U.K. Band Wolf Alice Defends Eurovision Move, Says Boycotting Israel Not Hypocritical

North London band explains to The Independent why they signed a letter boycotting the event together with Roger Waters and Brian Eno

Members of the band Wolf Alice after being announced winners of the Mercury Prize 2018 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, September 20, 2018.
Henry Nicholls/Reuters

North London's alternative rock band Wolf Alice defended their decision to sign a letter boycotting Israel's hosting of the 2019 Eurovision song contest in an interview with The Independent.

According to The Independent, Wolf Alice signed a letter calling for a boycott of the event together with fellow musicians Roger Waters and Brian Eno in addition to writers, theatre directors and filmmakers.

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“If you say you're not gonna go to Israel, then lots of people ask you why you're going to other countries where you don't believe in their government's actions," Ellie Rowsell, the band's lead vocalist and guitarist told The Independent. 

"And I can see why [they] think that's hypocritical, but you won’t do anything if you think like that. Everywhere’s fucked, and in terms of the cultural boycott of Israel, that’s what the Palestinian people have asked for.”

Guitarist Joff Oddie added that when “Israelis started shooting and killing people in their tens and hundreds... We agreed years ago that we wouldn’t go there, but this was about agreeing that we would make it public. It’s been the worst period of violence since the bombings in Gaza in 2014, so [for us] it was just a big kick up the arse to say, look, we do support this.”

Earlier this month, Lana Del Rey canceled her scheduled performance at the Meteor Festival in northern Israel. Numerous other artists soon followed suit, withdrawing their performance in protest of the Israeli government's policies. In addition, several top electronic musicians, producers and DJs worldwide pledged their support for a campaign promoting a cultural boycott of Israel.