Artists have written to DJ Fatboy Slim asking him to cancel his forthcoming show in Tel Aviv. Norman Cook, AKA Fatboy Slim, said recently in an interview that his criteria for accepting a gig means it has to ‘fulfil the 5 f’s’ – a first, a favour for a friend, fun, finance, food. Playing the settler-colonial state may be ‘a first’ for Fatboy, but it’s only going to be ‘fun’ if he ignores the experience of Palestinians including those within Israel’s borders. We hope he thinks again.
London, 6 February 2017
Dear Fatboy Slim,
We’re disappointed to learn that you’re performing in Tel Aviv on March 12 this year.
Okay, it’s in the context of the Purim festival, and the venue, Hangar 11, is reported to be gay-friendly – so it all looks fine and inclusive and progressive and happy, and why not go?
But this is not the same as playing Brighton & Hove Pride, or Parma on New Year’s Eve.
Most of the young Israelis in Hangar 11 on Sunday March 12 will be doing national service, policing the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians. They’ll be taking time off from the whole range of things the Israelis do to suffocate Palestinian life. If you think that’s an exaggeration, here’s what Israeli journalist Gideon Levy wrote on 20 January 2017: ‘To most Jewish Israelis, Arabs aren’t human beings equal to us. This dehumanization makes the soldiers and police trigger-happy’.
You may hope you’ll be lucky enough only to play for anti-racist Israelis like Levy. But you’ll be deluding yourself. Please take a look at this sequence of pictures from the recent demolition of a Palestinian village inside Israel. The people whose houses were destroyed are Israeli citizens. The man lying on the ground with blood running down his face is a member of the Israeli parliament. What’s their crime? They’re Palestinians, non-Jews, in a state that wants their land for a Jewish town. You may hope that they will be in the audience to hear you on March 12. But you’re much more likely to be playing for their attackers. Do you really want to do that?
Please don’t go.
Tam Dean Burn, actor
Jd Meatyard, musician
Jenny Morgan, film-maker
Miranda Pennell, artist/film-maker
Brendan Perry, musician (Dead Can Dance)
Leon Rosselson, musician
Nick Seymour, musician (Crowded House)
Farhana Sheikh, writer
Hilary Westlake, theatre director