Jerusalem: Israel is falling victim to "cultural terrorism”, a top music promoter charged on Sunday, after US alternative rock group The Pixies cancelled their first-ever gig in the Jewish state.
The band was to have performed a single gig on Wednesday as part of a five-day music festival in Tel Aviv, but pulled out just days after a deadly Israeli naval raid on a foreign aid flotilla that left nine activists dead.
"It is with great regret that we announce today The Pixies` decision to cancel their appearance in Israel on June 09," promoter Shuki Weiss said in an initial statement, which also included an apology to fans from the band.
But Weiss himself later issued a second statement lambasting moves to boycott the Jewish state, which has seen a growing number of international acts pull out of planned appearances in Israel.
"I am full of both sorrow and pain in light of the fact that our repeated attempts to present quality acts and festivals in Israel have increasingly been falling victim to what I can only describe as a form of cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide," he wrote.
"Fans cannot be punished for the deeds of their governments."
The Pixies pulled out of this week`s gig in a decision which the band said "was not reached easily”.
"We`d like to extend our deepest apologies to the fans, but events beyond all our control have conspired against us," the group said.
The move came just days after two British bands pulled out of the same music festival, Pic.Nic 2010, which started on Saturday and runs until June 09.