Monday, 28 September 2009
Leonard Cohen's manager Robert Kory announced that the Tel Aviv show last week raised over $2m for local groups working for peace and coexistence, including the Parents Circle, reports Bloomberg. Cohen is quoted saying the show represented a "triumph over the inclination of the heart to despair, revenge and hatred."
Talking of Cohen quotes, band member Dino Soldo tweeted after the show that Leonard spoke "the most moving words on suffering I've heard, EVER." If anybody has a transcription of what Leonard said, we would love to hear them.
Further evidence that the show may have had positive effects comes in the form of this article by the Fox News Middle East producer Yonat Frilling, who says that despite the fact she "thrives on cynicism" the concert made her feel as if peace really was possible... albeit only for the three hour duration of the show.
Meanwhile, Robert Kory claims in an interview with Forward that it was some UK academics who scuppered the Ramallah show, not the Palestinian hosts as was originally reported in reputable sources such as the Guardian. "I am an American, I support free speech," Kory is quoted. "They are British academics and I don’t know, they’re ‘right’… I don’t want to name names but there are those in the academic community who suppress speech because they know what’s right."
Kory may be Leonard's financial saviour and we thank him for that but he sure has a tendency to fall back on generalisations about "free speech" when people disagree with him. The Leonard Cohen Boycott Israel Campaign was started by British, Irish and American fans of Cohen and if none of those nations supported free speech then we wouldn't even have been able to put up this blog.
Finally, one of the founders of the Leonard Cohen Boycott Israel Campaign blogged on the night of the show about why he opposed the concert. The post immediately drew comments from both sides of the argument.
Thursday, 24 September 2009
It is the fact we think that it is due to his integrity and the deep respect and affection in which Leonard is held, that makes it all the more disappointing that he has chosen to ignore the appeals to him on this issue. That however is his choice and it does seem that he sincerely believes it to be the right thing to do. Obviously we can now only accept that decision.
As you probably know Leonard was stricken with a bout of illness recently and had to come off stage at Valencia and discontinue the performance after collapsing. Happily he has recovered and is said to be fit and well. I'm sure, despite our differences with him and his management, we all wish him continuing good health and when this marathon tour finally comes to an end in the U.S. that he can retire and enjoy a long and full life.
The proceeds of tonight's concert will go to charity, in particular to a worthy organisation called The Parents Circle which is both a support group for parents who have lost children to the violence in both Israel and Palestine and a peace and reconciliation group which connects people on both sides of the divide. A very worthwhile cause, ultimately though no matter how good the intentions of the people involved, and they certainly are good, there can be no real and lasting peace for everyone and justice for the Palestinians until all the walls, real and metaphorical, are torn down and the Palestinians can be assured of their place alongside the Israelis with all their lands restored to them. Therefore a continuing international boycott of Israel is unfortunately necessary.
The New York Times has published an informative but bland article on the concert today at www.nytimes.com/2009/09/24/music/24cohenhtml?_r=1
Watch this space and presumably many other spaces for reports and reviews of the concert.
Please post up your own reviews and opinions on the concert too.
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Among NYCBI's claims is that "the only Palestinian organization falsely reported in the Jerusalem Post article as being a partner in this project, the Palestinian Happy Child Center [PHCC], has confirmed that it is not taking part." LCBI could not however find a website for PHCC or any news coverage supporting this claim.
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
What do you think? A good move, or will nothing short of a full boycott suffice? Use the blog comments facility, or discuss this on the Facebook group.
Monday, 20 July 2009
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Here at LCBI we do feel this is a missed opportunity on Ramallah's part and hope they reconsider.
Both shows meanwhile are still unlisted on Cohen's official tour schedule, and the Cohen forum thread which has promised a "big announcement" about this for the past three weeks has been updated only to say that the announcement has been delayed, and won't appear in the first half of July.
In other news, our petition asking Leonard not to perform in Israel now has 83 signatures, and the Leonard Cohen Boycott Israel Facebook group has risen to 61 members.