To be fair to them, the Backstreet Boys aren’t known for their astute awareness of foreign politics and current affairs.
More for churning out pop hits like “I Want It That Way” and dating Paris Hilton.
But on discussing the recent violence in Israel and Gaza, which saw them cancel a string of live dates in the Middle East, there appeared to be some confusion.
Accosted by one TMZ journalist in Malibu yesterday (29 July), on the day the band would have been taking to the Raanana Amphitheater in Tel Aviv, member AJ McLean started his impromptu interview on the crisis with a fairly diplomatic, balanced set of answers.
"We’ve got the most loyal fans down there, who have been waiting for years for us to come," he said, when asked if he was disappointed that the dates had been rescheduled. "It’s a horrible thing going on down there and we’re praying for both sides. You can’t pick a side."
Asked whether their decision was a political one or a matter of caution, he said:
"Safety, and all of us have families. Now, you can’t even fly there. If they had kept the ceasefire, we may have still gone, but you just don’t know and it’s not really worth running that risk. But it sucks for all of our fans down there, but we will definitely be coming back next year."
Failing his attempt to escape further questioning, he was then asked how he would solve the conflict.
"It’s so hard to rethink. It’s a really unfortunate circumstance," he said.
Then came the blunder. AJ appeared to suggest that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which had been shot down over the Ukraine-Russia border killing 298, had something to do with the Israeli government’s aggression in Gaza.
By Jenn Selby
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