Australian rocker: Boycotting Israel a ‘cowardly, shameful thing’

Nick Cave, the Australian rocker who has shown support for Israel in the past, rejects the premise of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Nick Cave, the lead singer of Australian band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, posted an eloquent opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement on his website Tuesday.

The rocker uploaded to a letter he had written to British composer Brian Eno, who is one of a group of musicians pushing their colleagues to embargo the Jewish state in order to show support for the Palestinians.

Eno had asked Cave last year to sign a petition against performing in Israel. Instead, Cave made a point of stopping in Tel Aviv on his world tour for two sold-out shows. At the time, he said, “It was important for me to come out against this silencing of artists.”

In his letter, Cave noted that although he believes the current Israeli administration commits “injustices” against Palestinians, he does “not accept that my decision to play in the country is any kind of tacit support for that government’s policies.”

“I think the cultural boycott of Israel is cowardly and shameful,” and that those who want this have strayed far “from the transformative nature of music to feel justified in weaponizing music and using it to punish ordinary Israeli citizens for the actions of their government.”

There are better ways to try and influence a government’s policies, he said, especially in a country that is “a real, vibrant and functioning democracy.”

“It struck me while writing this how much more powerful a statement you could make if you were to go to Israel and tell the press and the Israeli people how you feel about their current regime, then do a concert on the understanding that the purpose of your music was to speak to the Israeli people’s better angels,” Cave wrote. “That would have a much greater effect than a boycott.”