Backstreet Boys confuse Israel-Gaza with MH17

AJ McLean was discussing the string of cancelled dates in Israel following the breaking of the ceasefire when he made the blunder

To be fair to them, the Backstreet Boys aren’t known for their astute awareness of foreign politics and current affairs.

More for churning out pop hits like “I Want It That Way” and dating Paris Hilton.

But on discussing the recent violence in Israel and Gaza, which saw them cancel a string of live dates in the Middle East, there appeared to be some confusion.

Accosted by one TMZ journalist in Malibu yesterday (29 July), on the day the band would have been taking to the Raanana Amphitheater in Tel Aviv, member AJ McLean started his impromptu interview on the crisis with a fairly diplomatic, balanced set of answers.

"We’ve got the most loyal fans down there, who have been waiting for years for us to come," he said, when asked if he was disappointed that the dates had been rescheduled. "It’s a horrible thing going on down there and we’re praying for both sides. You can’t pick a side."

 

Asked whether their decision was a political one or a matter of caution, he said:

"Safety, and all of us have families. Now, you can’t even fly there. If they had kept the ceasefire, we may have still gone, but you just don’t know and it’s not really worth running that risk. But it sucks for all of our fans down there, but we will definitely be coming back next year."

Failing his attempt to escape further questioning, he was then asked how he would solve the conflict.

"It’s so hard to rethink. It’s a really unfortunate circumstance," he said.

Then came the blunder. AJ appeared to suggest that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which had been shot down over the Ukraine-Russia border killing 298, had something to do with the Israeli government’s aggression in Gaza.

AJ McLean performing with his fellow Backstreet band members recently AJ McLean performing with his fellow Backstreet band members recently "Women and children are dying and planes are being shot out of the sky," he said. "Violence doesn’t help anything. But hopefully they can come to an agreement and see eye-to-eye.

"I’m just hoping that it ends sooner than later, before anyone else has to die," he concluded.

The boyband were just nine days away from taking to the stage in Israel when they made the decision to cancel their first ever set of dates in the country.

"We are very sorry to inform you that the BSB concerts planned for July 29-30-31 at the Raanana Amphitheater have been postponed," a statement published on the band’s official site read.

"This is a major disappointment for the band and fans as this was to be our first visit to Israel and we looked forward to meeting our fans.

"We're already working with the producers on new dates during Spring 2015 and will notify everyone about this as soon as possible."

Read More: John Legend On Israel-Gaza
ZAYN MALIK BOMBARDED WITH DEATH THREATS OVER ISRAEL-GAZA
PIERS MORGAN BRANDED 'ZIONIST SCUM' ON TWITTER
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat