Feb 18, 2011

#BDS: A pebble in the mainstream

"David R Randall
On the band’s last tour to Israel, Faithless frontman Maxi Jazz and lead guitarist Dave Randall became acutely aware of the Israeli occupation and late last year – amid much public attention – Faithless cancelled its scheduled Israeli gig.
Israel is the regional centre for all things cool, sexy and western – or so its government PR machine would like the world to think.

Tel Aviv is promoted as a hedonistic, libertarian party city, frequented by many of the world’s best known bands and DJs. This manufactured image matters to Israel.

The implicit message is that the country is liberal and progressive. Music fans can dance, drink and pop pills long into the night, blissfully distracted from the immeasurable suffering endured by Palestinians living just 40km down the road in Gaza.

In effect, music helps to drown out the cries of the oppressed in a society wilfully in denial of its role as oppressor. International DJs and musicians should no longer be complicit in this crime.

Faithless last performed in Israel in June 2005. I invited my friend, Palestinian producer and rapper Jad Abbas (aka Boikutt), to be my guest at the gig. He declined, explaining that Israeli checkpoints meant the short journey to the venue from his home in Ramallah would be almost impossible.

He added that, as a supporter of the cultural boycott of Israel, he would prefer it if our gig wasn’t happening at all. At the time, I knew of no western bands who had joined the boycott.

Since then, awareness of the true face of Israel and the suffering and humiliation to which Palestinians are subjected has become far more widespread, particularly in the wake of the siege of Gaza.

Significantly, people are coming to the realisation that Israel is an apartheid state. "

Read more

No comments:

Post a Comment