The Israeli media is filled with reports about Macy Gray confirming her plans to perform in Tel Aviv in March. This should have been an occasion for Israelis to celebrate their continuing ability to behave as a normal society despite occupying millions of people, holding Gaza under siege, maintaining an apparatus of racism against its non-Jewish citizens. But in a poorly calculated stunt designed to wash her hands of human rights concerns, Gray had first asked her “fans” if she should perform despite what she called Israel’s “disgusting” treatment of the Palestinians. Within hours, thousands of people who had no prior interest in Gray or her music flocked to her Facebook page (they only had to “like” her page in order to post) to register their opinions. Gray, who appeared to have every intention of performing anyway, remarked after announcing her plan to go to Tel Aviv, that some of those urging her to boycott were “assholes.”
Under normal circumstances, Gray’s roundhouse attack on some supporters of BDS and her subsequent pledge to perform in Tel Aviv should have pleased nationalistic Israelis. However, her initial criticism of Israel’s occupation has invited a firestorm of racist, sexist and generally hateful diatribes from Israelis. Indeed, many Israelis are more furious with Gray for performing inside their country than for refusing to come. Several internet forums, including one called “Don’t Betray,” have sprouted up to incite public anger at artists such as Gray who have criticized Israel — even if they agree to perform in the country. Meanwhile, the talkback sections of articles in the Hebrew media about Gray’s Tel Aviv shows have provided a forum for the most extreme screeds about the singer.
I have collected and translated a sampling of talkbacks from an article in the Hebrew edition of Ynet, the online version of the Israeli paper Yedioth Aharonoth, which highlight the attitude of some Israelis towards Gray. The talkbacks are almost entirely negative towards Gray, with many urging her to cancel her show for daring to criticize Israel, while others call her a “nigger” and denigrate black music as “contaminated.” Gray might be vaguely aware of Israel’s systematic abuse of Palestinians, but is she aware of the racism towards black Africans inside Israel, including Ethiopian Jews? Has she considered how she might be treated if she were living in Israel? And who are the “assholes” anyway?
Some of 500+ comments from the talkback section to the Hebrew Ynet article provocatively entitled “Gray is against Israel but not canceling:”
THe ugly niggers are joining the Darfurians entering here. All of you go away. wedontwantyou
Go find whoever is going to shag you you fucking whore. Every piece of garbage opens their cunt on us. muslimit
David from Safed: She should take all her brothers the Sudanese and Eritreans and fuck off here.
Another “afro american.” Nice name that the niggers made for themselves. Max
Black music is inferior music that fits you. No name [Another commenter calls him a racist.] “No name” replies: What is racist about that? To say “black” is racist?
Who wants you? You look like a monkey. Mikhal
It’s really disgusting that Israel is going to see black!!! music. Disgusting. Contaminates your soul. Ayela
Don’t come we don’t need your ugly fat ass here. Dude
Blacks and Muslims always go together. Brainless fraternity of people. Shai
[Responding to other commenters denying that any occupation exists]: Right, what chutzpah of us to survive in the jungle around us, as if she can’t understand the jungle. M
They [Americans] killed thousands of innocent people in Iraq but they come to complain here. moshe
What Israeli fans does she have here? Leftist garbage maniacs [bastards] need to be killed whoever comes to her show. victor
What Palestinian people? What peaceful people? Maybe terrorism? Maybe right of return on your expense? Bruriera Hess
Don’t give us favors. IF she’s contemplating coming Israel should cancel the show. Dontgiveusfavors
I returned the ticket. And you? Anee
Maybe they will let her perform in Gaza. Raymond
Go to Gaza, perform and fuck for the Hamas. May your name be cursed. pessey
When you’re being spit at at least you have to get a kleenex to clean it up. hamitnaseh
Fuck you who wants you here anyway? Sharon
[Quote by David Ben Gurion]: “It doesn’t matter what the goyim will say it matters what the Jews will do.” LT
Sweetheart, don’t come here. We don’t want you. Who do you think you are talking about us? IsraeliJewishFighter
Those who are “disgusting” towards the Balestinians [mocking the Arabic pronounciation of Palestinian] are the Balestinians themselves. Hineh
Please don’t cancel. What are we going to do without your show? My Asshole