Elton John showed his support for the people of Israel during a performance in Tel Aviv on Thursday, June 17 when he took aim at artists who had pulled shows in the country in protest of the government's alleged treatment of Palestinians. The "Rocket Man" star refused to bow to pressure and follow in the footsteps of musicians like Pixies and Elvis Costello and scrap his concert in response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine over the Gaza strip.
In May, rocker Costello canceled two planned gigs in Tel Aviv on June 30 and July 1, insisting it was "a matter of instinct and conscience" to axe the shows following an Israeli military raid on a flotilla of ships attempting to carry aid supplies to Palestine. But John pressed ahead with his concert at the Ramat Gan stadium on Thursday, defiantly telling the 50,000-strong crowd, "Shalom, we are so happy to be back here! Ain't nothing (sic) gonna stop us from coming, baby!"
And he briefly addressed the canceled concert controversy by calling on his fellow singers to put aside their political allegiances to unite fans of all cultures. He said, "Musicians spread love and peace, and bring people together. That's what we do. We don't cherry-pick our conscience."