Indie Rock Icon Thurston Moore Backs BDS When Explaining Nixed Tel Aviv Concert

Former Sonic Youth frontman says canceled gig due to Israel's 'brutal human rights violations - including those accompanying discriminatory laws and occupation of West Bank.'

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Thurston Moore performing in 2007.
Thurston Moore performing in 2007.Credit: Bertrand / Wikimedia Commons

Indie rock icon Thurston Moore is the latest musician to lend his explicit support to the BDS movement.

After cancelling a Tel Aviv concert scheduled for April 27, the former Sonic Youth frontman confirmed that the nixed gig was due to Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

"It was with serious deliberation that I eventually arrived at the personal conclusion that to perform with my band in Israel was in direct conflict to my values," Moore told music website The Quietus.

"With the realization that a cultural and academic boycott is central to its purpose in exposing a reality of brutal human rights violations – including those accompanying Israel's discriminatory laws and occupation of the West Bank – I felt the need, with humility, to cancel the engagement."

"With apology and thanks to everyone I work with professionally, as this decision incurs difficult rectification," Moore continued, "and to every individual with a wish to hear us play live, I've made the decision, with certitude, to fully acknowledge the dedication of the boycott until the time comes for it to be unnecessary."

Moore added that Sonic Youth's 1996 concert in Tel Aviv "was an amazing, wonderful experience and education. I hope to return soon."

Last month, Lauryn Hill confirmed she canceled her March 7 concert in Rishon Letzion because she could not organize a parallel performance in Ramallah, and did not want her appearance only before Israelis to be a "source of alienation" to her fans.

In late April, Pink Floyd multiinstrumentalist Roger Waters - arguably the most outspoken musician in favor of the BDS movement - slammed British pop start Robbie Williams for performing in Israel.

In February, over 100 British artists, including Waters and fellow musician Brian Eno, announced a cultural boycott of Israel, along with more than 600 other artists who also signed up to the initiative. 

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