Artists to Fatboy Slim: please don’t play Tel Aviv

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.

Yours sincerely,

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

Sigmatron, DJ/producer

Hilary Westlake, theatre director

10 thoughts on “Artists to Fatboy Slim: please don’t play Tel Aviv

  1. Judy Granville says:

    Don’t go Norman. I love your music but if you entertain Israel I can’t imagine having any respect for you ever again. Israel is racist state.

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  2. Daniel Sevitt says:

    The pictures you showed, while shocking, have nothing to do with the Occupation. They are an entirely domestic dispute similar to the brutal policing of traveler communities by British police. This is not a Palestinian village inside Israel. There is no such thing as a Palestinian village inside Israel. There are Palestinian villages in Palestine and Israeli villages in Israel. As you rightly state these are Israelis being turfed out of their homes by Israeli police. While I find this behavior abhorrent, your framing this as a religious attack as non-Jews being moved to make way for Jews is ignorant and inciting.

    While I support your right to protest on behalf of Palestinians living under military occupation, this is another dispute all together. Using this as the basis of your call to Fatboy Slim suggests a monomaniacal focus on Israeli domestic affairs that extends worryingly beyond the injustice of the Occupation.

    Finally I question your basis for this claim:

    “You may hope you’ll be lucky enough only to play for anti-racist Israelis like Levy. But you’ll be deluding yourself.” Really? On what grounds do you attest this? The overwhelming majority of Israelis that I know are anti-racists, unlike, say, the majority of British people that voted to leave Europe or the majority of Americans that elected Donald Trump. The bigotry you display by lumping all Israelis together as racists does your campaign no credit.

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    • Artists for Palestine UK says:

      Daniel, the demolition of the village, the displacement of non-Jewish population, the shooting of a Palestinian-Israeli politician are not part of some ‘domestic dispute’ but prima face examples of Apartheid, that is, legalised racism, which we do not yet have in Britain thank god.

      On your other point, it is common knowledge that Gideon Levy is a dissident in Israel, part of tiny and marginalised minority who speak out against Apartheid and all state sanctioned racism. We are proud to work with such dissidents.

      Like

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