Nick Cave to Roger Waters: You're the Reason I'm Playing Israel

Cheryl Sanders
November 22, 2017

Cave said that three years ago he had received a letter from musician Brian Eno asking him to sign "a list of people called Artists For Palestine", but that he objected. In her review for The Jerusalem Post, Sarah Levi wrote: "What could nearly be described as a cathartic performance, Cave and his band went from whispers to sporadic shouts and nearly hysterical musical accompaniment and back again, creating some sort of a collective musical exorcism which opened up the audience to bask in the euphoria of the performance".

Nevertheless, he didn't play in Israel for two decades. And that just seemed to me cowardly really. "As it happens I share a birthday with Israel: I too was born on May 15 1948".

"People speak about loving a nation, but I felt a kind of connection that I couldn't really describe", he said. And two is to make a principled stand against anyone who tries to censor or silence musicians.

"So at the end of the day there are two reasons why I am here". Cave said his Israel performances marked "a principled stand against anyone who tries to censor and silence musicians", noting that the protests contributed to his decision to play in Israel.


The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the BDS national committee, has also weighed in and issued a statement saying Cave's concerts "are a propaganda gift to Israeli apartheid".

Waters is a leading proponent of the BDS movement against Israel and has been active in urging fellow artists to boycott performing in the country.

Now Waters and Eno - along with others from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement - have criticized Cave's rationale in numerous statements.

"Nick thinks this is about censorship of his music?" "Nick, with all due respect, your music is irrelevant to this issue".


In a statement, AFP responded: "Nick Cave pretends that Artists For Palestine UK's insistence on the restoration of Palestinian rights somehow infringes the rights of others". At the time, the UN Secretary-General distanced himself from the report and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley demanded its withdrawal altogether. "We regret that in a land of injustice Nick Cave is giving comfort to the unjust".

The criticism of Cave follows that of Radiohead who chose to play in the country in July.

Martin has been a frequent visitor to Israel according to entertainment industry insiders, and late past year reports proliferated about a planned concert by Coldplay at the Dead Sea or another venue in the country. "It's the thing we fear the most, in a way, to be publicly humiliated". A long list of artists including Metallica, Madonna, Elton John, Rihanna, Ozzy Osbourne and others have ignored the pressure and performed in Israel in recent years.


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