The role of entertainers in BDS: engine or caboose?

What role do entertainers play in the cultural boycott campaign against Israel? Is this an artist movement or a grassroots political campaign? What part does the nationality of the artist play? Are artists the engine of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign or the caboose?

I have dedicated the last 7 years to both countering the cultural boycott campaign against Israel and analyzing it. I have worked closely with entertainment community leaders to stymy its efforts. I contacted close to 1000 representatives of artists scheduled to perform in Israel.

I gave those representatives a heads up on what to expect from the boycott campaign, listened to their concerns, answered their questions and bolstered their resolve to perform for their Israeli fans.

I have corresponded with the heads of such companies as Billboard, CBS and BET when their upcoming events or news coverage appeared to give unbalanced coverage to BDS propaganda.

I have witnessed ugly social media wars, followed news stories, written for international publications and created unique platforms for artists to express their support for Israel.

As a result, I am often asked to be a guest on TV and talk radio shows to lend my expertise on the topic.

This is how I have discovered that even among the most well-informed hosts, there are misconceptions on the subject. One of the most common misconceptions surrounds the role that artists play in the cultural boycott campaign against Israel.

During an interview on The Mike Siegel show, we delved into this very question.

Here is a video clip of the applicable segment. Play time 3:20 minutes.

About the Author
Lana Melman, the CEO of Liberate Art Inc., is a leader in combating cultural boycotts (BDS) against Israel and a Hollywood liaison connecting Israel to the international creative community. Through her speaking engagements and radio and TV interviews, Lana reaches diverse audiences and engages in open discussion about what is taking place, what is at stake, and what we can all do in today’s high-conflict world to fight the cultural boycott campaign against Israel. As an attorney and 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry, Lana served in both business and creative capacities at CBS, Warner Bros., and Paramount, and wrote and produced both television and feature films. In addition, Lana was the premier director of Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), an entertainment-based nonprofit organization. Most recently, Lana produced the first celebrity anti-BDS panel with artists from film, television and music and served as the Hollywood liaison behind Variety’s “Spotlight on Israel TV” bringing due recognition to Israel’s unique television industry. Lana has two sons and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Jeff Melman, a Directors Guild of America and Emmy Award-nominated director and producer.
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