'Come Into the BDS Light': Roger Waters and Brian Eno Rip Nick Cave Over Israel Concert

'This isnt about music, its about human rights,' Waters writes after Nick Cave says BDS is what brought him to Israel

Roger Waters and Nick Cave.
REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni, Ennio Leanza/Keystone/AP

Pro-BDS musicians Roger Waters and Brian Eno blasted Australian rock star Nick Cave on Tuesday for both performing in Israel and publicly condemning the movement by citing the Israel boycott movement as his impetus for visiting.

In a group statement released by Artists for Palestine, Eno wrote that "Israel has consistently used cultural exchange as a form of hasbara (propaganda) to improve the image of the country abroad. The BDS campaign is simply asking artists not to be part of that propaganda campaign."

Nick thinks this is about censorship of his music? What? Nick, with all due respect, your music is irrelevant to this issue, so is mine, so is Brian Enos, so is Beethovens, this isnt about music, its about human rights, Waters wrote, "this isnt about music, its about human rights."

In his statement, Eno wrote that Its nothing to do with silencing artists—a charge I find rather grating when used in a context where a few million people are permanently and grotesquely silenced. Eno also wrote that we hurl our glasses into the fire of your arrogant unconcern, and smash our bracelets on the rock of your implacable indifference.

Waters said that "if at some point in the future you want to climb out of the dark, all you have to do is open your eyes, we, in BDS will be here to welcome you into the light."

Nick thinks this is about censorship of his music? What? Nick, with all due respect, your music is irrelevant to this issue, so is mine, so is Brian Enos so is Beethovens, this isnt about music, its about human rights, Waters added. We hurl our glasses into the fire of your arrogant unconcern, and smash our bracelets on the rock of your implacable indifference.

In a press conference ahead of his show, 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.