This past Saturday (1/3) Brian Eno gave a fairly impassioned speech regarding his thoughts on the current Israel/Palestine situation during the Stop Gaza Massacre protest in London. He titled his speech “An Experiment in Provocation: Stealing Gaza,” and his thoughts are clearly also a provocation. Maybe the most divisive thing he’s done since producing Coldplay. He begins:
It’s a tragedy that the Israelis – a people who must understand better than almost anybody the horrors of oppression – are now acting as oppressors. As the great Jewish writer Primo Levi once remarked “Everybody has their Jews, and for the Israelis it’s the Palestinians”. By creating a middle Eastern version of the Warsaw ghetto they are recapitulating their own history as though they’ve forgotten it. And by trying to paint an equivalence between the Palestinians – with their homemade rockets and stone-throwing teenagers – and themselves – with one of the most sophisticated military machines in the world – they sacrifice all credibility.
The Israelis are a gifted and resourceful people who fully deserve the right to live in peace, but who seem intent on squandering every chance to allow that to happen. It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that this conflict serves the political and economic purposes of Israel so well that they have every interest in maintaining it. While there is fighting they can continue to build illegal settlements. While there is fighting they continue to receive huge quantities of military aid from the United States. And while there is fighting they can avoid looking candidly at themselves and the ruthlessness into which they are descending.
He continues along these lines, which you can hear for yourself in this video footage.
(Text and video via Daily Swarm.)
It should be noted that this was not a collaboration with David Byrne.