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Oh Elvis, is this “Peace, Love and Understanding?”

Israelis are none too pleased about rocker Elvis Costello’s decision to cancel his summer concert, which was meant to be held in the Cesaria amphitheater on June 30 — and was sold out so quickly a second show had been added July 1. On May 15, Costello posted a note on his Web site under the title "After considerable consideration…" he was deciding to cancel the concert as "a matter of instinct and conscience," due to the Palestinian situation. 

The Jerusalem Post’s music critic David Brinn, who was one of three Israeli journalists to interview the 56-year-old two weeks before, was surprised to catch Costello on the cell phone (at a doctor’s office with his twins). Brinn says Costello did not elaborate further on the original letter, and pointed out that Costello had already been troubled by the political message of performing in Israel in their original interview.

"What is the feeling over there? Are there differences of opinion and opposition to the government? How do people look at artists who come over there, as condoning the actions of the government?”

Brinn tried to convince Costello otherwise, to no avail, and calls the singer "bull-headed, opinionated and passionate about his songs," and said, quoting Costello’s famous song "Allison," that his "aim is true."

Yedioth Aharonot’s Assaf Wohl is much less understanding of the singer who he can’t even bear to address as "Elvis" in his open letter "for the obvious reason that you aren’t really Elvis." The snarky letter  is more of a defense of Israel’s policies as well as an insult to Costello’s daring and talents. Perhaps Wohl believes that by calling Costello a second-rate artist he will convince Costello to return?

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