Steven Wilson on the Cultural Boycott of Israel
Excerpt from the article written by David Brinn:
Meet Steven Wilson, the anti-Roger Waters
You’re not bashful of calling Tel Aviv your second home or touting Israel’s virtues in a climate of artists boycotting the country and badmouthing it. Do you foresee a time when Israel will be considered a ‘normal’ country by people around the world or will that only happen when there’s a political solution for the Palestinians?
It’s more than politics, though, isn’t it? Whenever I talk to people about my love of Israel and the fact that I was living there for a while, they always raise their eyebrows and go “why Israel?” Most people have this idea that not only is there a war going on there, but that it’s full of religious people. And in reality, it’s one of the least religious countries on the planet.
Israel is a very open-minded place but it’s also the Holy Land, and people always make that association.
Israel is seen as a hotbed of religion and living in Tel Aviv, it was definitely not the impression that I got.
You can also chalk it up to the CNN syndrome – if your knowledge of someplace only comes from media reports, then it’s going to be a very skewed image. After the first time I came, I realized that my impression of Israel was completely inaccurate.
I’ve never had a one-on-one confrontation with one of those artists who boycotts Israel, but I would like to. It would be interesting, whether it’s Roger Waters, Annie Lenox or Brian Eno. It would really be curious to hear their side of the argument.
I think part of it must stem from their own inflated opinions of their own impact on the world. Because really, who gives a shit if Annie Lenox or Brian Eno boycotts Israel? The politicians don’t and the population at large doesn’t – that’s another sign that the influence of pop music is dissipated. People don’t have the kind of influence they used to. Nobody really cares if Roger Waters boycotts Israel.