Following an announcement in February, Nick Cave has come under fire for two scheduled tour stops at Menorah Arena in Tel Aviv this November. A group of Israeli citizens wrote Cave an open letter, posted on Boycott Israel’s website earlier this month. Now, as Pitchfork reports, Artists for Palestine UK, a group featuring Roger Waters, Thurston Moore, Tunde Adebimpe, Angela Davis, and Mike Leigh, has posted its own letter to Cave and The Bad Seeds, asking the band to cancel its Tel Aviv shows “while apartheid remains” in the country.
The group–and especially Roger Waters and director Ken Loach–were previously very vocal in their opposition to Radiohead’s July performance in Tel Aviv. In the letter to Cave, the group cites the Israeli government’s use of that concert as a propagandistic example after the fact:
“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’.”
Roger Waters also released his own independent statement about the Bad Seeds’ concerts:
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.
Cave has not yet responded to any criticism surrounding the Tel Aviv shows.