Rockers “Of Montreal” have become the latest musicians to boycott a festival in Israel, accusing the country of “apartheid” and urging more activism.
The indie rock band – which, despite its name, is from Athens, Georgia and not Quebec – follows the pop singer Lana Del Rey in leaving the three-day Meteor festival, which opens on Thursday in northern Israel.
After deep consideration, we have decided to cancel our appearance at the Meteor festival. After exhausting all of the…
The move comes amid a campaign by the BDS movement – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – that calls on musicians to shun Israel as a way to press the government to change its treatment of the Palestinians.
While artists who have heeded the boycott calls have generally released vague, diplomatic statements, Of Montreal – known for its boisterous, synthesizer-driven psychedelic rock – took aim squarely at Israeli policy, while stressing it was not condemning the people of Israel as a whole.
Indie Band Of Montreal Latest to Nix #Israel Show Over 'Murderous and Brutal Policies'
The band joins a slew of musicians who have canceled their participation in the Meteor Festival #bds
— Justice4all (@2017JusticeDied) September 6, 2018
Of Montreal wrote on its Facebook page late Tuesday.
“After exhausting all of the different possible ways of justifying playing an Israeli party festival, while the political and military leaders of the country continue their murderous and brutal policies against the Palestinian people, we came to the realization that there is no actual appropriate move other than to cancel the show … Now is not the time for escapism and celebrations. Now is the time for activism and protests against Israeli apartheid, Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the human rights atrocities being carried out every day in Gaza by Israeli forces.”
— ? Zak Boufont ? #JC9✊? (@boufont_zak) September 6, 2018
Israeli forces have killed more than 170 Palestinians in Gaza since the Great Return March border protests began on March 30, while more than 17,500 have been injured.
The territory has been under a crushing decade-long blockade by Israel, preventing the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza.
The ‘Great March of Return’ continues into its sixth month. Peaceful protesters continue to be threatened by live fire from the Israeli military. Ibrahim Talalqa, a medic working …https://t.co/etBisOF29A pic.twitter.com/mTVcGKNH5R
— Sabeel Jerusalem (@SabeelJerusalem) September 6, 2018
The blockade has had a dire impact on Gaza’s economy. Unemployment in the besieged territory stands at 45 percent, one of the highest rates in the world.
Gazans have access to around four hours of electricity a day due to fuel shortages, while more than 90 percent of Gaza’s water is unsafe to drink.
— Conflict and Environment Observatory (@detoxconflict) September 6, 2018
Several politically active musicians have called off shows in Israel over the past years, including Lauryn Hill and Elvis Costello.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) September 5, 2018
In December, New Zealand singer Lorde also canceled a show following BDS pressure.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)