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Elvis Costello, Noam Chomsky, and Israel: Who's in? Who's out?

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Cheryl Gerber/AP

(Read caption) Elvis Costello performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, April 29. One day after Noam Chomsky was prevented from entering the West Bank, Costello canceled two summer concerts in Israel.

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What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?

Rock singer Elvis Costello's fans in Israel, it seems, won't be getting the answer to that question (which also happens to be the title of one of Mr. Costello's hits) any time soon.

On Tuesday Costello canceled two concerts in Israel this summer, due to what he calls the "grave and complex" sensitivities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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"There are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung," said Costello, whose decision follows similar cancellations by spoken-word jazz performer Gil Scott-Heron and guitar legend Carlos Santana.

Meanwhile, the Jewish state is closing its doors to other big names that want to strut their stuff.


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