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Alicia Keys defiant over Israel concert

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Jun 05, 2013 | 1:26pm EDT

R&B superstar Alicia Keys is refusing to bow to pressure to cancel an upcoming concert in Israel amid protests over the government's alleged mistreatment of Palestinians. The Girl On Fire hitmaker is due to perform for fans in Tel Aviv on 4 July (13), but she has been urged by activists including The Color Purple author Alice Walker and rocker Roger Waters to reconsider the gig in response to the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine over the Gaza strip. Waters recently penned an open letter to Keys, encouraging her to "stand united with all our brothers and sisters against racism, colonialism, segregation and apartheid", insisting, "Please, Alicia, do not lend your name to give legitimacy to the Israeli government policies of illegal, apartheid, occupation of the homelands of the indigenous people of Palestine." Waters successfully convinced Stevie Wonder to pull out of a fundraising show for the Israeli Defense Force last year (Dec12), while Elvis Costello, Santana and The Pixies have also scrapped shows in Israel in recent years as part of the boycott - but defiant Keys will not be one of them. A statement issued to the New York Times reads, "I look forward to my first visit to Israel. Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show."

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