(Update: Now confirmed at Bob Dylan’s official website.)
Bill Pagel’s site tracking Bob Dylan tour dates now has a whole European tour mapped out in June, and in between London on the 18th and Milan on the 22nd is a date at Ramat Gan Stadium in Tel Aviv, Israel on June 20th. Haaretz is already reporting on it.
Last year, some may recall, there was a proposed Bob Dylan concert in Israel, but it was always listed as “unconfirmed” on Pagel’s site, and indeed it never actually came off. This time, the “unconfirmed” symbol is not there. Bill Pagel has been very scrupulous and reliable in the past about these things, so it’s safe to presume he has the best sources. Still, the really official source at BobDylan.com has yet to post the Tel Aviv gig, although they list most of those European dates.
Why is this important? It just is. But there are also very specific reasons. I was corresponding with another writer a few days ago regarding Pete Seeger’s recent public endorsement of the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” campaign against the State of Israel. That person wondered if Dylan might say something in response to Pete Seeger’s move. I thought not, since Dylan has always been very gracious to Seeger in public, and generally seems loathe to criticize anyone in a personal way, especially in recent years. But what I wished was that Bob Dylan would at least make some kind of positive gesture towards Israel himself, as it is under this kind of frighteningly pernicious world wide attack via this BS BDS campaign. Most especially, I wished that he would just play there again. He still possesses the ability to make people think twice.
And may it be so.
Update 3/24/2011: Haaretz today reports the gig in Tel Aviv is confirmed.