Foreign protests, boycotts, embargoes and sanctions, along with internal resistance, helped bring about the isolation and eventually the end of apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s.
Now Israelis fear pro-Palestinian, or anti-Israeli, activists are using the same tactics against their country, with increasing effect.
Carlos Santana, Gil Scott Heron, Elvis Costello, Gorillaz Sound System, the Klaxons, the Pixies, Faithless, Leftfield, Tindersticks, Meg Ryan and film director Mike Leigh have all decided not to go to Israel in recent months.
Some older, established acts — Paul McCartney, Elton John and Rod Stewart among them — have ignored boycott pressure.
The activist website boycottisrael.info keeps count.
Israeli analysts say pressure is brought to bear on artists by a global “delegitimisation network.”
White South Africa was ostracized in a campaign lasting years. Today, Facebook and Twitter can flash protest messages globally in seconds, putting pressure on entertainers to stay away from Israel, and drawing the attention of millions of fans.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports:
The intent of the anonymous Internet video was unambiguous: “This person should be killed — and soon,” read a message underneath a photo of Israel’s deputy state prosecutor, Shai Nitzan.
His alleged offense? “Betraying” his Jewish roots by opening a criminal inquiry into racist threats and hate speech expressed on two Israel-based Facebook pages with statements in Hebrew such as “Death to Arabs.”
It was the latest, and most overtly violent, sign of what many here are calling a wave of intolerance toward people of different races, religions, orientations and viewpoints.
From rabbinical prohibitions against renting homes to “non-Jews” to government crackdowns on left-wing activists, Israelis are grappling with their nation’s identity and character.
Across the political spectrum, some see the struggle as a threat to Israel’s democratic ideals. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, of the centrist Kadima party, warned that “an evil spirit has been sweeping over the country.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said a “wave of racism is threatening to pull Israeli society into dark and dangerous places.”