Coldplay in Israel, Palestine to 'listen and learn'

Coldplay in Israel, Palestine to 'listen and learn'
Band says earlier rumours about an Israel tour being planned are "incorrect," amid further reports that more celebrities are rejecting state-sponsored invites to the country.
2 min read
25 February, 2017
Coldplay are in Israel and Palestine, but they will not be singing [Getty]

British rock bank Coldplay denied speculation that they will be performing in Israel and Palestine, telling fans they will be visiting to "listen and learn".

Frontman Chris Martin tweeted a selfie of the band on Friday, which contained a short statement saying that they have no plans to stage a concert or sign a new contract.

"Hi everyone. We are in Israel and Palestine to listen and learn and that's all; there is no concert scheduled, we are just having an interesting and enlightening trip to learn about the area," the post said.

"The articles suggesting that we have a signed contract are incorrect ...Thank you so much, love, cm."

Coldplay's statement followed reports on Friday that the band would be performing and signing a new tour contract that would include shows in Tel Aviv, Jericho, Rawabi, and Jerusalem.

The issue of performers visiting Israel has proven particularly contentious in light of the rise of the Boycott Divestment and Sactions movement in recent years.

Israel has desperately attempted to counter the popular pro-Palestinian BDS movement, including recently by inviting a vast array of celebrities on all-expenses paid trips to the country.

At least five "D-list celebrities" - as described by Israel's Haaretz newspaper - were invited last month to tour Israel as part of a new government public relations excercise. 

Those who took part in the trip included actors Daniel Dae Kim from TV show LostMeagan Good from DeceptionSonequa Martin-Green and Kenric Green from The Walking Dead and Mark Pellegrino from Dexter. 

Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and other Hollywood stars have yet to arrive in Israel for an all-expenses paid luxury trip offered to them last year, in what campaigners describe as victory against the state's attempt of whitewashing crimes.

None of the 26 Oscars stars offered a free personalised tour, valued at up to $55,000 have visited the controversial state.