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Nick Cave’s Israel show protested by Roger Waters, Thurston Moore, Tunde Adebimpe, more

Nick Cave at Beacon Theatre
Nick Cave at Beacon Theatre in June (more by Dana Distortion)

Nick Cave‘s ongoing European tour is set to end with two Israel shows, November 19 and 20 at Tel Aviv’s Menorah Arena. As Pitchfork points out, an open letter protesting the concerts has been signed by fellow musicians Roger Waters, Thurston Moore and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, as well as filmmakers Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, all five of whom also signed an open letter protesting Radiohead’s Israel show earlier this year.

The letter begins:

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.

It ends, “Don’t go – not while apartheid remains. Stand true to your support for those who opposed Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Stand for freedom.” You can read the whole thing here.

Roger Waters also gave his own statement:

I wonder if Nick and Bryan [Adams, scheduled to play Tel Aviv December 4 and 5, and Jerusalem December 6] and Thom Yorke and the rest of these guys were to spend even a day or two in administrative detention [without charge or trial], or even once have their kids woken and arrested in the middle of the night, or, or, or……whether they would still ignore the screams of the victims and the desperate pleas for help from Palestinian civil society, whether they would still cross the picket line. … You can either heed the cry, respect your brothers’ and sisters’ picket line and stand with them in their struggle for the basic human rights we all take for granted, or you can turn your backs on them, take the shilling, and entertain their lords and masters at the banquets and balls.

Radiohead replied to the opposition earlier this year, saying, “We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America,” and Michael Stipe backed Radiohead. Their show went on as planned.

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