Subscribe to our newsletter


Nick Cave under pressure to cancel Israeli gigs


After the highly controversial decision by Radiohead to play in Tel Aviv in July, which saw the band receive a heavy amount of criticism and saw protesters from the pro-Palestine Boycott group picket at the band’s accountants office.

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds are due to play two nights at Tel Aviv’s Menorah Arena in November and have found themselves receiving a similar level of criticism as Radiohead did earlier this year when they performed in the same city in July.

An open letter has been released by Artists For Palestine UK and states their reasons as to why they believe the gigs shouldn’t go ahead and cites a UN report which states Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as “an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people.”

You can read the letter which has been signed by the likes of Thuston Moore, Roger Waters and John Pilger in full below.

Dear Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds,

You are scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on 19th & 20th November. Please don’t go.

In the words of a recent UN report, ‘Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people’.

Domination means Palestinian writers under house arrest. Literary festivals broken up. Travel bans for actors and musicians. Social media under surveillance. Media centres raided and plundered. The normalized use of military force against a captive population. The steady expansion of illegal settlements.

These are crimes. But when international artists of your stature, despite the appeals of Palestinians, continue to turn up on Israeli stages, the government which promotes these crimes takes heart: whatever it does, it seems there will be no penalty.

Like others who’ve added Tel Aviv to their touring schedule, you may say that you oppose Netanyahu. But it matters little whether or not artists endorse Israel’s government. It’s the fact they’re willing to perform in Israel that is important. It is seen as public approval for the status quo: that’s why Israel’s foreign affairs ministry celebrated Radiohead’s visit last July, while its media proclaimed their appearance as ‘the best hasbara Israel has received lately’.

Noam Chomsky has recently said he’s opposed to any appearance in Israel that is used to cover up the denial of Palestinian human rights. We hope you will agree with him.

Don’t go – not while apartheid remains. Stand true to your support for those who opposed Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Stand for freedom.

Yours sincerely,

Tunde Adebimpe
Saleh Bakri
Breyten Breytenbach
Judith Butler
Carmen Callil
Julie Christie
Molly Crabapple
Angela Davis
Kate Grenville
Ronnie Kasrils
Kathryn Kelly
AL Kennedy
Deborah Kingsland
Marc Lamont Hill
Mike Leigh
Ken Loach
Thurston Moore
Nurit Peled
John Pilger
Michael Rosen
Samah Sabawi
Ahdaf Soueif
Roger Waters
Penny Woolcock