Roger Waters responded to criticism from Australian singer Nick Cave over the former Pink Floyd frontman’s prominent advocacy of an artists’ boycott of Israel, telling him it “isn’t about music – it’s about human rights.”
Cave and his band, The Bad Seeds, played to sold-out crowds on Sunday and Monday in Tel Aviv.
Prior to his concerts, Cave told a news conference that he was performing in Israel to take a stand against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, or BDS.
He took a dig at Waters, saying, “If you play Israel, you have to go through a sort of public humiliation from Roger Waters and Co., and no one wants to be publicly shamed. It’s the thing we fear the most, in a way, to be publicly humiliated.”
Waters has been active in urging fellow artists to boycott performing in the country.
“Nick thinks this is about censorship of his music? What?” Waters wrote in a statement following Cave’s concerts in Israel. “Nick, with all due respect, your music is irrelevant to this issue. So is mine, so is Brian Eno’s, so is Beethoven’s. This isn’t about music – it’s about human rights.
“We hurl our glasses into the fire of your arrogant unconcern, and smash our bracelets on the rock of your implacable indifference,” Waters also wrote, adding that “if at some point in the future you want to climb out of the dark, all you have to do is open your eyes, we, in BDS will be here to welcome you into the light.”
Eno, a British musician, also commented in a statement posted with Waters’ on the website of the Artists for Palestine organization.
“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,” Eno wrote. “However, I think I also have the right to present him with another side to this argument.”