Nick Cave to Brian Eno: 'The cultural boycott of Israel is cowardly and shameful'

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  • Cave wrote in a letter that his decision to play in Israel was a "principled stand against those who wish to bully, shame and silence musicians."
  • Nick Cave to Brian Eno: 'The cultural boycott of Israel is cowardly and shameful' image
  • Nick Cave has published a letter he sent to Brian Eno about the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement. In the email posted to Cave's Q&A project, The Red Hand Files, the Australian singer-songwriter expands on his previous statements in opposition to BDS and its call for a cultural boycott of Israel. He explains his response to Eno, who urged him not to play two shows in Tel Aviv while on tour with The Bad Seeds in 2017. "I think the cultural boycott of Israel is cowardly and shameful," he wrote. "In fact, this is partly the reason I am playing Israel—not as support for any particular political entity but as a principled stand against those who wish to bully, shame and silence musicians." After the end of the now-open email, Cave adds that he wonders if he "did the right thing in playing Israel."
    "I cannot answer that question. I understand and accept the validity of many of the arguments that are presented to me. Indeed, some of my dearest friends in the music industry found my decision very difficult to accept, but there it is, after much consideration the decision was made: I simply could not treat my Israeli fans with the necessary contempt to do Brian Eno's bidding."
    Eno is one of seven people to share their thoughts on the complicated situation in our November feature about BDS and the #DJsForPalestine movement. Read more about Eno's involvement in Palestine's art scene in Tom Faber's feature, The Walled Off Hotel: A creative retreat in Palestine, from earlier this year. Due to the sensitive nature of this story, the comments on this news piece are locked. For more information, please refer to our community guidelines.