Supporters of an international boycott movement against Israel have lashed out at rock star Nick Cave after he played in the Jewish state and accused the pro-Palestinian activists of trying to bully musicians.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel called Cave’s shows a “propaganda gift” that helps “art-wash” Israeli policies toward Palestinians. Cave plays Monday (Nov. 20) in Tel Aviv after an almost sold out show there the night before.
The Australian musician said he faced pressure to cancel shows by the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Cave said he wanted to take a “principled stand against anyone who wants to censor and silence musicians.” Some artists have canceled shows in Israel amid BDS pressure while many others continue to play.
Israel says the campaign goes beyond fighting its occupation of territory Palestinians claim for a state and often masks a more far-reaching aim to delegitimize or destroy the Jewish state. Some BDS critics accuse the movement of anti-Semitism — a claim the movement rejects.
BDS has enlisted the support of Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters and has persuaded some performers like Elvis Costello and Lauren Hill against playing. A long list of artists including Metallica, Madonna, Elton John, Rihanna, Ozzy Osbourne and others have ignored the pressure and performed in Israel in recent years.