View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
7 September 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 5:41am

More from Robert del Naja on the Israel boycott

The Massive Attack frontman elaborates on his recent comments to the NS.

By William Parry

As my interview with Robert del Naja, which appeared in last week’s magazine, has generated quite a bit of debate on the NS website, readers might be interested in some further thoughts from the Massive Attack frontman on why he has joined the cultural boycott of Israel:

The main reason I will not play Israel at this time is out of frustration. In my opinion, Israel has the right to its security in as much as the Palestinians have the right to resist occupation. Israel has the power in this perpetual stalemate, as it also has the power to break it and begin a meaningful peace process. Surely, to stop rocket attacks you freeze settlement building and ease the economic shackles. To expect Hamas to recognise [Israel’s] legitimacy, you open a meaningful dialogue on the right of return of refugees and their national legitimacy – then, I feel, you may have a chance to sit everybody at the table and remove the need for further armed struggle, remembering and respecting that this is an occupied land looking for the right of its own sovereignty.

If the EU and the US pressured Israel for change and forced the end of the blockade, we might get somewhere. That pressure should also come culturally, with from without and within. So it doesn’t sit right for me to go back to Tel Aviv while there is a giant wall and an economic stranglehold on a whole nation of people.

Massive Attack have played in Israel twice before, as well as in Lebanon and Syria. The band have also played a number of gigs to support the Hoping Foundation, which works with young Palestinian refugees, after del Naja met Karma Nabulsi, the charity’s co-founder, at a Primal Scream benefit gig in 2005. Del Naja sees Hoping’s work as a way of lending the band’s support in a way that would produce tangible results: “Hoping went beyond [the politics] and dealt with the issues,” he told me.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

I also asked del Naja if the rest of his band were behind the boycott:

Absolutely. All of us feel very dismayed and saddened by [the ongoing conflict] and frustrated that Britain doesn’t seem to be able to put together a coherent foreign policy in the region and do something positive.

Content from our partners
How to tackle the UK's plastic pollution problem – with Coca-Cola
The hard truth about soft skills
Why we need a national employment service

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU