British artists join Israel boycott in response to Gaza flotilla massacre

UPDATE, 6 June 2010: US band The Pixies have also announced the cancellation of their show in Tel Aviv on 9 June.


ISM London are delighted to learn that the Gorillaz and the Klaxons have both cancelled upcoming shows in Israel, a move that Israeli broadsheet Haaretz links to Israel’s recent massacre aboard the Freedom Flotilla headed for Gaza.

Both groups were due to play at Tel Aviv’s Pic.Nic. Festival, but pulled out on Thursday afternoon according to festival producer Shuki Weiss.

“Attempts by the Israeli event producers to convince the artists to perform did not produce any results,” Weiss said.

The bands’ cancellations come only six weeks after Gil Scott Heron cancelled a Tel Aviv show, and less than three weeks since Elvis Costello pulled out of a show in Israel. Both artists cited political reasons for pulling out of their shows, supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement led by Palestinian civil society.

These latest cancellations come as part of a global tidal wave of BDS commitments sparked by the flotilla massacre.

In the last few days Nicaragua, South Africa and Turkey have suspended diplomatic relations with Israel.

World renowned Scottish writer Iain Banks endorsed the cultural boycott on Thursday. In a letter to Guardian he said this was in order to “convince Israel of its moral degradation and ethical isolation” by “simply by having nothing more to do with this outlaw state.”

From June 15th to June 29th, the Swedish Port Workers Union will blockade all Israeli ships and cargo to and from Israel, a move echoed by the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) who advocate “an escalation of the boycott of Israeli goods” and have called upon its members “not to allow any Israeli ship to dock or unload”.

The SATAWU pioneered the boycott against Israeli maritime trade in February 2009, refusing to offload a ship in Durban.

The South African trade union federation COSATU have called for “greater support for the international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel,” urging “all South Africans to refuse to buy or handle any goods from Israel or have any dealings with Israeli businesses.”

The Swedish under-21 football team have expressed deep reservations about their upcoming game in Israel. Turkey’s under-19 team cancelled a game in Israel this week.

It was also revealed that 42% of Norwegians now support a boycott of all Israeli products.

Norway’s largest trade union federation, comprising almost one fifth of the entire Norwegian population, called on the State Pension Fund, the third largest in the world, to divest from all Israeli

For more on the BDS movement, visit the BNC’s website: