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Middle East

Animals frontman Eric Burdon withdraws from Israel concert after email threats

He's famous for singing ‘You Gotta Get Outta This Place’ - now he's not turning up at all

He once sang, ‘You Gotta Get Outta This Place,’ but now Eric Burdon is not even turning up at all having deciding to withdraw from a planned concert in Israel, following what his management said were threatening emails.

The Animals frontman, whose hits include ‘House of the Rising Sun’, and ‘San Franciscan Nights,’ had been due to perform alongside local Israeli bands in Binyamina, in the north of the country.

However, in a statement, Mr Burdon’s management, said: “We’ve been receiving mounting pressure, including numerous threatening emails, daily. The last thing I intend do is put Eric in jeopardy.” The nature of the threats is unclear, but according to Israel Radio this morning, Mr Burdon was not willing to risk his life to come to Israel.

The issue of artists giving performances in Israel is controversial. In recent years, Jon Bon Jovi and the South African band Ladysmith Black Mambazo have reportedly cancelled concerts in support of the BDS – or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – movement. Writers such as Iain Banks, Henning Mankell and Alice Walker, have also issued statements condemning Israeli policy.

However, in Mr Burdon’s case, it appears, at least on the face of it, that the decision to cancel his performance is on a perceived risk to his safety, rather than the 71 year-old’s political views.

Global performers to give concerts in Israel: Last month Barbra Streisand performed at President Shimon Peres’s 90th birthday celebrations and PSY, the YouTube phenomenon who gave the world ‘Gangnam Style,’ is rumoured to be preparing for two performances in the Jewish state.

Jon Bon Jovi has not confirmed explicitly that he cancelled his planned concert in support of the BDS movement.