Nick Cave in Tel Aviv [Photo Source: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds]
On Sunday and Monday night, Aussie rockers Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds played to thousands of happy fans in two back-to-back shows at the Tel Aviv’s Menorah Arena. Initially, Cave was supposed to play just one show here in Israel, but due to high demand, another show was scheduled for his Israel performance. The last time Cave had visited Israel was 20 years ago and, before this trip, it seemed unlikely that Cave was going to come back anytime soon. But, according to the rocker, the boycott divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement actually motivated him to return to Israel.
During a powerful interview, Nick Cave told reporters that playing in Israel was challenging because of the logistics of setting up the show and because of international pressure from groups like BDS and from fellow musicians like Roger Waters and Brian Eno. Cave told reporters that about three years ago he received a letter from musician Brian Eno, on behalf of a group called “Artists for Palestine.” They implored Cave to join the group and sign a document, which would mean that he would not play shows in Israel and would be tantamount to his disapproval of international musicians that did.
Cave refused to join the group and to sign his name. “There was something that stunk to me about that list,” Cave said. He went on to say, “and then it occurred to me, that I’m not signing the list, but I’m also not playing Israel and that just felt to me cowardly really. And so, after a lot of thought and consideration about the whole thing, I rang up my people and said, so we’re doing a European tour, let’s add Israel – because it suddenly became clear very important to me to make a stand against those who people that are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians and who are trying to silence musicians.”
“So I think there’s really two reasons why I’m here. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people. And two is to make a principled stand against anyone who tries to censor and silent musicians.”
In conclusion, Cave said, “and so you really could say in a way that the BDS movement made me play in Israel.”
Israeli media outlets were also quick to report on fan sightings of Chris Martin, lead singer and co-founder of the British rock band Coldplay, together with Nick Cave and the actress Dakota Johnson who apparently was accompanying Martin on his recent trip to Israel. The British rock star was first seen dining with Cave and Johnson at the at Yam Sheva, a restaurant along the Herzliya boardwalk, and then again at one of the Nick Cave shows, together with Johnson. I think it’s safe to say that Chris Martin also doesn’t care for the anti-Israel BDS movement.
All of us here at Lev Haolam thank Nick Cave for his support for Israel, for playing to his fans in Tel Aviv, and for categorically rejecting the BDS movement and its message of anti-Israel hatred.