Nick Cave has shared a letter he sent Brian Eno regarding the controversy that surrounded his decision to play two shows in Israel.
The concerts took place last year, and seemed to spark an international conversation, with a number of musicians signing an open letter as part of the BDS movement.
Spearheaded by artists such as Brian Eno and Roger Waters, the letter urged Nick Cave to cancel, writing: "Stand true to your support for those who opposed Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Stand for freedom."
Nick Cave went through with the concerts, and since then has launched the Red Hand Files, a kind of slow-communication venture with fans via a purpose built website.
One fan wrote: "What are your thoughts on Brian Eno’s stance on Israel?"
Nick Cave replied that he had "received a number of messages broadly relating to this issue", and revealed that Eno had "emailed me in the hope of persuading me to reconsider. Below is my reply, which may go some way to answering your question."
In the letter Nick Cave describes the BDS boycott as "cowardly and shameful" and defends his decision to perform in Israel as a "principled stand against those who wish to bully, shame and silence musicians…"
He writes: "I do not support the current government in Israel yet do not accept that my decision to play in the country is any kind of tacit support for that government’s policies."
Nick Cave insists he is "aware of the injustices suffered by the Palestinian population" and hopes "that their suffering is ended via a comprehensive and just solution".
If fans are bewildered by two giants clashing, then so too was Nick Cave – at one point he describes Brian Eno as his "hero" and states his work remains of vital importance.
He says: "The records he made remain some of the most important and essential recordings I have ever heard. So, if there seems to be a thread of anguish that runs through this letter, this is indeed the case. I am writing to my hero."
The feeling might just be reciprocated. Writing on the Artists For Palestine UK website last year, Brian Eno said: "I admire Nick Cave as an artist and I know he has been generous in his support for Palestinian humanitarian causes. I think he has every right to come to his own conclusions about whether or not he supports BDS."
Read Nick Cave's letter in full HERE.
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