JERUSALEM —-Australian rock star Nick Cave said BDS had played a role in his decision to perform in Israel this week.
“In a certain way the BDS movement is responsible for my coming to Israel,” the 60- year-old rocker, who is visiting Israel for the fourth time said at a press conference in Tel Aviv Sunday afternoon ahead of his two local gigs.
Cave told the story of how a few years ago, British musician Brian Eno tried to urge him to sign an artist’s petition by an organization called “Artists For Palestine” to boycott Israel. Cave refused, “I didn’t want to sign that petition, I didn’t connect to it, I don’t like lists,” he said.
Despite Cave’s refusal to sign the petition, it has been nearly 20 years since the last time he played in Israel. Cave cited the reasons for that as being logistical and not political, however, it still made him uneasy.
“[Not coming for 20 years] made me feel like a coward, so after much thought, I decided it’s about time we play Israel,” Cave said, adding that, “It suddenly became extremely important to take a firm stance against those who act like bullies and try to silence musicians. So, at the end of the day, there are two reasons I am here: [The first is that] I love Israel and the Israelis, and [the second is that]it’s important for me to do something of substance about this.”
2017 was one of the biggest years for international acts playing in Israel, including performances by the likes of Justin Bieber, Guns and Roses, Aerosmith and Brian Adams. Despite that, 2018 is gearing up to be even bigger, with dates set for shows by musical juggernauts such as former Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne and former Beatle Ringo Starr.