RollingStone.com reports that Neil Young has cancelled his Tel Aviv concert, scheduled for July 17, due to the escalating conflict in Gaza and Israel. With rockets being intercepted daily above Tel Aviv, and 30,00 fans expected to show up to Hayarkon Park for the gig, the security risk was simply too great.
“It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we must cancel our one and only Israeli concert due to tensions which have rendered the event unsafe at this time,” said a representative for Young. “We’ll miss the opportunity to play for our fans and look forward to playing in Israel and Palestine in peace.”
But, happily, there’s a small silver lining to the disappointing news: Young has pledged to donate money to two organizations that foster musical collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian youth—the Louise & Tillie Alpert Youth Music Center of Israel (AKA Beit Alpert), and Heartbeat.
According to The Times of Israel, Beit Alpert “serves as the home to music ensembles of children from all over Jerusalem, including the Arab Youth Band and the Ensemble for Jewish & Arab Youth.” Hearbeat, which was founded in 2007 with funding from Fulbright and MTV, runs programs supporting about 100 youth musicians from across Israel and the West Bank. Their programs are scholarship-based, “ensuring equal access to all.”
Neil Young, you’ve got a Heart of Gold.