INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Clash JULY 31, 2014 - by Robin Murray
BRIAN ENO SLAMS 'RACIST' ISRAEL, COMPARES THEM TO KKK
Scathing new letter published...
The recent events in the Middle East have been impossible to ignore.
In response to what they term aggression from the terrorist group Hamas, the Israeli state have begun bombarding the Palestinian territories resulting in huge loss of life.
Sparking worldwide protests, the actions have been largely ignored by the music world. David Byrne, though, has taken the unusual step of publishing two letters on his website, featuring the views of iconic figures.
Brian Eno's letter is scathing of the Israeli state, and of Western compliance in their actions. Eno's friend Peter Schwartz also adds a letter, which is more muted in tone and contains criticism of the Arab world alongside a pointed critique of Israel's use of force.
In a lengthy introduction, David Byrne describes how the letters were sent to him and observes sagely: "What's clear is that no one has the moral high ground."
Ultimately, though, it's Brian Eno's comments which have earned the most discussion. At one point, the legendary producer/artist/cultural conduit describes Israel as being a state where "'Arab' equates with 'vermin' - straightforward old-school racism delivered with the same arrogant, shameless swagger that the good ole boys of Louisiana used to affect. That is the culture our taxes are defending. It's like sending money to the Klan."
Eno is, though, at pains to point out that the American he knows and appreciates isn't being represented in the debate. "The America I know and like is compassionate, broadminded, creative, eclectic, tolerant and generous. All of you 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?"
Read the full letters here.