Nick Cave, the Australian rock star, has accused the anti-Israel boycott movement of “censoring and silencing” musicians as he prepares to play the second of two sold-out shows in the country.
In a press conference on Sunday, the Bad Seeds frontman spoke of the pressure on musicians from the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
He said that record producer Brian Eno approached him three years ago to sign a boycott list, which he refused to do.
He said: “On a very intuitive level I did not want to sign that list, there was something that stunk to me about that list.
“So at the end of the day there are two reasons why I am here. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people and two is to make a principled stand against anyone who wants to censor and silence musicians.
“So really you could say in a way that the BDS made me play Israel.”
A host of world-famous artists, including Elton John, Radiohead, Rihanna, Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica, have defied pressure from the BDS movement to perform in Israel.
Cave and the band will play their last live show until June 2018 at Tel Aviv’s Menorah Mivtachim Arena on Monday, after performing at the same venue last night.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has responded to Cave’s comments on Twitter, saying the Bad Seeds’ decision was a “propaganda gift to Israeli apartheid”.
It said: “Betraying his progressive values, Nick Cave will play Tel Aviv, ignoring how his gig will help to art-wash Israel’s decades-old oppression of Palestinians.
“Nonetheless, we thank him for making one thing abundantly clear -- playing Tel Aviv is never simply about music.”