Dear Mark E. Smith,
We are members of an Israeli group which supports the Palestinian call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. As you might have heard the Palestinians are asking artists not to play into the hands of Israeli attempts to construct a facade of normalcy over its constant violation of Palestinian human rights.
We understand that artists hate to be told what is the right thing to do; some artists have reacted negatively to the request not to cross the picket lines of this struggle, and have portrayed their refusal to heed the call not to perform in Israel as a non-conformist stand. But in doing so they have chosen a PR-manufactured pose over the actual meaning of their actions: however charming the image of the eternal non conformist, it does not outweigh extending support to an openly racist regime. Other artists, wishfully thinking that music has nothing to do with politics, found themselves playing on stages draped in large Israeli flags when they came to Tel Aviv.
Performing in Israel extends support to a repressive regime at a crucial time; one is forced to choose whether to take the side of Israeli repression, which bars Palestinians living under Israeli occupation access to where your show is scheduled to take place, or to refuse to pretend that this is an acceptable condition.
On behalf of BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within.