Despite facing weeks of intense pressure from supporters of the boycott Israel movement, Grammy Award-winning Colombian musician Carlos Vives (perhaps best-known in the USA for his collaboration with fellow Colombian superstar Shakira on their 2016 single “Bicicleta“) went ahead with his July 31 show in Tel Aviv, tweeting soon after that it was a very special night.
Over the past month, Carlos has been on a world tour, traveling across the globe to share his music with his fans. He performed in Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, and the United Kingdom without a hitch. When it came to his July 31 concert in Tel Aviv, however, he was attacked by activists attempting to make Israel — and only Israel — off limits to international artists.
BDS Colombia, the main anti-Israel group in Carlos’s home country, launched a petition calling on him not to perform in Tel Aviv. It attracted thousands of signatures and was circulated by boycott groups around the world. In the days and weeks leading up to his Tel Aviv show, boycott activists bombarded his social media accounts with misleading information about Israel, portraying it as an “apartheid state” and trying to force him to cancel his concert.
As an organization comprised of prominent members of the entertainment industry who are dedicated to promoting the arts as a means to peace and to countering the cultural boycott of Israel, CCFP jumped into action behind the scenes, offering our support to Carlos and his representatives. In the end, Carlos decided to rebuff the boycott pressure and join the many Latin American artists who have performed in Israel in recent years. These artists include Maluma, Wisin, Daddy Yankee, Bomba Estereo, Ricky Martin, Nicky Jam, and Carlos Santana, among others.
“We’ve traveled to many countries, looked for accordion music in other cultures different to ours,” Carlos said in a video posted to his Instagram account. “Languages and history, politics and culture separate us. But what unites is all is music.”
Gracias Tel Aviv🇮🇱! Ha sido una noche muy especial! Que concierto tan increíble, nos vamos muy contentos de haber estado acá con ustedes de compartir y de aprender de acá un poco más! Gracias @idanraichel tu piano en este concierto fue espectacular #VivesEnTelAviv #VivesTour pic.twitter.com/t65oiFDcrJ
— Carlos Vives (@carlosvives) August 1, 2018
Gracias por estos días de gira, por las alegrías y momentos, a mi familia por acompañarme y a #LaProvincia y al maravilloso #teamvives . Terminó en #Israel la etapa del #VivesTour. Sigue más de #CarlosVives y #LaProvincia y rematamos el 2018 en #Colombia #campasñalibertadora pic.twitter.com/S7VQQ5Y3dq
— Carlos Vives (@carlosvives) August 2, 2018
— Carlos Vives (@carlosvives) July 30, 2018