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Treat Costello the same way he treated Israel

Elvis Costello is due to perform at Belfast's Waterfront Hall on October 28. The 70s singer, who croons about 'peace, love and understanding', announced earlier this year that he was cancelling his concerts in Israel and did so at the last minute after the venues had already sold out. The Israeli booking agency handling Costello wrote asking: "Surely you were aware of the situation in the Middle East ... when you confirmed your performances in Israel?"

Obviously, such a late action would make more of a political statement than deciding not to appear at all. Costello states that it was "a matter of conscience".

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign welcomed the artist's decision, comparing the boycott of Israel to that of apartheid South Africa. This was a bit of a slap in the face for the Israelis and certainly the people of Northern Ireland can remember the Troubles when few artists came to Belfast.

It seems that the man who sang Oliver's Army so passionately strikes a different chord when it comes to the Israeli army.

I would suggest that all those people who are supportive of the Jewish democratic state refuse to attend Costello's show in Belfast.

He may approve of boycotts, but perhaps not if they are directed at his own concerts.

After all, what's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding'?

COLIN NEVIN

Bangor, Co Down

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