The British electric pop duo The Pet Shop Boys are the latest celebrities to voice their support for Israel and reject the ongoing pressure from anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) groups to shun the Jewish state.
A group of BDS activists plan on protesting an event attended by the Pet Shop Boys this week to persuade the musicians to cancel their Tel Aviv concert.
“Open your eyes to the ugly reality of apartheid Israel,” reads a poster prepared for the protest, according to Ynet.
But Neil Tennant, the group’s main vocalist, struck back by attacking the comparison between Israel and apartheid-era South Africa, which is frequently used by anti-Israel advocates.
“I don’t agree with this comparison of Israel to apartheid-era South Africa,” Tennant wrote on the group’s official website, explaining that Israel has “universal suffrage and equality of rights for all its citizens, both Jewish and Arab.”
“In apartheid-era South Africa, artists could only play to segregated audiences; in Israel anyone who buys a ticket can attend a concert,” Tennant added.