Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds’ Israel Appearance Protested By Musicians And Artists
Mon, 30 Oct 2017 10:41:24
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A diverse group of musicians, filmmakers, and artists penned an open letter to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in protest of two planned stops in Israel at the end of their current European tour. The two performances in Tel Aviv drew the ire of the group Artists For Palestine UK, which includes in its ranks Roger Waters, Thurston Moore, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, filmmakers Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, and many more.
The group previously protested a July Radiohead show in Tel Aviv that was featured prominently on Israel's state-sponsored news networks. In 2014, Lana Del Rey cancelled a show due to the ongoing tensions in the region.
The open letter gives a long list of reasons for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to reconsider their decision:
Dear Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds,
You are scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on 19th & 20th November. Please don't go. In the words of a recent UN report, 'Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people'.
Domination means Palestinian writers under house arrest. Literary festivals broken up. Travel bans for actors and musicians. Social media under surveillance. Media centres raided and plundered. The normalized use of military force against a captive population. The steady expansion of illegal settlements.
These are crimes. But when international artists of your stature, despite the appeals of Palestinians, continue to turn up on Israeli stages, the government which promotes these crimes takes heart: whatever it does, it seems there will be no penalty.
Like others who've added Tel Aviv to their touring schedule, you may say that you oppose Netanyahu. But it matters little whether or not artists endorse Israel's government. It's the fact they're willing to perform in Israel that is important. It is seen as public approval for the status quo: that's why Israel's foreign affairs ministry celebrated Radiohead's visit last July, while its media proclaimed their appearance as 'the best hasbara Israel has received lately'.
Noam Chomsky has recently said he's opposed to any appearance in Israel that is used to cover up the denial of Palestinian human rights. We hope you will agree with him.
Don't go – not while apartheid remains. Stand true to your support for those who opposed Israel's attacks on Gaza. Stand for freedom.
Marc Lamont Hill
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds had previously been the subject of an open letter from a group of Israeli citizens calling themselves "Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within". It remains to be seen whether the efforts will effect the change they hope for.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff