Associated Press

TEL AVIV, Israel — A concert by Elton John has given Israelis a boost after a string of cancellations by other world-famous artists.

The British rocker performed late Thursday in front of a screaming crowd of nearly 50,000 fans at a Tel Aviv stadium.

John, who wore blue-tinted sunglasses, told the audience those cancellations “ain’t gonna stop me from playing here, baby.”

Recent cancellations by the Pixies and Elvis Costello, who cited Israeli government policies, have added to Israel’s growing sense of isolation.

John swiped at those artists, saying, “We do not cherry-pick our consciences,” before hitting the opening chords of his 1972 hit “Crocodile Rock.”

Israelis gather to watch British singer and songwriter Sir Elton John's concert at the Ramat Gan stadium, June 17, 2010. Various artists have recently come under heavy pressure from activists to boycott Israel because of its treatment of the Palestinians. Elvis Costello recently canceled a planned concert to protest Israeli policies. Others, such as Rod Stewart, are still planning to play Israel this summer. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
British singer and songwriter Sir Elton John, right, and guitar player Bob Birch perform in a concert at the Ramat Gan stadium near Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, June 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
British singer and songwriter Sir Elton John performs during his concert at the Ramat Gan stadium, June 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

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