Dear Pitchfork Music Magazine Editor,
Your report on an open letter from artists Roger Waters, Thurston Moore and others urging Radiohead to cancel their July performance in Tel Aviv is not so much sharing a news story as it is helping to spread misinformation and propaganda.
The article repeats slanderous accusations against Israel and creates the false illusion of a wave of support for a cultural boycott by artists. Subtitled, “Please do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over,” the article quotes extensively from the open letter but fails to provide balance or any semblance of a counter argument to its charges.
In fact, Israel is an open, liberal democracy that guarantees equal rights to all its citizens. Hundreds of artists who visit or perform there every year speak glowingly about the Jewish state, despite the harassment they receive by the likes of Roger Waters and, mostly ill-intended, grassroots groups.
Pitchfork conveniently neglects to mention even a handful of the high-profile artists who have rejected the call to boycott including Madonna, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Bon Jovi, Claire Danes, Helen Mirren, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Pitbull, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Ricky Martin, Joss Stone, Carlos Santana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Quentin Tarantino, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Seal, Kevin Costner, Cyndi Lauper, Yanni, DJ Tiesto, Moby, Elton John and Bob Dylan to name a few.
It also fails to balance the negative comments by musician Thurston Moore with even a smattering of positive descriptions such as one by Madonna who calls Israel “the spiritual center of the world” and Jay Leno who describes Israel as “this one little paradise in the Middle East where freedom reigns.” Not to mention Paul McCartney who kept his concert date in Israel despite threats.
Pitchfork, which bills itself “as the most trusted name in music” would do well to look before it leaps into bed with those who seek to silence artists in order to impose their political will on millions.