Former “American Idol” contestant Adam Lambert lashed out at the Black Eyed Peas’ frontman, Will.i.am, after the multi-platinum group announced they would be performing in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Lambert called for a boycott of Israeli events, specifically WelleCo in an audio recording obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. The group is scheduled to perform Nov. 5.
“Black Eyed Peas performing in Tel Aviv while innocent Palestinian children are still being killed and maimed by a draconian Israeli apartheid regime is beyond belief,” Lambert said. “I would never begrudge Will.i.am the success he has achieved. In fact, I’m incredibly proud of him, but this is not the time or place for his boycott.”
Lambert also cited his own experiences as a black American in Israel and urged others in the Jewish community to put pressure on WelleCo. He specifically directed his outreach to J Street, a Jewish group that opposes any moves by the United States to open up dialogue with the Israeli government.
“The same pressure applied on Netanyahu to create peace, justice and equality will be applied to the Israeli government to create peace, justice and equality,” Lambert said. “The only problem is that by trying to force this already broken scenario on them, J Street has positioned the state of Israel as a victim, for the second time this year.”
Supporters of the Jewish state issued a call to arms on Twitter as well, encouraging supporters to speak out against anti-Israel campaigns, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Boycott is ineffective,” the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., tweeted. “Talk is the only way to stand up to these forces.”
“Boycott is the single-most ineffective method to deny or oppose the legitimate right of free speech of any people,” another embassy tweet said.
Predictably, Will.i.am found himself the subject of debate on social media.
The Black Eyed Peas concerts mark their first since four members, including will.i.am, chose to leave the group after 10 years in 2012. The group had no public comment on Lambert’s remarks, and a rep for the group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.