Accessibility links

Elton John Plays for Israelis Amid Boycotts

British musician Elton John delighted Israelis by giving a concert in Tel Aviv after a string of cancelations by other world-famous artists.

The singer resisted a growing wave of calls from pro-Palestintian activists to boycott the concert and played to nearly 50,000 screaming fans.

Elton John told the crowd that nothing could have stopped him from coming. He said musicians spread love and bring people together and do not, in his words, "cherry-pick" their conscience - an apparent swipe at the artists who have canceled concerts in Israel.

Among those who canceled events in recent weeks were Elvis Costello, The Pixies, and Santana.

Israel is facing growing international pressure and isolation after its navy forces raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last month and killed nine pro-Palestinian activists on one of the vessels. The activists were trying to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Israel said Thursday it is easing its blockade of Gaza to allow more humanitarian aid into the Hamas-ruled territory.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.