British band Tindersticks cancels Israel shows
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British band Tindersticks cancels Israel shows

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The British alternative rock band Tindersticks has canceled two concerts in Tel Aviv, citing political pressure.

Tindersticks announced Nov. 23 that it would cancel its Dec. 1 and 2 shows in Israel. The band had added the second concert date less than a month ago.

"When agreeing to play our music in Israel we, perhaps naively, believed that the music we make is beyond political considerations," the band wrote in a message on its website.

"Over the past weeks, the pressure exerted on us by people and organizations, some close to us, has shown us that this is not the case. It is difficult to defy a rapidly growing movement with whose aims we agree, even if we are not wholly convinced by their methods."

The band said the songs it planned for the concerts "have already been tainted and their enjoyment stifled, if not completely drowned out by the political furor."

"We sincerely look forward to a time when we, and others, can make our music for the people in the Middle East for the pure joy of the music itself," the message concluded.

The cancellation is the first by an artist in several months. Earlier in the year, indie band the Pixies, singer Devendra Banhart, alternative rockers Gorillaz, the British band the Klaxons and American soul singer Gil Scott-Heron canceled performances.

In February, rock icon Carlos Santana withdrew from a sold-out performance reportedly due to pressure from pro-Palestinian groups.