Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised Israel will evacuate its military and civilians from the West Bank and end its blockade on the Gaza Strip Tuesday, a day after hip hop star Lauryn Hill announced the cancellation of a scheduled concert in protest of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.
“As I’ve said repeatedly, withdrawing from the West Bank puts our citizens at risk and breaks our promise to God to rule over all of biblical Israel,” Netanyahu said at an impromptu press conference announcing the policy change. “However, weighed against the prospect of missing out on the chance to see That Thing performed live in concert, those are concessions we must be willing to make.”
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Netanyahu acknowledged that removing all soldiers, military equipment and settlers from the West Bank in time for Hill’s scheduled May 7 appearance would be a challenge. However, there seemed little resistance from West Bank settlers, who agreed to vacate their homes immediately in exchange for tickets to Hill’s upcoming show. As of press time, the streets of Hebron were littered with settlers, suitcases in tow, donning kippot and vintage Fugees t-shirts.
Following the announcement, British composer Brian Eno said he has told his agent to schedule an appearance in Tel Aviv. Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters, however, said he would not return to the country until the Jews went a step further and relinquished their control over Hollywood as well as global politics, media and finance.