters joined BDS activists trying to pressure Yorke into canceling his Israel concert.
Yorke snapped, “If you want me to be honest, yeah, it's really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years. They talk down to us and I just find it mind-boggling that they think they have the right to do that. It's extraordinary.”
Starr’s former bandmate in the Beatles, Paul McCartney, ignored death threats when he played before 400,000 people in Tel Aviv in 2008.