Australian rocker Nick Cave slammed boycotts of Israel as "cowardly and shameful" in a letter to fellow singer Brian Eno and other musicians after the British singer endorsed the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.
Cave penned an open letter to Eno in which the Bad Seeds singer said while he does not support the Israeli government, he does not support BDS either.
"I think the cultural boycott of Israel is cowardly and shameful. In fact, this is partly the reason I am playing Israel – not as support for any particular political entity but as a principled stand against those who wish to bully, shame and silence musicians," Cave wrote in the letter. "I don’t intend to engage in a detailed discussion as to how the boycott of Israel can be seen to be anti-Semitic at heart and, furthermore, does not work (rather, it risks further entrenching positions in Israel in opposition to those you support), but even the estimable Noam Chomsky considers the BDS as lacking legitimacy and inherently hypocritical. What we actually have here is a fundamental difference of opinion as to what the purpose of music is."
The 61-year-old went on to explain his decision to play in the Middle Eastern country, pointing out he previously raised more than $180,000 for Palestinian children through the Hoping Foundation.
"Ultimately, whatever the rights and wrongs of official Israeli action in the disputed territories, Israel is a real, vibrant, functioning democracy – yes, with Arab members of parliament – and so engaging with Israelis, who vote, may be more helpful than scaring off artists or shutting down means of engagement," Cave wrote.
Eno has yet to respond to Cave's letter and did not reply to Fox News' request for comment.
Cave isn't the only musician to face criticism for performing in Israel. Radiohead's Thom Yorke faced backlash from Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters and others for playing in Israel in 2017.
Yorke argued at the time that "playing in a country isn't the same as endorsing its government."
"We've played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others," he said. "As we have in America."
In September, singer Lana Del Rey canceled her performance in Israel under pressure from an anti-Israeli group two weeks after she publicly defended the concert as a way to “bring us together” with a “thematic emphasis on peace.”
Singers who have performed in Israel include Paul McCartney, Alicia Keys, Elton John, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, Justin Bieber, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Leonard Cohen, Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Cyndi Lauper, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and others.