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Pressure ramps up on The Chemical Brothers to cancel Tel Aviv show

Roger Waters has joined the campaign for a cultural boycott of Israel

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 2 November 2016
Pressure ramps up on The Chemical Brothers to cancel Tel Aviv show

The Chemical Brothers are being urged to cancel their forthcoming date at the Exhibition Grounds in Tel Aviv on November 12 as the campaign for a cultural boycott of Israel gains traction.

Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters is the latest musician to add his voice to the campaign, which drew the voices of 700 artists in February 2015, signing his name on an open letter on artistsforpalestine.org.uk.

It cites Israel’s “illegal military occupation” of Palestine as reason to boycott the Middle Eastern country, noting: “Your recording company, Virgin EMI, may tell you that playing Tel Aviv on November 12 is a cool thing to do. 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.”

The final paragraph reads: “If you go to Tel Aviv, your presence will be used by the Israeli authorities to reassure their citizens that all’s right with the world and nobody really cares that the Palestinians are suffering. You could step back from this.

“Last month, Brian Eno told the Israeli dance company, Batsheva, who were using his music in an Israeli embassy-sponsored event in Turin, that while they might not be able to distance themselves from the Israeli government, he could, and he would. You have the power to make the same choice. Please don’t go.”

Over 7,000 people have also signed a petition asking for the Chemical Brothers to cancel the gig, noting Tom Rowlands' own declaration in a 2005 interview that “Music is bigger than us.”

The petition states that the Chemical Brothers have claimed to Israeli media that "pressure was not applied to us” and that they “will go to any place where young people want to see us playing. We are not really involved in all the rest.” However, no source is provided for this comment.

[Via: The Guardian]

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter

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