Alright, who’s boycotting the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert on September 6?

Over the weekend local heroes “Mashrou’ Leila” received an onslaught of messages on the band’s Facebook page urging the group not to open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Beirut on September 6.

The problem: RHCP is also scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv, Israel on September 10, which in turn breaks the international call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on the Jewish state.

Mashrou’ Leila is positioned as a socially-aware group, (lead vocalist Hamed Sinno reportedly yelled “Free Palestine” during a performance on-stage at a 2011 Amman show), and activists are hoping the group will back out and join the boycott.

But where does Beirut stand on this? The responses vary...

There is no question that Mashrou’ Leila is in a tough spot. They are pitted between the choice of taking a huge step forward in representing the Lebanese artistic community and setting an international standard for local groups and artists, or joining the call for BDS and refusing to take part in Thursday’s performance.

Leila has shown sympathy and support for regional crises, but the band never officially joined the BDS, and that in itself is why the members should not be blamed for moving forward with the concert. At the end of the day, Leila should be praised regardless of what decision they make: whether for serving and helping the Lebanese music community grow or adhering to the call for BDS and playing a crucial role in getting the RHCP to cancel their Tel Aviv concert.

Activists want Mashrou' Leila to back out of RHCP Concert

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