Macy Gray, scheduled to play in Israel soon, recently had this as her Facebook post:

“I’m booked for 2 shows in TelAviv. I’m getting alot of letters from activists urging/begging me to boycott by NOT performing in protest of Apartheid against the Palestinians. What the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting, but I wana go. I gotta lotta fans there I dont want to cancel on and I dont know how my NOT going changes anything. What do you think? Stay or go?”

She was, predictably, bombarded with literally thousands of suggestions, for and against. It was particularly funny to see how many Israel-supporters told her not to come and insulted her for even suggesting something might be amiss in the happy shiny democracy of Israel.

She’ll probably go, if her Twitter account is any indication. But it’s still a major BDS victory. Two years ago, a star like Macy Gray wouldn’t think twice — didn’t think twice — about going to Israel. Now it’s a question. And pretty soon, a question turns into an answer. A picket line. A defining choice. And before you know it, we’ll have celebrities singing a song like Ain’t Gonna Play Sun City, and then…

Don’t get too comfortable with your profitable occupation, Israel. Its days are very much numbered.

Here’s my reworking of Macy’s song, “I Try,” in honor of this happy occasion.

Oh yeah, and it’s my birthday, too. And my nephew Mason Cooper was just born. And I’m about to finish a very rewarding ghostwriting project. It’s a good day.

Jails, cages, and fears…
When will they go from here?
When will they stop?
This occupation has brought us here
And we should have our freedom, babe.
But we don’t.
I struggle hard but I’m dreaming of peace.
And won’t you please help me bring it?

I protest but on tear gas I choke
Try to go to school but there’s checkpoints.
Though I try to fight it, it’s clear
My world crumbles while they control me.

I may appear to be free
But I’m just a prisoner of their guns.
I may seem all right and sing and march and chant
But my smiles are just a front…
Just a front.
I play it off but I’ve lost my childhood,
And now I might lose my children.

I protest but on tear gas I choke
Try to farm my land but they shoot me.
Though I try to fight it, it’s clear
My world crumbles when you just won’t see.

Here is my confession:
I didn’t learn my lesson
‘Til I saw Palestine
With my own two eyes
Don’t make the same mistake
Don’t support an Apartheid state…
It’s not too late.

I’ve seen the trees and the children cut down.
Now don’t you see what I’m seeing?

I protest but on tear gas I choke
Try to leave but they’ve closed the borders.
Though I try to fight it, it’s clear
My world crumbles ’til Palestine is free.

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