Lana Melman

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 is an attorney, a 20-year entertainment industry veteran, and the CEO of Liberate Art Inc. She has been a leading expert fighting the cultural boycott campaign against Israel since 2011. Her new book, ARTISTS UNDER FIRE: The BDS War Against Celebrities, Jews, and Israel puts BDS on trial and tells the stories of artists and entertainers caught in its crossfire. Melman is a columnist and a Nellie Bly Prize Blue Ribbon Winner for Nonfiction Journalism. She served as the premier director of Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), an entertainment based non-profit. She has worked with the representatives of almost 1000 artists targeted by BDS. Lana Melman’s previous career included serving in both business and creative capacities at CBS, Columbia Pictures TV, Warner Bros., and Paramount. Contact and learn more at
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