DJs refuse to spin for Israel

September 21, 2018
The Black Madonna. Photo: Merlijn Hoek.

Dozens of DJs and music producers have joined an international call to support the cultural boycott of Israel.

“As long as the Israeli government continues its brutal and sustained oppression of the Palestinian people, we respect their call for a boycott of Israel as a means of peaceful protest against the occupation,” reads the statement artists posted on their social media pages, along with the hashtag #DJsForPalestine.

Popular artists such as The Black Madonna, Four Tet, Caribou, Ben UFO, Call Super, Laurel Halo, Ciel and Rrose showed their support for the boycott, along with record labels such as Truants and Discwoman.

British-based DJ Ben UFO said on Instagram that after playing in Tel Aviv in 2013 and learning about why Palestinians have called for a cultural boycott, he had declined further invitations to play. “For me this is primarily an issue of solidarity, and an exercise in listening,” he said.

“My position on this issue is part of a more general politics of anti-racism, which I hope that I can live up to.”

Following the launch of the campaign and a recent appeal by boycott campaigners, Peggy Gou, a Korean DJ based in Berlin, announced she had canceled her performance at the DGTL festival in Tel Aviv.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) thanked Gou and artists involved in the #DJsForPalestine campaign for their “meaningful solidarity with our nonviolent struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”

The #DJsForPalestine campaign kicked off after 20 artists —more than one-third of the original international lineup — pulled out of the Meteor Festival in Israel. They included headliner Lana Del Rey, Of Montreal and Shlohmo.

Musician and producer Honey Dijon, who had sharply criticised fans last month for asking her not to play the Meteor Festival performance, ended up cancelling her gig at the last minute, according to PACBI.

[Abridged from The Electronic Intifada.]

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