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#CancelTelAviv - Jennifer Lopez Ignites Fierce Debate about Israel and Gaza

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The conflict between Gaza and Israel is, to say the absolute least, complex. The only certainties are that it is a far cry from any concrete resolution, and that it has claimed far too many lives. Groups campaign on behalf of the Palestinians and the citizens of Israel almost in equal measure, and it doesn't take much to put them at loggerheads, but I don't think anyone would ever expect Jennifer Lopez to be involved.



The pop star recently announced that she would be playing in Tel Aviv this summer, the first time she has ever performed in Israel. Soon after the news broke, Lopez's Twitter page was being bombarded with posts from pro-Palestinian groups, many of them affixed with #CancelTelAviv and some even went so far as to include graphic images of the conflict victims.



Before long, supporters from the other side of the debate waded in, admonishing the use of such disturbing imagery and claiming that some of the images weren't even taken in Gaza. Lopez isn't the only artist due to perform in Israel this year, Elton John, Megadeth and Deep Purple are among others, and while Lopez seems to be under far greater pressure to cancel her show than anyone else, it's not the first time this has happened. The Pixies, Carlos Santana and Elvis Costello have all faced similar backlashes, and Roger Waters outright refuses to ever make any kind of appearance in Israel, with or without Pink Floyd.



The fundamental issue with this debate is that keeping J-Lo out of Israel isn't going to do the Palestinians any favours, it seems like another example of attention being drawn away from the real issue. Many world leaders have stepped forward to express their disagreement with the Gaza conflict, but it's far from universal in stance. Canada spoke out in support of Israel in 2014, whilst many other countries urged further restraint from both the Israeli forces and Hamas, but there has been no attempt to sanction Israel or directly interfere with their actions in any way.

If Lopez wants to perform there, that's on her, and although it would certainly lend some amount of weight to their campaign if she did decide not to as a direct result of the tweets and images being sent to her by Palestinian supporters, it wouldn't be much. No single celebrity speaking out against Israel's actions is going to generate the momentum necessary for them to come to terms with Gaza, it's a far wider issue than that, and the influence commanded by Twitter campaigning like this would be far better served elsewhere.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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#CancelTelAviv - Jennifer Lopez Ignites Fierce Debate about Israel and Gaza Reviewed by Callum Davies on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 Rating: 5

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