Musician Nick Cave has said a cultural boycott of Israel is “cowardly and shameful” after defending his decision to play two concerts in Tel Aviv last month with his band Bad Seeds.
Echoing Thom Yorke of Radiohead, who played in Israel last year, Cave said his decision did not mean he endorsed the actions of the Israeli government, but the boycotters had if anything made him more determined to go.
In an email to fellow musician Brian Eno, he said the boycott “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”.
He added that the boycott “risks further entrenching positions in Israel in opposition to those you support”.
His stance is at odds with that of the singer Lorde, who pulled out of her Israel concerts earlier this year after pressure from BDS activists, two of whom were fined $18,000 by an Israeli court. Their crowdfunding campaign subsequently raised $41,000, the surplus going to reconstruction efforts in Gaza.
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