As Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas negotiate an extension to their current three-day ceasefire, Brian Eno has weighed in again on how he views the U.S. and U.K. role in the recent conflict. Last week, the broadly accomplished musician and producer published a letter on David Byrne’s website in which he characterized American support of the Israeli military as tantamount to “ethnic cleansing.” Byrne also posted a note from Eno’s friend Peter Schwartz, who faulted both camps in the strife.
Now, Eno has posted a reply to Schwartz on the website for the British Stop the War Coalition (via FACT). In the latest lengthy missive, Eno addresses the question “why single out Israel?” by saying that unlike other global tragedies, this one involves his own government, and that he has previously taken part in movements directed toward events in Vietnam, South Africa, Bosnia and Iraq. He also acknowledges that some foes of Israeli policy are motivated by sheer anti-Semitism. And he blasts the U.K. and U.S. governments for “hypocrisy,” writing, “One of the reasons I want to demonstrate is to say ‘Don’t judge us by our governments.’”
Read Eno’s full letter here. It comes as Mideast tensions have forced Cee Lo Green and Megadeth to cancel concerts in Israel. Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga are among the U.S. performers who still have tour dates in Tel Aviv this year.
For more on this complex issue, which understandably generates passion from all sides, please read Rahawa Haile’s Wondering Sound feature, Should Musicians Play Tel Aviv?