If there’s one musician you wouldn’t expect to find at the forefront of a national controversy, it would be Nick Cave. But now the beloved Aussie icon is at the centre of an international debate in regards to his decision to bring his band to Israel next month.
Currently, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are out on tour in Europe in support of their newest album, Skeleton Tree. Next month sees their tour hit up Israel, where the band is set to play two shows in Tel Aviv on November 19th and 20th, a move which has angered many due to these dates being seen as the band supporting the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians.
As NME reports, Artists For Palestine UK, which counts Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, and TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe amongst its members, has released an open letter to Cave, pleading with him to reconsider his choice.
“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,” the group wrote in their open letter to Nick Cave.
“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,” the continued. “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.”
Back in April, Radiohead received a similar letter from the organisation over their Tel Aviv concert in July. Ultimately, Radiohead’s concert went ahead, despite repeated calls from musicians such as Roger Waters for the group to reconsider. On the other side of things, the Pixies famously cancelled a scheduled performance in the country back in 2010 in the wake of a number of deaths of pro-Palestinian activists.
More recently, Roger Waters also came under fire for his pleas for Radiohead to reconsider their performance, with the Pink Floyd musician being labelled “anti-semitic” by a pro-Israeli organisation that humorously named themselves ‘We Don’t Need No Roger Waters’.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are yet to respond to the letter from Artists For Palestine UK.