Supporting The “Neighborhood Bully”

Bound for Israel


In an article on folk music icon Pete Seeger’s anti-Israel stance, Ron Radosh mentions musicians who follow and those who refuse to follow the leftist line:

…Seeger joins the likes of Elvis Costello, Tom Morello, The Pixies, Gil Scott-Heron, Carlos Santana, and most recently, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. All these singers have made clear their hatred of Israel, and have not said one word about the murder of Israelis in recent days.

Fortunately, Bob Geldof so far is standing firm in his decision to go to Israel to accept an honorary award from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Elton John has performed in Israel, as have Leonard Cohen and others. Just a day ago, Gene Simmons of Kiss did not mince words when he called artists who boycott Israel “idiots.” Born Chaim Witz in Israel, Simmons told the Israeli press that “The countries they should be boycotting are the same countries that the populations are rebelling…People long to be free … And they sure as hell don’t want somebody who’s a ruler who hasn’t been elected by them.”

If Seeger thinks Geldof and Simmons are artists he knows little about and is not familiar with their music, he might take the measure of one singer he knows very well and who has not made any political statement, but who has spoken through his action. In a busy non-stop European tour in June, Bob Dylan has added one stop to sing in Tel Aviv on June 20th, squeezing it in between London and Milan. Some years ago Dylan wrote a song that could have been written today, “Neighborhood Bully.” Please, go to the link and read the powerful lyrics. And mail them to Pete Seeger, who regularly says how much he loves Dylan. Maybe at 91, he’ll learn something.

Pete Seeger took fifty years to openly condemn Stalin — he was fifty years too late. He may not be a fan of Stalin any more, but he still supports the enemies of the West and the United States, those who are this new century’s totalitarians and monsters. Pete won’t be around in fifty years, so we cannot wait for him to learn. He should rethink the forces of hatred that he has opted to join and endorse. At least, now that he has shown where he stands, one must hope our country see no more honors bestowed upon a man who sadly remains a useful idiot.

I wonder how much Dylan “loves” Pete Seeger. It was Seeger, after all, who led those who wanted Dylan to remain a Woody Guthrie imitator (like Seeger) rather than deepen and expand his musical interests. It was Seeger who, at the ’65 Newport Folk Festival, tried to cut the power to Dylan’s amplifiers. Seeger is just one in a long line of Communist apparatchiks who did everything they could to get artists to slavishly follow the Party line.

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