Australian rock star Nick Cave said on Sunday that BDS was the impetus for coming to play in Israel. The musician spoke at a press party celebrating his concerts in Tel Aviv on Sunday and Monday.
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Cave explained that, a few years ago, he understood that he wouldn't sign an "Artists for Palestine" petition, calling for artists to refrain from coming to Israel. "I didn't want to sign the petition. I didn't connect to it. I don't like lists," he said.
Cave said he realized that though he wouldn't sign the petition, he also hadn't performed in Israel for 20 years. Cave first visited Israel to play a concert in 1993, and has returned twice since.
"That made me feel like a coward, so as soon as I planned this tour, it was important for me to come out against this silencing of artists," he said.
"I like Israel and Israelis, and it's important for me to do something of substance about this."
Cave said he had not played in Israel for the past 20 years due to a lack of popularity and to complex logistical challenges involved in organizing shows.