Open letter to singer Nick Cave from the Gaza war protesters he once supported

Activism
on 3 Comments

Dear Nick Cave,

When the nine of us climbed the roof of the Elbit UK drone factory, your voice helped to amplify our action. You standing up for us in 2014 gave a wider echo to our arms factory protest against the ruthless Israeli bombardment of Gaza that was happening at the time.

You signed the letter asking that all charges against us, the nine protesters, should be dropped – indeed they were. The prosecution collapsed in February 2015, when Elbit refused to provide details of its military export licences and investigations into its trade with Israel.

Now again we need your voice for justice.

As you know, we scaled the roof of the Elbit factory because of the devastation being wreaked on the Palestinian population in Gaza, the majority of whom are children. They massacred more than 2000 Palestinians in 51 days, including over 500 children – 90 entire families were wiped off the citizen registry. This wanton destruction of besieged Gaza was carried out with Elbit drones, F16s, Merkava tanks, Jeeps, snipers and a plethora of other weapons in Israel’s arsenal.

While the equivalent ammunition of an atomic bomb was unleashed on one of the most crowded places on the planet, Palestinians beneath the bombs in Gaza called for solidarity in the form of support for the Palestinian call for international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel. The goals of the BDS movement are hardly utopian. They are asking for the freedom, justice and equality that we take for granted, yet has been denied to the Palestinians for nearly seven decades.

It is one thing to support us as we risked prison by taking action on the Israeli arms factory roof, to shine a light on the profits being made by Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians. But a real stand with the Palestinian people is not to cross the BDS picket line, to honour their call by refusing to perform in Israel, and to refuse to participate in “Brand Israel”, a Foreign Ministry project using cultural icons and sports stars to whitewash the violent and racist practices of the Israeli state.

According to British and Israeli musicians Brian Eno and Ohal Grittier, “The foreign ministry in Israel works hand in hand with show promoters in Israel, who offer skyrocketing monetary compensation for concerts. Their stated goal is to establish a “Brand Israel” associated with liberal pluralism…But the decades-long systematic, often violent and murderous oppression of the Palestinian people has led us and many others to believe that, as in South Africa, boycott is an effective measure for bringing about change and liberation to an “oppressed people.”

We are asking you to join other musicians of conscience who have honoured the call, such as, Annie Lennox, Elvis Costello, Massive Attack, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Faithless, Gary Moore, Lauryn Hill, Klaxons, Cassandra Wilson, Jello Biafra, Lhasa, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Devendra Banhart, Vanessa Paradis, Gil Scott Heron, Pete Seeger, Cat Power, the Gorillaz and Leftfield.

South Africans who fought apartheid are now supporting the Palestinian struggle. They remember those international artists who stood by them by refusing to play Sun City, and we are asking you to stand against apartheid by refusing to perform a concert in Tel Aviv this November.

As you took a stand against Israel’s carnage in Gaza in the summer of 2014, we urge you to take a stand again now and honour the call from Palestine.

Yours,

Hilary Aked, Naiara Bazin, Charlie Deas, Maya Evans, Ewa Jasiewicz, Joseph Lee, Adie Mormech, Jessica Nero and Sami Wannell

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3 Responses

  1. just
    November 13, 2017, 4:26 pm

    That’s a humdinger of a letter! Well done.

    Let’s see if Cave will acknowledge the many truths cited and respect the Palestinians of Palestine who are under violent & crushing Israeli Occupation and siege. We can only hope that he has a functioning heart, mind, and compass.

    Here’s some news from Scotland:

    “Scottish police thwarted Palestinian activists’ right to protest in peace

    Police commission upheld three complaints by Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign over officers’ actions towards activists

    … Sofiah MacLeod, chair of the SPSC, said police activities against the campaign had been escalating since 2014. “They have really been trying to intimidate individuals as far as we’re concerned. That’s how it comes across, and we’re very pleased that PIRC has investigated the matter and asked the police to look again at the complaints,” she said.”

    much more @ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/13/scottish-police-thwarted-palestinian-activists-right-to-protest-in-peace

  2. Misterioso
    November 14, 2017, 11:10 am

    Cave is a tenth rate “musician” in desperate need of a gig. Pathetic.

  3. jon s
    November 19, 2017, 7:13 am

    In this case it looks like the bds campaign has backfired:

    http://m.jpost.com/Israel-News/Nick-Cave-Im-performing-in-Israel-because-of-BDS-514610

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