Massive Attack have spoken out about their boycott of gigs in Israel since 1999.
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The trip-hop group took to their official X/Twitter account to respond to someone’s comment about their performance in the country. “Your shows in Tel Aviv were fantastic,” read the tweet.
Massive Attack replied with: “Massive Attack have not performed (& will not perform) in Israel since the international request was made by Palestinian civic society & artistic institutions in 2002 (reiterated in 05 as BDS) as a form of non-violent pressure on Israel to end its brutal occupation of Palestine.
They continued: “The band took a decision not to perform in Israel in 1999 – some years before the Palestinian call for international boycott was made – based on our own observations of military oppression, occupation & apartheid.”
Massive Attack have not performed (& will not perform) in Israel since the international request was made by Palestinian civic society & artistic institutions in 2002 (reiterated in 05 as BDS) as a form of non-violent pressure on Israel to end its brutal occupation of Palestine. https://t.co/SKnl2Q7FKZ
— Massive Attack (@MassiveAttackUK) January 12, 2024
According to the BDS Movement website, “In 2005, Palestinian civil society organisations called for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as a form of non-violent pressure on Israel.”
It continued: “The BDS movement was launched by 170 Palestinian unions, refugee networks, women’s organisations, professional associations, popular resistance committees and other Palestinian civil society bodies.
“Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the Palestinian BDS call urges nonviolent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law by meeting three demands: ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall, recognising the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality and respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194”
At the time of writing, at least 23,469 Palestinians have been killed and 59,604 injured in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7, 2023, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health (per Al Jazeera). Roughly around 1,200 Israelis have been killed since October 7.
Last year, Massive Attack teamed up with Fontaines D.C. and Young Fathers for a limited edition 12” single to support the charity Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
100 per cent of the profits from the single will be donated to the charity to help their emergency operations in Gaza and the West Bank. In a statement, the artists have also called for an immediate ceasefire in the region, “in solidarity with the Palestinian people living under a brutal military operation”
Elsewhere, the band are set to headline the 2024 edition of MEO Kalorama. They also their first live UK show in five years in 2024 with a summer climate action event in Bristol. Visit here for any remaining tickets.
Back in October, their guitarist Angelo Bruschini died just months after revealing his lung cancer diagnosis. The news was shared by the band, who described the guitarist as “a singularly brilliant & eccentric talent”.