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Appearing in Jerusalem, Black Eyed Peas frontman rejects calls to boycott Israel

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AP — The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am said Monday that politics do not dictate his actions, and that pressure from pro-Palestinian activists did not deter him from performing in Israel and maintaining ties to the country’s high-tech scene.

The Grammy-winning group performed a concert in Jerusalem on Monday evening. Speaking to The Associated Press ahead of the show, will.i.am said that personal and business ties keep him performing and investing in the country.

“I’m a musician and a tech enthusiast and people like our music,” he said, flanked by two of the group’s other members, Taboo and Apl.de.ap. “Do I turn my back on people that live here because of politics? No, that’s not the way we were built. So, you know, there’s beautiful people here as well as beautiful people in Palestine. And one day we want to go there too.”

A statement on the BDS France website said the concert was “even more scandalous” because it was taking place on the UN-organized international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people. It urged supporters to use the hashtag #WhereIsTheLoveforPalestinians — a nod to the group’s hit “Where is The Love” — to call for the group to cancel its performance.

will.i.am pointed to his many personal connections to Israelis as a reason why he could not boycott the country. He said his first girlfriend was Israeli and that when the band was first getting started in Los Angeles, the group met to make music in an Israeli friend’s bedroom and would enjoy Shabbat dinners at his home.

One of the group’s major hits,........

© The Times of Israel

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