Pete Seeger leaves behind complicated legacy on Israel

Pete Seeger. Credit: Anthony Pepitone.

( Legendary folk singer and political activist Pete Seeger, 94, died peacefully on Monday at a New York City hospital, according to his family.

Famous for 1960s hits like “If I Had a Hammer,” “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” Seeger was also well known for speaking out for worker’s rights and participating in the civil rights movement. But Seeger also left behind a complicated legacy when it came to Israel.

Seeger drew headlines in 2011 for coming out in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, expressing support for the BDS group Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).

According to an ICAHD press release, Seeger had donated portions of the royalties from his 1960s hit “Turn, Turn, Turn” to the group.

On the other hand, Seeger participated in an online peace rally for the Arava Institute, an environmental academic program in Israel, in 2010. But after discovering that Arava had ties to the Jewish National Fund, Seeger said, “I support the BDS movement as much as I can.”

Posted on January 28, 2014 .