Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 15 July 2011

Moby, You're A Star! An American Pop Musician Eloquently Spurns The Cultural Boycott

Richard Melville Hall, better known by his stage name Moby, is an award-winning American singer-songwriter and musician who had a series of hits in the UK in the 1990s.

Moby is evidently a man of strong convictions and has a compassionate heart.  He's a Christian, and a vegan.  Some of his opinions are a tad too radical for me, but he's to be respected for his consistency and his lack of hypocrisy, and as a vegetarian I can fully relate to this quotation: "Could you look an animal in the eyes and say to it, 'My appetite is more important than your suffering'?".

At a time when more and more pop stars are declaring their support for a cultural boycott of Israel, Moby is standing firm.  He has defended his decision to perform in Israel in a statement that is as admirable and welcome as it is cogent and rational:

"If you go to America does that mean you support American foreign and domestic policy?  Does a visit to America mean that you support Guantanamo?
If you visit Italy does that mean you support Berlusconi?
If you visit the UK does that mean you’re a happy supporter of David Cameron?
I’m guessing the answer is: no.
A visit to a country isn’t a condemnation or an endorsement of the domestic or foreign policies of that nation's current government.
When I tour I visit countries that are universally loved (Canada), as well as countries for which people have more complicated feelings (Israel).
But when I tour I’m going to countries to play music for people.
My presence in a country is not an endorsement or a condemnation of that country's policies.
My presence in a country is an effort to connect with people through playing music.
Almost every country on the planet has some aspect of their foreign or domestic policy that is questionable(I mean, I live in the United States, and many aspects of our foreign and domestic policy are SERIOUSLY questionable…but yet I continue to live there and do what I can to effect positive change).
I have opinions about the policies of the countries I visit, of course, but I think its incredibly dangerous to form opinions of a place without actually spending time there.
The situation within a country is oftentimes considerably more complicated when experienced from within rather than when seen from thousands of miles away or through the sensationalistic and often simplifying and reductionist lens of the media.
I’m sorry if my decisions to visit certain countries are troubling to some people.
But, as I’ve said, my decision to play music in a country is purely based on a desire to connect with people through music, regardless of the government they’re currently living with or under."
Let's hope his wise words make an impact!

No comments:

Post a Comment