News Bands Frank Turner returns from Israel, defends decision to play dates there.

Frank Turner returns from Israel, defends decision to play dates there.

Posted June 8, 2010, 8:55 a.m. in Bands by Jon E.

Frank Turner has posted a blog entry about his recent trip to Israel and his thoughts on the boycotts which include The Pixies, Gorillaz, Elvis Costello and more. An excerpt from his comments:

For what it’s worth, I think the basic problem of two competing nationalisms claiming the same territory is a thorny one. I think Israel has a real problem in that its leadership schooled itself in an era of genuine existential threats (1967, 1973, to say nothing of the Holocaust) but is applying that mindset to a fundamentally different reality with a different balance of power. I think the Palestinians are suffering, but I think too many people are too quick to overlook what an awful bunch of shits Hamas are.

It’s not at all clear to me that, even if I did unconditionally condemn the Israeli government (which I don’t), I shouldn’t play shows there. The shows were organized by private citizens without any state involvement, and I’m not in the habit of judging individuals by the actions of their government. We in the UK and the USA, after all, have the Iraq war and occupation hanging over our collective heads. Of course I’m aware that some artists are boycotting Israel, as is their right; however it seems morally duplicitous to me to boycott Israel and not (say) the USA. Maybe big artists can afford to boycott one small state for the sake of some media grandstanding, and not the other, their main cashcow?

Later this summer, Turner will be opening for Green Day and Gaslight Anthem on shows in the US and UK. He released his Epitaph Records debut, Poetry of the Deed, in 2009.

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