As the tragic violence in Gaza has been heating up again, so has debate about the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Rock and pop stars have been getting in on that discourse, including Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Zayn Malik, and most prominently Eddie Vedder, who delivered a controversial onstage rant, an impassioned blog post, and an “Imagine” cover this month. Despite Vedder’s rage, he was pretty diplomatic, continually stating that he’s anti-war, not anti-Israel.
Brian Eno is not so diplomatic. In a letter on David Byrne’s website, Eno decried the United States for its continued support of Israel’s efforts to claim land in Palestine, efforts the legendary producer described as “ethnic cleansing.” Here’s an excerpt:
What is going on in America? I know from my own experience how slanted your news is, and how little you get to hear about the other side of this story. But – for Christ’s sake! – it’s not that hard to find out. Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY? I just don’t get it. I really hate to think its just the power of AIPAC… for if that’s the case, then your government really is fundamentally corrupt. No, I don’t think that’s the reason… but I have no idea what it could be.
The America I know and like is compassionate, broadminded, creative, eclectic, tolerant and generous. You, my close American friends, symbolise those things for me. But which America is backing this horrible one-sided colonialist war? I can’t work it out: I know you’re not the only people like you, so how come all those voices aren’t heard or registered? How come it isn’t your spirit that most of the world now thinks of when it hears the word ‘America’? How bad does it look when the one country which more than any other grounds its identity in notions of Liberty and Democracy then goes and puts its money exactly where its mouth isn’t and supports a ragingly racist theocracy?
Read Eno’s full commentary, as well as a breakdown of the conflict’s history by Eno’s friend Peter Schwartz, here. In Byrne’s introduction, he asserts, “What’s clear is that no one has the moral high ground.”
[Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.]