As Israeli dissidents, we refuse to be Nick Cave's excuse for crossing the Palestinian picket line

JUNE 2018


We are Israeli citizens, who are opposed to our government's policies of racism, occupation and apartheid, and actively support the Palestinian civil society call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against these policies.

Last year, Nick Cave performed in Tel Aviv in spite of principled appeals from activists and artists throughout the world. His statement at the time attested to a deep misunderstanding of the situation here, as well asthe difference between civil society appeals for solidarity and government censorship. Cave continues to ignore the fact that BDS is a democratic, nonviolenttool, called for by a large coalition which represents Palestinian civil society in the Gaza strip, West Bank, as well as Palestinians living within Israel, and Palestinian refugees all around the globe.

This year, as Israel is committing an ongoing massacre against the Palestinians in thebesieged Gaza strip, we note once again that Cave does not grasp the severity of the human rights catastrophe inflicted by Israel on the indigenous Palestinian people.

Lastly, Nick Cave portrays Israeli fans of his music as those who are "protesting their own government". In fact, domestic opposition to Israel's attacks and massacres on the Palestinian people in the past decade has been very weak. The number of Israelis who flocked to Cave's performance in Israel is by far larger than the turnout for any recent demonstration in Israel against its atrocities in Gaza. This is a grotesque reality, but artists who profess humanistic ideologies must understand that their music does not necessarilygenerate a corresponding fanbase.


That said, the Palestinian guidelines for cultural boycott do not seek punishment of music fans, but rather the severing of corporate ties, and refraining from business transactions with Israel, until it enacts its obligations to the rights of Palestinians to life, safety, equality, and return of refugees.

Nick Cave's repeated misrepresentation of the BDS movement is self-absorbed at best, and at worst serves to publicly defame a people in a struggle for their lives. We object to this cynicism in our names. As Israeli dissidents, we refuse to be Nick Cave's excuse for crossing the Palestinian picket line. We continue to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and ask that artists continue to boycott Israel.