After the bomb goes off

Posted on May 23, 2017 in Artists on Boycotts, Melman in the Media, Podcasts |

“Comedy for Koby” heals lives

I remember how I felt when I first saw Paradise Now the 2006 Academy Award nominated film about two Palestinian men solicited for a terrorist attack on Tel Aviv.

At the end of the movie, one of the two men enters a bus teeming with Israeli life — soldiers, the elderly, children on their way to school — and takes a seat. The camera holds on the man’s face as his unseen fingers reach for a cord that takes the lives of the innocent.

But there is no explosion. No cries from the victims. No desperate shouts from the rescuers. The camera simply cuts to a white screen and silence. For the filmmaker and the audience, the story is over.

It’s not over, I thought. The story doesn’t end when the cord is pulled. It doesn’t end with the mangled bodies, the search for the missing, the identification of the victims, the burying of the dead.

It’s not a bus that gets blown apart, but lives. The attack deprives children of their parents and robs parents of a piece of their future. It lingers in the fear and loss that ripples through families and neighbors and a country.

Since September 13, 2015, 49 people have been killed and 731 people (including 4 Palestinians) injured in terrorist attacks in Israel, a country with a population smaller than the surrounding suburbs of Paris.

How do the survivors cope? How do they pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward?

What about terror’s other victims – the people left behind?

Watch comic, Avi Liberman talk about “Comedy for Koby” healing hearts of the survivors in Liberate Art’s exclusive video interview.

After terrorists brutally murdered their 13-year-old son, Koby Mandell and his friend, Yosef Ishran, while they were hiking in the hills by their home in 2001, the Mandell family knew immediately that the tragedy of Koby’s loss could easily destroy them.

To go on, Koby’s father, Seth, a rabbi, and his mother, Sherri, an author and journalist, needed to transform the cruelty of Koby’s death into acts of kindness and hope. For that reason, they created the Koby Mandell Foundation which provides healing programs for families struck by terrorism and tragedy.

It’s big task to lift a spirit, and the Mandells don’t do it alone. They have the support of Los Angeles-based comic and writer, Avi Liberman, who helps them raise funds for their life-affirming work.

Liberman was first inspired to lift hearts with comedy during a visit to the Jewish homeland in the midst of the Second Intifada in 2002. Born in Israel and raised in Texas, Liberman is now firmly anchored in Tinseltown. So, he did what many of us do, he reached out to his friends and asked them to help.

Today, Liberman, together with Nancy Spielberg and DJW productions, brings top name comics to Israel twice a year in his “Comedy for Koby” tours with all profits going to the Mandell Foundation.

Once there, the comics see more than the inside of a comedy club, they see the country and meet its people. When they return home, they are emissaries for the Jewish state, sharing their experiences with the world.

The Comedy for Koby tour returns to Israel May 25 – 29 with comic superstars, Brian Regan and Joe Bolster.

Buy a ticket, tell your friends.

Help Hollywood help Israel. Help heal the hearts of the people terror left behind.

Watch video: Liberman opines on BDS in Liberate Art’s Artist corner. Calls it outright Antisemitism.


What’s it like for artists, like Alicia Keys, who are targeted by boycott pressure?

Posted on May 16, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Podcasts |

Lana Melman talks at the Tamar Yonah Radio Show about BDS and the cultural boycott against Israel.

The cultural boycott is a freedom of artistic issue not a political Israel issue

Posted on May 12, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Podcasts |

Lana Melman talks at the Tamar Yonah Radio Show about BDS and the cultural boycott against Israel.

New Artists Join BDS / Roger Waters concedes defeat w Radiohead

Posted on May 8, 2017 in Newsletter |

Last week close to 50 artists, including Roger Waters, Julie Christie, Mike Leigh,and Tunde Adebimpe, the lead singer of TV on the Radio, signed an open letter to English rock band, Radiohead, urging them to cancel their upcoming concert in Israel in support of the cultural boycott.

In addition to the anti-Israel “regulars,” some new artists joined the signatories including the hip-hop group, Young Fathers.

The open letter was widely reported on in both music and mainstream publications including Pitchfork, The Washington Times, Vulture and Yahoo News.

These reports, with rare exception, quoted heavily from the letter’s false accusations of Israeli apartheid and human rights violations without any semblance of a counter argument to its charges.   

Several members of the entertainment community wrote letters to the editors, including Liberate Art and music lawyer, Ari Ingel [Read], of  De Novo Music Group. 



Lana Melman on Roger Waters and his BDS support

Posted on May 8, 2017 in Melman Reflections |

Lana Melman, CEO of LiberateArt Inc. talks on the Barry Farber Radio Show about Roger Waters and his dangerous BDS support.

Letter to the Editors of Pitchfork Music Magazine

Posted on May 2, 2017 in Other Commentary and Analysis |

Letter to the Editors of Pitchfork Music Magazine
Mark Richardson, Executive Editor
Ryan Dombal, Senior Editor

Dear Ryan and Mark, 

I have worked in the music industry as an attorney and manager for the past 15 years, and as a fan and regular reader of Pitchfork, I was very disappointed to see your coverage of the Roger Waters and BDS movement led boycott of Israel being faced by Radiohead in your April 24th article written by Matthew Strauss. 

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a complex issue with a long, complicated, history that has gone through many ups and downs, with wrongs committed by both sides. It is a far too complex an issue to cover in a mere 296 word article on your site or in this email to you. By publishing your article with a byline that read  “Please do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over,” you in essence supported the boycott of Israel, and gave credence to the BDS movement, by providing your readership with a drastically one-sided view of events. A splash headline that undoubtedly left a negative impression of Israel on your readers. 

As someone who was born in Apartheid South Africa and later fled the country in the early 1980’s due to the government’s atrocious policies, I understand what it means to live under Apartheid.  What is happening in the Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza is not Apartheid, far from it. Groups such as the BDS movement use the “Apartheid” label since it immediately conjures images of a racist regime that the world condemned and can quickly rationalize in their mind.  These groups use the term because they know it plays into the hands of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda. It’s a calculated marketing ploy, not a factual reality. 

In South Africa, a black woman would be arrested for merely having a man in her bedroom in a white neighborhood after dark. In South Africa, blacks were not allowed to be taught in English.  In South Africa, blacks held no power in parliament and could not sit on the highest courts as judges. In Israel, it is the exact opposite. Arabs living in Israel can move freely around the country, sleeping wherever and with whomever they like, even after dark.  Arabs in Israel and the territories are allowed to be taught in any language they choose and both have access to well regard intuitions of higher learning.  In Israel, Arabs are not only members of Parliament, but also sit on the nations Supreme Court. The list goes on and on. 

I urge you to also recall that Hamas, a designated terrorist and Islamic Fundamentalist group by America, controls the Gaza Strip after staging a bloody coup against the Palestinian Authority in 2007. This is after Israel pulled out all its settlements and the settlers from Gaza and handed the territory over to the Palestinians with plans of an airport and giant new seaport. Instead of creating a bastion of peace and prosperity for the Palestinian people in this “occupied” territory, Hamas waged war against its own people, took over and began launching rockets into Israel. This in turn caused Israel and Egypt, an Islamic and Arab country itself, to both carefully control the border crossing to the territory. Egypt does not need Israel’s permission to allow goods, services and people to freely cross back and forth at its border crossing with Gaza, but it limits access precisely because Gaza is controlled by a terrorist group that uses the territory to destabilize the region. 

I am not sending you this to argue that Israel has committed no crimes against the Palestinians, but the Palestinians have committed the same against the Jews and Israelis. Such is the nature of a complicated conflict, particularly one that has been raging for more than 100 years. The Palestinians have been offered a full-fledged state on at least three separate occasions (in 1947 by the United Nations, in 2000 by PM Barak and President Bill Clinton and then in 2008 by PM Olmert) and the Palestinians turned it down every time.  As Bill Clinton stated in his biography:  “Arafat’s rejection of my proposal after Barak accepted it was an error of historic proportions.” You can read all about those 2000 peace talks in Bill Clinton’s own words at the link below, and I urge you and your readers to do so:

Bill Clinton Administration: Reflections on the 2000 Camp David Summit

Once again, as it pertains to your article, you have presented your readers with a biased and one-sided view of a complex issue that will cause further hatred of Israel instead of better understanding of the situation. For instance, just last week the new leader of Hamas in Gaza lashed out at the Palestinian Authority for cutting salaries to workers and cutting energy supply to the Gaza Strip to exert pressure on Hamas, while at the same time stating that they are not seeking a war with Israel.  As I said, complicated. 

Pitchfork knows as well as anyone, music has the power to heal and to bring people to together. Everyone should champion a group such as Radiohead visiting Israel to help heal through music, playing for Arabs and Jews alike.  Because despite what the BDS movement wants you to believe, there will be people of all faiths and nationalities at the show.  In fact, on their current US tour, Radiohead has one Jewish and one Arab group opening for them. Instead of condemning a live show by a band like Radiohead and trying to silence music, you should be promoting the exact opposite. 

Best Regards, 

Ari Ingel 
De Novo Music Group

Help me count Roger Waters’ lies!

Posted on May 1, 2017 in Melman Reflections |

Contrary to Roger Waters‘ claim at the NYT TimesTalk, the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign did not originate as a Palestinian civil movement; the campaign and its rhetoric are tailored to resonate with the West.

Ilan Pappe makes it clear that a critical component of the BDS movement is to keep this myth/lie alive. And for anyone not aware, Ilan Pappe is a rabid anti-Israel propagandist. The fact that this came out of his mouth is extremely telling. 

ROGER WATERS featured on TimesTalks, NYC, 2017

Posted on April 28, 2017 in Artists on Boycotts |

Open Letter To Pitchfork Music Magazine Regarding Radiohead

Posted on April 25, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Melman Reflections |

Originally published on Israellycool 25/04/2017

Dear Pitchfork Music Magazine Editor,

Your report on an open letter from artists Roger Waters, Thurston Moore and others urging Radiohead to cancel their July performance in Tel Aviv is not so much sharing a news story as it is helping to spread misinformation and propaganda.

The article repeats slanderous accusations against Israel and creates the false illusion of a wave of support for a cultural boycott by artists. Subtitled, “Please do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over,” the article quotes extensively from the open letter but fails to provide balance or any semblance of a counter argument to its charges.

In fact, Israel is an open, liberal democracy that guarantees equal rights to all its citizens.  Hundreds of artists who visit or perform there every year speak glowingly about the Jewish state, despite the harassment they receive by the likes of Roger Waters and, mostly ill-intended, grassroots groups.

Pitchfork conveniently neglects to mention even a handful of the high-profile artists who have rejected the call to boycott including Madonna, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Bon Jovi, Claire Danes, Helen Mirren, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Pitbull, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Neil Young,  Ricky Martin, Joss Stone, Carlos Santana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Quentin Tarantino, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Seal, Kevin Costner, Cyndi Lauper, Yanni, DJ Tiesto, Moby, Elton John and Bob Dylan to name a few.

It also fails to balance the negative comments by musician Thurston Moore with even a smattering of positive descriptions such as one by Madonna who calls Israel “the spiritual center of the world” and Jay Leno who describes Israel as “this one little paradise in the Middle East where freedom reigns.” Not to mention Paul McCartney who kept his concert date in Israel despite threats.

Pitchfork, which bills itself “as the most trusted name in music” would do well to look before it leaps into bed with those who seek to silence artists in order to impose their political will on millions.



Bringing together the entertainment industry & Israel

Posted on April 24, 2017 in Melman Reflections, Newsletter |

We will never forget the past; we will fight to protect the future. 

During the Holocaust, man’s darkest hour, art reflected both grim reality and hope for tomorrow.              


Liberate Art would like to thank everyone who attended our exclusive NYC event for caring and working to make a difference. 

This meeting brought together key members of the entertainment industry and leaders of the pro-Israel community who were eager to learn new strategies to combat the cultural boycott campaign against Israel.

Here are some comments from attendees after the event.

“Great presentation! Informative, inspiring and thought-provoking. Your hands-on experience countering the cultural boycott offers a unique perspective and important new tools to win this battle. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.” – Andrew Genger, Red Light Management

“Liberate Art is an important movement fighting the cultural boycott against Israel and positively impacting artists and celebrities. And Lana Melman is the inspiring advocate championing the movement.” Alicia Post, American Zionist Movement


Some Snapshots from AIPAC 2017

Posted on April 21, 2017 in Melman Reflections |

I love AIPAC because I get to meet Israel supporters from both sides of the aisle.


Liberate Art tour in New York City

Posted on April 19, 2017 in Melman Reflections |

In today’s world, Israel is under fire from all directions. Liberate Art Inc. is raising awareness and providing tools to help people combat the newest and potentially most dangerous weapon against the Jewish state – the cultural boycott of Israel.

Here is a snapshot of my last event in NYC: COUNTERING THE CULTURAL BOYCOTT AGAINST ISRAEL by Lana Melman, CEO of Liberate Art Inc

Lana Melman on the Barry Faber Radio Show

Posted on April 14, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Podcasts |

Listen to the interview with Lana Melman on the Barry Faber Radio Show.

Celebrating Freedom!

Posted on April 8, 2017 in Newsletter |
As we celebrate freedom from slavery, we are reminded of the importance of freedom of artistic expression.  

Liberate Art wishes you a happy and meaningful Passover.  Thank you for your support.


Rock the House for Israel

Posted on April 5, 2017 in Artists on Art & Israel, Melman Reflections |

Support the musical group, BETTY, on April 9 in NYC

As a leading expert countering the cultural boycott campaign against Israel, people often ask me —

  • “Why aren’t more artists outspoken supporters of Israel?” 
  • “How can we strengthen ties between Israel and progressive audiences?”

Well, meet rock band, BETTY,  outspoken supporters of Israel and critics of BDS, See their show at the City Winery this Sunday night.

“Artists should never be boycotted. Music and art help heal the world!” – Betty, exclusive quote for Liberate Art

When:  Sunday, April 9th
Where: City Winery: 155 Varick St.
Doors: 6:00 pm / Starts: 7:00 pm
Ends: 9:00 pm (Estimated End Time)

“I’d love to have some more pro-Israel/anti-BDS people join the ranks of  BETTY fans who are wonderfully progressive.””You will all love each other. See you soon!” – band member, Amy Ziff of  BETTY

Get ready for some great music! 



Join Liberate Art and show your support for this outspoken, politically active rock band that stands up for women, LGBTQ rights and Israel.
Stand up for Israel. Stand up for freedom of artistic expression. 

Talking Back on Talk Radio – Tonight

Posted on March 30, 2017 in Newsletter |

The cultural boycott is the one aspect of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign that even Israel’s most passionate advocates often know little about. And if they’re not aware, they can’t take action to fight it.

Liberate Art is taking to the air waves to get the word out and give people the tools to effectively counter the cultural boycott against Israel.

Rock the House for Israel – suppt musical grp BETTY on April 9 in NYC

Posted on March 8, 2017 in Newsletter |

As a leading expert countering the cultural boycott campaign against Israel, people often ask me —

  • “Why aren’t more artists outspoken supporters of Israel?” 
  • “How can we strengthen ties between Israel and progressive audiences?”

Well, meet rock band, BETTY,  outspoken supporters of Israel and critics of BDS, See their show at the City Winery this Sunday night.

“Artists should never be boycotted. Music and art help heal the world!” – Betty, exclusive quote for Liberate Art


What does the Cultural Boycott against Israel have in common with Totalitarian Regimes?

Posted on February 22, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Podcasts |

Lana Melman, CEO of LiberateArt talks at the Mike Siegel Radio Show about What does the Cultural Boycott against Israel have in common with Totalitarian Regimes?

Why aren’t members of the entertainment industry doing more?

Posted on February 22, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Podcasts |

Lana Melman, CEO of Liberate Art Inc, talks at the Mike Siegel Radio Show about why members in Hollywood and elsewhere from the entertainment industry are doing more to stop the cultural boycott against Israel.

Who are the artists supporting Israel?

Posted on February 22, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Podcasts |

Lana Melman, CEO of Liberate Art Inc, talks about who are really the ones who stand with Israel at the Mike Siegel Radio Show.

Two Sides of the Cultural Boycott

Posted on February 22, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Podcasts |

Lana Melman, CEO of Liberate Art Inc, talks about the two sides of the cultural boycott at the Mike Siegel Radio Show.

Why Concert Prices in Israel Are So Much Higher Than Abroad

Posted on February 22, 2017 in Other Commentary and Analysis |
Originally published on the HAARETZ
Aggressive competition among promoters is bringing many big-name acts to Israel and creating a booming concert market, but the high cost of flying in the crews, security and expensive insurance policies keep ticket prices steep.
A few months ago, concert promoter Gad Oron flew to London to meet with Radiohead’s agent and manager, to try to convince the English rock band to play a concert in Israel. “They told me, ‘Israel? There’s no way right now.’ And now, not so long afterwards, another company has managed to get them here. Hats off to them,” says Oron, who has been bringing artists from abroad to Israel for more than 30 years.

In this particular battle, Oron was trumped by Naranjah, an upstart production company in the business since 2009 owned by promoter Eran Arieli, that before Radiohead had mostly imported much smaller musical acts. Radiohead’s concert will take place in July in Hayarkon Park.

The concert scene in Israel has lately become crowded and competitive. While the market used to be dominated by a few big producers who brought in a relatively small number of big acts from abroad, often earning complaints about the high prices being charged to see artists long past their prime, in the last few years the market has been changing and opening up. New production companies have been popping up, and besides increasing the number of concerts, they are bringing current top artists who are adding Israel to their official tour schedules.

The veteran concert promoters here include Shuki Weiss, who has brought the Pixies, Nick Cave, R.E.M., David Bowie, Morrissey and Madonna; Oron, who brought Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Martin, Bob Dylan, Justin Bieber and Elton John; Udi Appelboim, who brought Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Tom Jones; the Tzemach family, who brought Enrique Iglesias, the Scorpions and Simon & Garfunkel; and the Zappa Group (over the past 15 years), which brought the Pet Shop Boys, Mark Ronson and Suede. Besides Naranjah, the new production companies include Bluestone (run by Guy Beser and Shay Mor Yosef), which is responsible for bringing artists like Rihanna, Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith.

Bluestone recently joined up with businessman Guy Oseary, who has worked with Madonna and others, to found Ticketmaster Israel – the local section of the world’s largest digital ticket-selling platform. Meanwhile, American entertainment giant Live Nation acquired a controlling share of Bluestone’s subsidiary, Bluestone Entertainment.

Due to the large number of promoters relative to the small Israeli market, the competition among them has often turned fierce, and has allegedly involved underhanded tactics at times – such as attempts to scuttle deals, fabricated offers being sent to artists abroad with the aim of raising prices, or the spreading of rumors that a rival producer cannot be trusted to make the necessary payments.

“Young and bold new players have gradually been getting into the market, and making offers to artists. There’s a lot of competition, which means the audiences and artists benefit,” says Oron. Beser of Bluestone says, “It’s a highly competitive market, and sometimes you see blows below the belt.”

All the competition also means a lack of coordination among promoters. This summer, there will be three shows aimed at a similar audience – Nick Cave, the Pixies and Radiohead, which will all vie for ticket-buyers’ money and affections. The addition of shows by Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses means this summer’s competition will be especially tough, with all the promoters hoping to sell enough tickets to recoup their high costs. While such concerns are natural, for now it appears they have little to fear. Some 30,000 tickets have already been sold for Radiohead, and second shows have been added for the Pixies and Nick Cave.

479 shekels in Israel, 239 shekels in Glasgow

Big competition usually works to the benefit of consumers and causes prices to drop. The promoters do think that prices have begun to go down here, but the costs of bringing acts to Israel are still higher than in Europe and America.

A price comparison we did of shows abroad by artists due to perform in Israel soon found a disparity of 5-50 percent in basic ticket prices. For example, a ticket to Radiohead’s show in Israel cost 429 shekels in the pre-sale (these 25,000 are already sold out) and the current ticket price is 479 shekels. Tickets to the band’s Miami show on March 30 start at the equivalent of 246 shekels. Tickets to their June show in Florence start at 275 shekels, and for the Glasgow show in July, 10 days before the Tel Aviv gig, just 239 shekels.

Tickets for the Guns N’ Roses show in Hayarkon Park start at 355 shekels for lawn seats (295 shekels for Leumicard holders), but if you catch the band in Munich, you’ll only pay 328 shekels. In Australia, you’d pay 230 shekels, and in St. Louis, just 226 shekels. Tickets for Aerosmith’s show in Hayarkon Park start at 295 shekels, but go for just 220 shekels in Moscow.

The disparity in ticket prices for Nick Cave was the smallest that we found. A ticket to his Tel Aviv show starts at 234 shekels, compared to 224 shekels for his Detroit show and 168 shekels for his Boston show.

Naranjah cites high production costs to explain the ticket prices for Radiohead, but says that “given the high costs of transporting equipment and personnel from Europe and back, and the very high standards of the show, this is on average a low price for a park show of this magnitude. At last, Israel is getting a concert by one of the most important bands in the history of music, a band that is at its artistic and commercial height. Everyone will have the same chance to be close to the stage, unlike what usually happens with shows of this scale.”

High-priced concession stands

The promoters say ticket prices are higher in Israel due to the uniquely high costs involved: flying all the crew and equipment to Israel, erecting the concert venue and the expensive insurance. Yoni Feingold of the Zappa Group points out that when an artist does a European tour, he travels from city to city with tour buses and trucks. “To bring them to Israel, you have to fly everyone here and put them up, and fly in all the equipment, and it jacks up the costs,” he says.

Oron agrees. “In Europe, Radiohead moves from one country to another every other day. After the show everyone gets on buses and travels to the next city, so they can do several shows in the space of a week. In Israel, it takes two days just to do the setup, and the show only happens on the third or fourth day. And then they have to go back – so it’s just one show for the week, and that costs money.”

“The costs of setting up a show are huge,” says Beser. “In Hayarkon Park there is no infrastructure, so before every show you have to build everything from scratch – fencing, stage, electric lines, the backstage area. It’s not like in Europe, where there are big outdoor concert venues that have all the production infrastructure in place, and all you need to build is the stage. Also, insurance costs in Israel are high because of terrorism and wars. For the Bon Jovi show, we paid nearly half a million shekels just for insurance.”

Oron also mentions the sound and lighting companies. “In Europe they make a deal with the artist to do three months of shows, and here they only get to work a few times a month, so their costs are higher.”

The fees demanded by artists can also raise costs. A top artist can ask for anywhere from $1 million to $2.5 million, and artists sometimes want their fee to be based a percentage of the producers’ profits. The increased competition among Israeli promoters has also led to a spike in artists’ fees.

On average, the cost of bringing a successful artist here can reach up to 10 million shekels. Bluestone says they invested 16 million shekels to bring Rihanna, and a similar amount for Bon Jovi.

To cover the costs, promoters need to sell at least 30,000-40,000 tickets. According to Beser, producing a show at Hayarkon Park is generally the most expensive. “Just to cover the costs of a show there, you have to sell 38,000-43,000 tickets,” he says.

There is disagreement over the number of potential ticket-buyers in the country. Oron estimates there are just 100,000-150,000. Beser, says, however: “We’re not in Europe, but I think there are at least 400,000 potential ticket-buyers. About 50,000 people come to a show in the park. If there were only 100,000 buyers, there’d only be two shows a year, but that’s not the case.”

One cannot help wondering if the cut the promoters take doesn’t play a part as well. “It’s true prices are relatively high here, but the promoters sweat blood over the whole production,” says Boaz Cohen of radio station 88FM. “They’re taking a huge risk each time they bring an artist here. A promoter could end up taking home 4 million shekels, or he could end up losing his home.”

Oron says the stories about artists’ bizarre demands are more legend than reality. “I’ve been in this business since the 1980s and back then artists’ demands were a big deal, because we didn’t have a lot of things here. I remember someone requested Remy Martin cognac and I had no idea where to find it. And the artists today are pretty modest, they don’t have all that craziness. Seinfeld requested a certain kind of mineral water that wasn’t sold in Israel. We found someone who was able to arrange it. But it’s not like Seinfeld would have got up and left if I would have brought him [local brand] Mei Eden.”

Performers are flooding Israel: A sign of the cultural boycott’s failure?

Posted on February 21, 2017 in Other Commentary and Analysis |

Originally published on HAARETZ by Itay Stern


It’s been years since music lovers in Israel have had the opportunity to enjoy so many performers from overseas. A partial list of artists scheduled to perform here this summer includes Radiohead, the Pixies, Justin Bieber, Aerosmith, Guns and Roses, Rod Stewart, Nick Cave, Tears for Fears, Grandaddy, Jose Gonzalez, Fatboy Slim, Jean-Michel Jarre, Paul Young, Vanessa Mae, Emir Kusturica and Ace of Base. The list could include other top performers who have had good runs in Israel in recent years, including the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Alice Cooper, Rihanna, Sia and Elton John.

It’s true that along with this glittering array there were also some resounding cancellations, one of the more memorable ones being that  of the Pixies’ concert in 2010 only a few days before their performance, shortly after Israel’s fatal takeover of the Gaza-bound ship Mavi Marmara. Since that cancellation they have performed in Israel again.

Read More

The Power of One

Posted on February 8, 2017 in Newsletter |

One of the great rewards that comes with my work countering the cultural boycott campaign against Israel is getting to know artists and their representatives. Listening to their opinions; hearing their stories.

This story deserves to be shared. It’s set in 2002, in the midst of the second intifada, when artists were cancelling trips and concert dates in Israel. Many cancelled due to legitimate security concerns, while some bowed out due to political pressure.

Jazz musician Steven Hancoff, however, decided “to bring solace, support, and great music to people for whom terror has turned life into ongoing crisis and fear.”

This letter encapsulates one musician’s story and message. 


I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. – Winston Churchill

Posted on January 16, 2017 in Newsletter |
In today’s world, Israel is under fire from all directions. The newest and potentially most dangerous weapon against the Jewish homeland is the CULTURAL BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN.
The cultural boycott seeks to intimidate artists who want to perform in Israel and uses the social media reach of artists to spread false and damaging messages about the Jewish homeland. Learn More
The  cultural boycott is more than an attack on Israel;  it’s an attack on freedom of artistic expression that affects everyone

How do you defeat the cultural boycott campaign against Israel?
Follow words of wisdom with deeds of passion


Fighting the Cultural Boycott against Israel

Posted on January 8, 2017 in Newsletter |
In today’s world, Israel is under fire from all directions. The newest and potentially most dangerous weapon against the Jewish homeland is the CULTURAL BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN.
The cultural boycott seeks to intimidate artists who want to perform in Israel and uses the social media reach of artists to spread false and damaging messages about the Jewish homeland. 
The  cultural boycott is more than an attack on Israel;  it’s an attack on freedom of artistic expression that affects everyoneLearn More
Liberate Art’s CEO, Lana Melman, has spoken with over one-thousand artists and/or their representatives,  and has been  instrumental in preventing numerous cancellations  of scheduled concerts and tours in Israel.

Liberate Art’s 2016 Accomplishments
Op-eds / Talk Radio / Videos & Podcasts / Community Outreach /  Entertainment Industry Support / Public Speaking Engagements / International Relationship Building / Supporting Israeli Artists / Hollywood liaison 

Liberate Art needs your support to continue and expand our work
Contributions are 100% tax deductible


Better definition for BDS is Boycott, Discriminate and Segregate

Posted on January 5, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Melman Reflections |

Originally published at the Los Angles Times on 12-27-16

To the editor: Saltzberg offers a much-needed offensive strategy to defeat the immoral BDS campaign against Israel on college campuses.

I suggest we build on that strategy. The BDS campaign is itself a human rights violator that seeks to silence the voices of all who dare to disagree with its political agenda. It singles out the Jewish state for discrimination, something that would not be tolerated against any other ethnic minority. 

It’s time not just to render the acronym meaningless but also to redefine it. A more accurate definition of the acronym BDS is boycott, discriminate and segregate. 

Israel’s detractors don’t own the alphabet. Let’s seize the day.

Lana Melman, Los Angeles


Posted on January 5, 2017 in Other Commentary and Analysis |

Originally published in the Hollywood Reporter on 25-12-16 by Merle Ginsberg

Madonna has a $20M pad there, Barbra Streisand has taken 100 rooms and Gerard Butler has been bailed out by pals in the new trendy getaway that has been called the “sexiest city in the world.”

It may be smack-dab in the middle of the Holy Land, but over the last decade Tel Aviv has unveiled itself as a kind of glamorous new Sin City. The tantalizing beaches, cafes and nightlife, along with its unique mix of the Middle East with a Mediterranean party atmosphere, ensure the lifestyle-loving capital continues to buzz with energy. It couldn’t be more contrary with the image of many of the uninitiated: “People think we’re still riding on camels!” one local told THR. “They also think we’re always at war — and it’s not safe here.” Yet upon arrival, one finds a bustling urban respite with all the things sophisticated seekers are hoping to find, and more.


Where is support for the cultural boycott coming from?

Posted on January 5, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Podcasts |

The Cultural Boycott and the Social Media Power of Artists

Posted on January 5, 2017 in Melman in the Media, Podcasts |

Join Us – Say No to the cultural boycott of Israel

Posted on December 8, 2016 in Newsletter |
As the year comes to a close, I’d like to thank you for your support of our work.

In today’s world, Israel is under fire from all directions including from the newest and potentially most dangerous weapon against the Jewish state – the cultural boycott campaign.
We are pleased to let you know Liberate Art has received 501(c) (3) sponsorship and is continuing its offensive strategy by raising money to educate, inspire and empower an international audience to effectively counter this campaign.


Posted on November 14, 2016 in Artists on Art & Israel, Other Commentary and Analysis |

The Creative Community for Peace had a noteworthy post on their website yesterday which offered an explanation for the lack of concerts by international artists in the West Bank.

Disclaimer – I was the premier director of the organization.

Simply stated, it’s because concerts by performers who also perform in Israel are thwarted by the cultural boycott campaign itself.

The goal of the anti-Israel crowd, such as PACBI, is to diminish dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

They speak for themselves.


By: Nick Lieber, Editorial Associate and Analyst, Creative Community For Peace

Last year, to our great disappointment, American musician Ms. Lauryn Hill canceled her scheduled concert in Israel, citing her inability to also perform in the Palestinian Territories.

“When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah,” she wrote on Facebook, announcing the cancellation of her show. “Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge.”

What was missed in the ensuing uproar, the praise she received for supporting justice or the criticism for singling out Israel, was the reason it proved to be such a challenge in the first place.

Ms. Lauryn Hill was hardly the first musician to try and fail to perform in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and, unless something changes, she certainly won’t be the last.

So what’s the problem? Did they all have simple scheduling conflicts? Perhaps they were unlucky finding available Palestinian venues? Did the Israeli military prevent them from performing there?

From her vague message, it could have been any or all of them, when, in fact, it was none.

The truth is that artists are unable to perform both in Tel Aviv and Ramallah because Palestinian venues, due to pressure from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), refuse to host anybody who has performed in Israel.

As Ali Abunimah, a leading BDS activist and founder of the Electronic Intifada, notes, PACBI welcomes visits by musicians, but not if those visits are accompanied by visits to Israel or attempts to facilitate dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

PACBI’s message is clear: You must choose one or the other. You can’t perform for both Israelis and Palestinians. You can only perform for either Israelis or Palestinians.

We saw echoes of this dangerous and divisive message in 2013, when Alicia Keys performed in Dubai after her concert in Tel Aviv. PACBI urged the venue in Dubai to cancel her show and “tell her that she is not welcome in Arab countries,” simply because she performed in Israel. We saw it again last year when the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon (CBSI) called on the Lebanese people to boycott Chris Brown’s show if he continued with his performance in Israel, which he did.

Ms. Lauryn Hill, on the other hand, decided to cancel her performance “and seek a different strategy to bring [her] music to ALL of [her] fans in the region.”

At Creative Community For Peace (CCFP), we were disappointed that Ms. Lauryn Hill chose to punish her Israeli fans for the hypocrisy and intolerance of a Palestinian organization. We reject PACBI’s black and white narrative that you’re either with Israel or the Palestinians.

Unless and until PACBI is challenged, and their “you’re with us or against us” mentality is called out and rejected, it is unlikely that anybody will be able to perform for all of their fans in the region.

Until then, the many hundreds of musicians who have performed in Israel, including Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Elton John, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Alan Parsons, Brian Wilson, Craig David, Jason Derulo, and Suzanne Vega will continue to find themselves barred from Palestine.

Hollywood Spotlight on Israel!

Posted on November 8, 2016 in Newsletter |
I count you among my friends who know that I devote my efforts to both countering the  cultural boycott against Israel and working as a  Hollywood liaison to the Jewish state.
I am honored to have been the Hollywood liaison behind an exciting “Spotlight on Israeli television” in Variety magazine this past month. [ Press Release and Feature Stories ]

Building on this initiative, Liberate Art is hosting an exciting online/virtual event as a platform to build awareness regarding Israeli excellence in the arts which begins today and runs through the end of November.


Israel’s Rising Star in Hollywood

Posted on November 1, 2016 in Melman in the Media |

How do you go from a rising star to a superstar in Hollywood? Publicity.

All eyes will be on Israel’s film and television industry this month with an editorial spotlight on Times of IsraelIsraeli TV in Variety Magazine, and a Liberate Art hosted online virtual event featuring Israel’s most exciting filmmakers and artist community.

I am so pleased to have worked as the Hollywood liaison behind Variety’s special editorial which digs deep into what makes this country’s programs so identifiable as Israeli and yet so universally appealing.  Read the full article on:

Poor Roger Waters

Posted on October 28, 2016 in Melman Reflections |

Poor Roger Waters. AMEX has declined to sponsor his next extravagant concert because he is using the stage as a platform for anti-Israel rants.

Now let’s wait for Roger Waters to play the victim.  He’ll be crying about being punished. He’ll claim some sort of Israeli-Hollywood conspiracy.

For years he has urged his fellow artists to cancel concerts and visits in Israel.  For years he has sought to use economics to advance his political agenda. Shoe’s not so comfortable on the other foot, huh Rog?


Image credit: By Alterna2 – Roger Waters en el Palau Sant Jordi de Barcelona (The Wall Live), CC BY 2.0,

Hollywood Spotlights Israel! (Press Release)

Posted on October 18, 2016 in Melman in the Media, Melman Reflections |

CONTACT: Lana Melman, CEO Liberate Art, Inc.

Los Angeles – October 18, 2016

All eyes will be on Israel’s film and television industry this month with a special editorial spotlight in Variety Magazine and an online event featuring Israel’s most exciting filmmakers and shows.

Variety Magazine is shining a spotlight on Israel’s groundbreaking TV at this year’s MIPCOM in Cannes, digging deep into what makes this country’s programs so identifiable as Israeli and yet so universally appealing.

Lana Melman, CEO of Liberate Art, Inc., worked as the Hollywood liaison behind the entertainment magazine’s special editorial.

Building on this initiative, Liberate Art is hosting an exciting online event as a platform to build awareness regarding Israeli excellence in the arts. Promotional partners include the American Israeli Cultural Foundation (AICF).

According to Melman, “The Variety spotlight on Israel ensures that the international television community will learn about the ideas, the players, and the potential of Israel’s television industry.”

MIPCOM, the largest event of its kind, is attended by representatives of television studios and broadcasters who use the event as a marketplace to buy and sell new programs and formats for international distribution.  

The online event, Hollywood Spotlight on Israel, will provide a glimpse into the international powerhouse that is Israeli’s artistic community, behind the scenes commentary from the entertainment community, clips from internationally lauded Israeli films and much more. 

Lana Melman is a leading expert and commentator on the cultural boycott effort against Israel, a Hollywood liaison, and a professional speaker and writer.
For more information, please visit:

Armoza Formats is Amping Up the Competition For This Year’s Mipcom

Posted on October 18, 2016 in Melman Reflections |


Armoza Formats, the Israeli content creator and distributor, boasting of catalog of 90 formats reaching some 35 countries, has long been a major player in the Israeli TV game. The company has dabbled in all genres: its psychological crime-thriller “Bnei Aruba,” which broke onto the scene at 2013’s Mip, was snatched up for U.S. adaptation by CBS that same year and aired simultaneously for American audiences under the title “Hostages.”

Armoza also made major waves with his docu-reality format “Mehubarim,” which was bought by AOL as “Connected” and turned the tables on reality television by placing the cameras directly in the hands of the show’s stars. Armoza sold the format for adaptation to 22 countries.


Israeli Drama About Ultra-Orthodox Brood Gets American Treatment

Posted on October 18, 2016 in Artists on Art & Israel |


Hannah K.S. Canter was at NATPE a few years ago, making the rounds with dozens of content producers and creators when she was shown a few snippets of “Shtisel,” an Israeli family drama set in the ultra-Orthodox heart of Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood.

The program, which weaves together the raw, complex, and intensely human stories of varying members of a multi-generational Haredi family in modern Israel, instantly caught her attention. Canter, a producer and development executive, took the program to her mother, “Friends” and “Grace and Frankie” co-creator Marta Kauffman, and it wasn’t long before the pair began brainstorming how to bring the story to American audiences.


Keshet Ushers in New Fleet of Diverse and Innovative Programming

Posted on October 18, 2016 in Artists on Art & Israel |


Israeli media group Keshet is an undisputed force to be reckoned with, and at this year’s Mipcom is betting on the Amazonian jungle for its next big hit. Leading Keshet’s 20-plus Mipcom slate is “Welcome to the Wild,” a next-generation adventure reality format that takes the genre perfected by “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” and elevates it with docu-level immersion in the rugged beauty and tribal society of the Amazonian jungle.

“It’s the biggest show we’ve brought to Mip since ‘Rising Star,’” says CEO Alon Shtruzman. “The show is embedded in the Amazon, with the nature of the jungle and tribes that live there a big part of the show. Every adventure-reality show is about a journey, but in this case we are focusing on real, authentic places. It’s documentary in the middle of a reality show.” 


Hollywood Shines a Spotlight on Israel

Posted on October 8, 2016 in Newsletter |
I count you among my friends who know that I devote my efforts to both countering the cultural boycott against Israel and working as a Hollywood liaison to the Jewish state.
The arts including film, TV and music enrich all our lives and the extraordinary contribution the Israeli creative community makes to the world warrants recognition and celebration.
I am honored to have been instrumental in creating a glorious spotlight on Israeli television featured in the legendary Variety magazine.
See Liberate Art’s press release below.

EXCLUSIVE Q&A on Ricky Martin with concert promoter Gad Oron

Posted on September 14, 2016 in Melman in the Media |


Lana Melman, Liberate Art: What is Ricky like as a person?

Gad Oron, concert promoter: In the short time we had a chance to meet – He sounds and looks a great & happy person who works quite hard.

Lana Melman, Liberate Art: What made Ricky decide to invite 75 Palestinians to be his guest at the concert?

Gad Oron, concert promoter: Well, I believe, as most of the people around this project, that these kids deserve a chance to enjoy the good moments in their day to day lives – music. We shall do whatever we can to assist them to get in, meet Ricky during sound check, and to party with the rest of the fans coming tonight to the show.

Lana Melman, Liberate Art: What’s his favorite spot to hangout in Tel Aviv? 

Gad Oron, concert promoter: Must say he did not have a chance so far, but as he says – the beach.


A BIG thank you for the inside scoops Gad Oron!

What does it mean to be a Hollywood Liaison for Israel?

Posted on August 31, 2016 in Melman Reflections, Newsletter |


A liaison is a person who helps facilitate a close working relationship between people or organizations.
During my trip to Israel this past month, I met with top concert promoters, producers, and managers to dig past the headlines and discuss the current state of the music scene in the Holy Land.


I met with key members of the television industry, funnymen, documentary filmmakers and the principals of the internationally lauded Rimon School of Music. I was interviewed and interviewed others. We debated issues and discussed collaborations.
What did all these people have in common? Certainly not politics.



What does it mean to be a Hollywood Liaison for Israel?


Beyoncé cancels Israel performances

Posted on August 16, 2016 in Melman Reflections |

What is due to the pressures of BDS hate-groups?

Beyoncé cancelled an entire wing of her tour. It’s illogical to think that an artist would cancel concerts at several venues because of pressure to cancel one of them.


Israeli artists seek peace at the Shalom Festival in Edinburgh

Posted on August 11, 2016 in Melman in the Media |

shalom-festivalHow do you steal a beach? For the boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) campaign against Israel, the answer is one grain of sand at a time.

The cultural boycott effort seeks to rob the world of one of its most valued treasures – freedom of artistic expression – one artist, one performance, one exhibit at a time.

A case in point is the dangerous undertow at the Scottish Edinburgh Fringe Festival, (The Fringe), the largest performing arts festival in the world, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every August and provides unparalleled exposure for up and coming performers.Times of Israel

The anti-Israel Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) has cast a shadow of censorship over this popular and important cultural exchange with protests against Israeli participation.

Protests date back to at least 1997 but have been growing steadily in their impact.

Singer Joss Stone Calls BDS Counterproductive

Posted on August 1, 2016 in Artists on Art & Israel, Artists on Boycotts |

While Joss Stone British singer had a blast in Israel she also faced some hateful comments posted on her social media accounts by BDS hate-groups. As opposed to the so many artists who remain silent, Stone posted an open letter on her FB page in which she calls the cultural boycott counterproductive and highly discriminatory. 

Dear music lovers !

I just want to make a quick comment on my gig in Israel…

Firstly, I LOVED the experience of playing in this place… Mainly because of the people. Because of their beautiful spirit. Because of their warmth and kindness, their ability to let go and feel. Music did that, not me.

And Secondly I’d like to say how pleased I am when I read comments from people who clearly understand the point of the world tour, and how sorry I am that so many of you had to enter into arguments on whether I should have visited Israel or not. Thank you for standing up for us and our mission at hand.

What we are trying to achieve whilst running from country to country on this literal total world tour is simply to spread love and joy through music. Excluding no one. I do not discriminate.

I’m not trying to make political statements I am just trying to spread good feeling to everyone I can. I do not blame millions of individuals for what their government has chosen. As I hope people don’t blame me and my family for what our government has done. I treat each person the same until given a direct reason not to.
If we want to discount the people of countries that have done dreadful things then we would only have the Antarctic left. ‘He who is with out sin cast the first stone’.

We can not live our lives speaking of hate and sadness and then expect things to become brighter and more peaceful. To condemn those you have never met in the hope for peace is quite simply counter productive. To put it as politely I can … It is a little bit silly. Some may even say foolish.

To dismiss our brothers and sisters of this world because you are angry at a creation of someone that lives on the same land as them is judgmental and actually quite nasty. You cannot feel justified in spreading bad feeling, ever. Maybe some people feel they are helping but please believe me when I tell you you are making it worse.
I understand the reasons people call for a boycott… I understand… But surely you want the boycott because you want peace, surely you want to spout anger because you want peace, surely you fight because you want peace… Well news flash…. Adding fire to fire just makes things hotter.

We are sad because we hear, see and live in amongst such terrible moments. Collectively we must try to hold on to our love for people. All people not just some but ALL! We become as bad as the ones we protest against when our words and decisions are coming from a place of hate.

I know sometimes it’s hard and can seem impossible but please use your love. It’s always there waiting to be tapped into. Don’t brush it to one side because you feel the need to make the world right and you think spreading hate, upset and destain will work… it will only add darkness to darkness. Useful? Nope.
Gandhi would probably word this much better than me but I guess in a nutshell… just be nice.
Don’t punish the general population. It is incorrect to do so and massively unkind.

So… bringing it back… I love my job. I love the people I meet through this musical connection. In every place I have been there has been a massive light and it is found in the people. Always.



What part of your humanity are cultural boycott ringleaders asking you to give up?

Posted on June 22, 2016 in Melman Reflections |

What part of your humanity are cultural boycott ringleaders asking you to give up?
And will you do it?

Cultural boycott “campaigns” are asking us to do something that tears at the very fabric of what makes us human beings: to de-humanize a particular people by equating their art and their culture with particular policies of their government that they themselves may even oppose.

I’d like to think that we, as citizens of this world, are better than that.

I choose to believe that the very feelings that inspire us to look at a piece of art from Iran or a film from an Israeli director and say “that is beautiful” will also inspire us to say “this should be shared.”
You have to ask yourself if they are so bold as to tell you to surrender your inner voice, what are they willing to do to those who speak out?

Vicious Israel-haters and BDS supporter Roger Waters and Rule Jebreal Now a Couple

Posted on June 22, 2016 in Melman Reflections |

What happens when two anti-Israel, BDS supporters find love? A “Palestinian power couple” is born.

Or so says Page Six.
Roger Waters, the openly anti-Israel propagandist, is now in a relationship with novelist and screenwriter, Rula Jebreal, an equally vitriolic critic of Israel.

Liberate Art is appalled at this glamourous characterization of two people who have done so much to foment discord.


Wikimedia Commons/Daigo Oliva/Fabrizio Ferri

Wikimedia Commons/Daigo Oliva/Fabrizio Ferri

Roger Waters and his firm stand with BDS

Posted on June 19, 2016 in BDS Propaganda |

“I think that the kind of boycott that was implemented against the apartheid regime in South Africa back in the day is probably the most effective way to go because the situation is that the Israeli government runs an apartheid regime in Israel, the occupied territories and everywhere else it decided.”

Roger Waters

Liberate Art @ IDEAS L.A.

Posted on June 19, 2016 in Melman Reflections |



Earlier this week, I had the pleasure to visit IDEAS Los Angeles – a place, where great mind’s meet.

Here is a little recap of the two days, and stay tuned for an exclusive interview on what musicians think about the ‪#‎CulturalBoycott‬!


Follow me on Twitter:

In tribute to David Bowie

Liberate Art’s Lana Melman also got the chance to interview two extraordinary musicians and talk about cultural boycotts and the universal language of music.

Stay tuned for the exclusive video!



Simply Red’s frontman Mick Hucknall slams BDS as he arrives in Israel

Posted on June 14, 2016 in Melman Reflections |

“With their hundreds of millions of fans, artists and pop icons have enormous power to influence public opinion across the world and are increasingly becoming the weapon of choice in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish homeland.” (Lana Melman)

This is exactly what happened to Simply Red’s frontman Mick Hucknall, who has a scheduled concert in Israel today. Just days before his show, cultural boycott activists used their so common tool to intimidate the British singer, songwriter with photoshopped splashes and memes, pressuring him to cancel his show in Tel Aviv.


Hucknall, not only arrived in Tel Aviv and shared it publicly on his official Twitter account but he also openly slammed BDS in the most amazing way:


Simply Red, the British soul and pop band that has sold more than 50 million albums since the mid 1980s, last played in Israel in 1992.

Kudos to the band to stand up and Liberate Art!