Pro-BDS Roger Waters urges Chemical Brothers to nix Israel show

The Grammy-winning British electronica duo is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on November 12.

November 2, 2016 10:52
2 minute read.
The Chemical Brothers

The Chemical Brothers. (photo credit: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)


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The prolonged campaign by the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestement and Scanctions (BDS) movement to deter cultural guests from performing in Israel has decided on its latest target: the British electronica duo The Chemical Brothers.

Pink Floyd co-founder and vocal BDS supporter Roger Waters is among a contingent of anti-Israel artists who have urged the multi Grammy Award-winning band to cancel its November 12 concert in Tel Aviv.

Waters, along with 10 other artists, signed a letter under the banner of the Artists for Palestine UK group pleading for the popular musical pair – Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands – to nix their show in Israel.

“Your recording company, Virgin EMI, may tell you that playing Tel Aviv on November 12 is a cool thing to do.

But Tel Aviv’s hipster vibe is a bubble on the surface of a very deep security state that drove out half the indigenous Palestinian population in 1948 and has no intention of letting their descendants back in,” reads the October 18 letter addressed to the Chemical Brothers.

Meanwhile, the BDS movement claimed a victory with the signatures of over 7,000 people on an online petition calling for the artists to pull out of their gig at the Tel Aviv Convention Center.

“When international artists, such as The Chemical Brothers, perform at Israeli cultural venues and institutions, they help to create the false impression that Israel is a ‘normal’ country just like any other,” charges the petition that accuses Israel of exploiting culture “to cover up its severe violations of international law.”

In response to Waters, Israeli concert promoter Shuki Weiss posted on his Facebook page: “Roger Waters – you are such a hypocrite. It wasn’t too long ago that you played a show here with us in Israel. A very lucrative show for you, as we recall. And so it seems odd to see you call on the Chemical Brothers to cancel their show here, thereby denying them the rights that you allowed yourself: the right to meet their fans here; the right to share their music with them and of course, the right to make a living as a musician touring the world with a message and the right to educate oneself along this touring path – to see the world through your own eyes rather than be brainwashed by propaganda from all sides... meanwhile we continue to call on artists worldwide to ENGAGE with their audiences, to bring people together – in joy, in protest, in anger.”

Just last week Waters lost the sponsorship of American Express of his upcoming tour over his support for the BDS movement.

Formed in 1991 in the English city of Manchester, The Chemical Brothers last visited Israel in 1998, when they performed at Latrun.

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