Take back what I paid for another motherfucker in Tel Aviv

Gig news, reviews, set lists, thoughts, comments and observations on The Sisters live in 2017
greenmurphy
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A Sisters Fan since 1985 here....

I was registered on here long ago.

I and a small group of friends were looking forward to this years tour but we aren't going now. We aren't alone I know.

I am not going to rehearse all the arguments around BDS/ Israel / Palestine etc - its clear where we stand.

I just want to register our dismay that The Sisters Of Mercy are choosing to play in a state engaged in ethnic cleansing in Palestine.

Any tour that includes a date in Israel will be boycotted.

Flame away guys - it won't change anything.
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Hello & welcome to the forum.
Yep, this has sparked some debate.
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jost 7
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Its good to have its own thread for such topic, not only israel is affected.
Israel: i also have my concerns about the current politics there. Having a huge force deteriorating living conditions from a smaller group by small steps continuously is critical. In the end its still the artists choice to play there, and even leave a comment. I assume the band also have their views. Maybe the boys aren't allowed to go there anyway after their current ghostly engagement.
Poland: is it good to go there currently? Not sure. Up to the artist, leave a comment.
Hungary: going there? Critical, but in support of some.
England: isn't it a strange country currently? Isn't boris a strange guy? At least it seems so for mainlanders 😳
US: ?
Russia: ?
Tbc ...
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euphoria
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Agree, jost 7. This could go on and on, with for example Sisters "heartland" country Brazil,

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/U ... -0044.html

but really all that should matter is, are there Sisters fans there longing to see the band? They have played once before in Tel Aviv in 2009, in front of a enthusiastic crowd at one storming gig, at a sold out venue being treated like stars even by promoter and press.

So, why would/should they NOT return :?:
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As long as you've thoroughly researched the issue and you're comfortable and clear with where you stand, have at it. (And for the record, I say the same thing to Trump supporters. Research and think.)

Be sure you aren't acting out of uninformed, blind liberal purism. As a (extremely liberal) activist and political organizer, I find that mindset as poisonous as conservatism.

Anyway, I'd travel to hell (or even Texas) to see The Sisters play because it makes me better able to deal with the world as-is. I figure those struggling need music more than anyone else does.
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I think if The Sisters were to boycott all countries backed by an oppressive or crooked regime the tour would be a very short one indeed.
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eastmidswhizzkid
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surely the people the sisters will be playing to aren't the people bulldozing palestinian homes. i consider myself about as anti the state as you can feasibly be (up to and including having been classed as a terrorist by the police -under the gov/polices late 1990's anti-New Age Traveller intelligence unit's "operation snapshot"- in the days before the current terror situation) and i'm sure israeli sisters fans are just as bothered by their government as i am by ours, to varying degrees. they will be the ones to benefit from the girls turning up not the fascist state.
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eastmidswhizzkid wrote:surely the people the sisters will be playing to aren't the people bulldozing palestinian homes. i consider myself about as anti the state as you can feasibly be (up to and including having been classed as a terrorist by the police -under the gov/polices late 1990's anti-New Age Traveller intelligence unit's "operation snapshot"- in the days before the current terror situation) and i'm sure israeli sisters fans are just as bothered by their government as i am by ours, to varying degrees. they will be the ones to benefit from the girls turning up not the fascist state.
That sums it up pretty well for me.
greenmurphy
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There are some things that transcend the usual self-serving excuses of moral relativism and identity politics.

What is happening in Gaza at the behest of a powerful government backed by the world's military super-powers is utterly unacceptable to any person with a shred of actual morality.

Hundreds of children have been murdered in war crimes, Gaza is being made uninhabitable while 1.8 million people still live there.

We can't breezily ignore these things and shrug our shoulders - well I can't.

Millions of people are trying to place pressure on Israel to change via economic and cultural boycotts - the only means of pressure we have. I am sickened that TSOM should undermine those efforts and assist the Israeli state in normalising life for its citizenry - while it brutally oppresses those in Gaza.

There can be excuses for ignoring the suffering of the Palestinians. I will accept none.

TSOM should not play in Israel while s**t like this is going on:

http://www.alternet.org/world/gaza-verg ... ity-crisis
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But can you consider this: not all citizens of Israel are suppriting what State of Isreal doing in Palestina. There are NGO's showing, speaking, defending Palestinians, that are baisicly against Israel gov.? Why punish those people?
And finally, why punish citizens for actions of State?
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People can of course choose whatever position they wish but I don't see how a band playing in Israel to fans of that band in any way supports or condones the actions (which are terrible) of the Israeli government unless an equation is being made that says people should be punished for actually living in Israel which is as silly and as sinister as equating every American or British person that lives in the UK and USA to the actions of their government. And if you do that as people here have said is the case then bands will have very few places to play.
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greenmurphy
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Bartek wrote:But can you consider this: not all citizens of Israel are suppriting what State of Isreal doing in Palestina. There are NGO's showing, speaking, defending Palestinians, that are baisicly against Israel gov.? Why punish those people?
And finally, why punish citizens for actions of State?
While it is sad that people who are without blame for the actions of the Israeli government may be inconvenienced by the absence of a rock concert, there is a bigger picture here.

That picture involves people of conscience applying an economic and cultural boycott of the Israeli state in a endeavour to leverage change.

It was exactly action of this kind that led to the end of apartheid and repression in South Africa - without that solidarity of condemnation apartheid would most likely still be in operation in SA.

The Israeli state cannot be allowed to imagine that they can continue "business as usual" while they engage in veritable genocide - no matter how many armaments are shipped to them by the U.S.

If TSOM want to be so even handed then let them play in Gaza City - I believe they have electricity a couple of hours a day.
greenmurphy
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abridged wrote:People can of course choose whatever position they wish but I don't see how a band playing in Israel to fans of that band in any way supports or condones the actions (which are terrible) of the Israeli government unless an equation is being made that says people should be punished for actually living in Israel which is as silly and as sinister as equating every American or British person that lives in the UK and USA to the actions of their government. And if you do that as people here have said is the case then bands will have very few places to play.
It normalises the view that the Israeli's themselves have of their place in the world. They are engaged in an illegal and brutal occupation, they are in violation of their own agreements with the international community, they harbour war criminals and continue to commit criminal acts against civilians and children.

Israel has powerful friends in the military / industrial complex - they are a key state in games of geo-political engineering, but they cannot be allowed to think that the rest of the world buys into their fantastical lies about Gaza - they have to confronted with the world's disgust and horror - at present a cultural / economic boycott is the only way that can be achieved.

The suffering of the Palestinian people must be honoured and witnessed - the outbreak of "whataboutary" in this thread (though politely expressed which I appreciate deeply) is misguided - put simply, five wrongs don't make a right, moral dimensions have to be evaluated in context.
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In my opinion much more effecitve is economic boycott, not buying products/services made in Israel, Isreal's capital comapnies, esp. then one made in occupied territory of Palesinte.
Cultural boycott will not bother those who have money - they will travel abroad to see their favorite bands/artists. But nowadays, in time of cheap flight, is much more accessible and addordable to travel to go on gigs.

In the end, I will ask the same question that i asked here before, where were protests in 2006 and 2009 when TSOM played in Tel-Aviv? Did Isreal state threated Palestinians better, there was no wall, no shatering homes of Palestinians?
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To be frank, I'm surprised and disappointed that The Sisters are playing - or have ever played - in Israel. Playing in Netanyahu's Israel is similar to playing in Sun City back in the '80s.
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dinky daisy
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You cannot blame all Israeli's for scumbag politics.

In my opinion sisters can play in Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Moscow, Pyongyang, Mosul - wherever they may roam. Just as long as they're not smiling and shaking hands with dictators.
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euphoria
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dinky daisy wrote:You cannot blame all Israeli's for scumbag politics.

In my opinion sisters can play in Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Moscow, Pyongyang, Mosul - wherever they may roam. Just as long as they're not smiling and shaking hands with dictators.
I was just going to ask the righteous here to name a few examples, other than Israel, of where it would NOT be ok for the Sisters to play. NYC in a country who regularly starts wars against "some third world country" as needed by domestic political reasons? Maybe in Gay-bashing Gaza? Or are such examples "whataboutism"?

Politics aside now:
Exactly the same people with exactly the same opinions (and probably with as much or as little power within the system) regardless of good or bad regime, are going to be the ones attending the gig, so what difference does it make? Do you actually think they, or anyone else, are getting the (desired) point?
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greenmurphy wrote:There are some things that transcend the usual self-serving excuses of moral relativism and identity politics.

What is happening in Gaza at the behest of a powerful government backed by the world's military super-powers is utterly unacceptable to any person with a shred of actual morality [...] Hundreds of children have been murdered in war crimes, Gaza is being made uninhabitable while 1.8 million people still live there. [...] The suffering of the Palestinian people must be honoured and witnessed ...
I fully second this, (especially as it's only a small excerpt from the picture) and I'm all in for accountability along International Justice, i.e. the International Court of Justice who have already started preliminary examinations.
greenmurphy wrote: The Israeli state cannot be allowed to imagine that they can continue "business as usual" while they engage in veritable genocide - no matter how many armaments are shipped to them by the U.S. [...] They are engaged in an illegal and brutal occupation, they are in violation of their own agreements with the international community, they harbour war criminals and continue to commit criminal acts against civilians and children. [...] Israel has powerful friends in the military / industrial complex - they are a key state in games of geo-political engineering, but they cannot be allowed to think that the rest of the world buys into their fantastical lies about Gaza ....
Strong words (and not mentioning very real concerns about security due to violent resistance over decades and other issues). Indeed, the Israeli government sees the Westbank and Gaza not as " occupied territories" but as "debated territories", rather, just in the way that other (more recently mostly Western) countries used to conquer territories (even almost entire continents) for their own usage and benefit throughout history. You cannot force "modernity" upon those who still believe in nation states, especially as "modernity" is currently proving not the sophisticated panacea in many respects.
greenmurphy wrote: [...] at present a cultural / economic boycott is the only way that can be achieved. [...] Millions of people are trying to place pressure on Israel to change via economic and cultural boycotts - the only means of pressure we have. That picture involves people of conscience applying an economic and cultural boycott of the Israeli state in a endeavour to leverage change. It was exactly action of this kind that led to the end of apartheid and repression in South Africa - without that solidarity of condemnation apartheid would most likely still be in operation in SA.
I, personally, think BDS a fully legitimate and useful way to counteract the ongoing ignorance and put pressure on the Israeli government and the entire world to bring about an effective and real change - and a just peace. BUT, and also with regard to Apartheid South Africa, it was Boycott, Divestment And Sanctions ... the latter two of which - and the worldwide political will - were surely more effective. Also there was a say, counterpart in SA ... a large movement inside the country itself. You won't find that inside Israel and what is more worrying ... there are ever more laws passing the Knesset to suppress all sorts of opposition regarding the Israel/Palestine issue, so that those who do not agree with the government's position are depicted as traitors and even receive death threats from fellow-Israelis.

IMHO, it is especially those inside Israel who engage in cultural activies like arts, music, sports who've traditionally always been trying to offer other views to their fellow-citizens than those propagated by the government and their right-wing basis see for example Daniel_Barenboim. It won't help to boycott such people. Of course, you can always argue that Palestinians (and those in Gaza in particular) cannot enjoy participating in concerts or sports events and that those Palestinians who try to bring sports and arts to their people are especially targeted by Israels administrative detention strategy. True, but it also shows the power that culture can have and how much it is feared by oppressors. It is not the Israeli government who invited The Sisters of Mercy to play in Tel Aviv. It's the local organisers who want to bring joy and relief (and maybe some not so standardised views) to music aficionados in Israel ...
greenmurphy wrote: I am sickened that TSOM should undermine those efforts and assist the Israeli state in normalising life for its citizenry - while it brutally oppresses those in Gaza. If TSOM want to be so even handed then let them play in Gaza City - I believe they have electricity a couple of hours a day
The Sisters do not undermine anything, nor do they assist the Israeli government! They play in Tel Aviv since they've received an according invitation from local organisers. Perhaps, they would play in Gaza, if they got an invitation to do so - but the Israeli government wouldn't let them enter the Gaza Strip (apart from other facts referring to animosities between Palestinian fractions, which are also a very unhelpful issue and mentioned here only for "the bigger picture"). The only thing I can see for The Sisters playing in Tel Aviv is in the way they play their songs ... and still, perception is always on the side of the audience ...

Bartek wrote: In the end, I will ask the same question that i asked here before, where were protests in 2006 and 2009 when TSOM played in Tel-Aviv? Did Isreal state threated Palestinians better, there was no wall, no shatering homes of Palestinians?
It's about non-violent resistance. Never forget that Palestinians are regularly painted (and perceived) widely as "terrorists", which is clearly not helpful for their, IMO, very legitimate case. The BDS-movement is another (and by far not the one and only) attempt to make their voices heard and their terrible situation addressed at an international level and in an explicitly non-violent way. All former past non-violent efforts had no effect. It is 50 years by now, that this situation is going on... and a change is urgently necessary. BDS is a powerful means that already does have effects. But for the cultural part - especially in Israel - I doubt it's a good thing.
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euphoria wrote: Politics aside now:
Exactly the same people with exactly the same opinions (and probably with as much or as little power within the system) regardless of good or bad regime, are going to be the ones attending the gig, so what difference does it make? Do you actually think they, or anyone else, are getting the (desired) point?
nice and short ... :lol: :D ...
greenmurphy
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euphoria wrote:
dinky daisy wrote:You cannot blame all Israeli's for scumbag politics.

In my opinion sisters can play in Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Moscow, Pyongyang, Mosul - wherever they may roam. Just as long as they're not smiling and shaking hands with dictators.
I was just going to ask the righteous here to name a few examples, other than Israel, of where it would NOT be ok for the Sisters to play. NYC in a country who regularly starts wars against "some third world country" as needed by domestic political reasons? Maybe in Gay-bashing Gaza? Or are such examples "whataboutism"?

Politics aside now:
Exactly the same people with exactly the same opinions (and probably with as much or as little power within the system) regardless of good or bad regime, are going to be the ones attending the gig, so what difference does it make? Do you actually think they, or anyone else, are getting the (desired) point?
the desired point is cumulative and yes you rehash the "whataboutery" once again. The situation in Palestine is unique in many ways and requires a different response which many artists (Dead Can Dance for example) have made.

Perhaps you could avoid the snark of calling people with different views "the righteous" - it doesn't make you a libertarian cool dude. Everyone else has managed to agree, respectfully disagree and contribute without a hint of snark.
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greenmurphy wrote: the desired point is cumulative and yes you rehash the "whataboutery" once again. The situation in Palestine is unique in many ways and requires a different response which many artists (Dead Can Dance for example) have made.

Perhaps you could avoid the snark of calling people with different views "the righteous" - it doesn't make you a libertarian cool dude. Everyone else has managed to agree, respectfully disagree and contribute without a hint of snark.
Wasn't my intention to be such a dude, so that is ok with me.

What I *have* done wrong is once again take part in the waste of time that is Internet debate. I don't actually have the time, took part anyway and I'm a bit angry with myself for that.

(on-topic I have seen the cattle-like treatment at Qalandia and the bizarre project which is Beit El from the Jifna-Ramallah road with my own eyes and it is terrible, in case anyone thinks I am ignorant. over and out)
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Shame this isn't the correspondence section from an issue of UTR, what this discussion is missing is a coupla wry observations by way of reply from Von.

I'm firmly in the 'it's the fans / promoters I give a hoot about, not the regimes they live under' camp, so far as playing gigs goes. To infer that the provision of entertainment should be dictated by local politics / ethics / morality, however extreme and / or far-reaching those politics, doesn't make sense in the world as I see it. They aren't advocating the regime, they're playing a gig for the locals. It's as simple as that. Otherwise where does it end? Do The Sisters advocate the policies, ways and means of King Leopold every time they play Belgium? Hope not. Would they ever go near America?

Of concern to the alternatively-inclined folk of Tel Aviv should be whether the gig will be any good or not, not an unreasonable concern these days. But I'm sure they'll be glad to lose themselves for an hour or so, grateful for the opportunity, and have a top night out. I don't see why my opinion on anything should affect that process at all. It's a process that exists quite outside of the greater machinations of the despots who trash the planet, and thank f*** for that.

BTW, I hold nothing against the OP for exercising your right to boycott and protest, and explaining why. Enjoy those simple rights whilst you can.
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Planet Dave, that's (unfortunately) much better explained than I could have said/written it :notworthy:

I should leave all debate to the native speakers :lol:
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:notworthy: Dave well said :notworthy:

I'm glad that such an emotive issue can be talked about without tempers being lost.

Like I said on the other thread, I'm not seeing the Sisters on this tour... but I'm not boycotting them. I just couldn't afford tickets :lol:
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I believe the State of Israel’s actions in Gaza are criminal. That the Palestinian people are being terrorized by a rich and powerful military. That Zionism is a supremacist ideology that cites a god given right for a particular group to occupy a particular piece of land. It is easy to conflate Zionism with Judaism and Israel with the Israeli people, which I certainly have done. It is a complex issue and one that is difficult to parse. For example, how much are ordinary Israelis complicit in electing Netanyahu’s regime to power, how much are they responsible for giving their military the tacit permission to act in such heinous ways? These are questions that hit very close to home for me, living in the Trump regime. I voted against him, so did the majority of the population, yet, there is a contingent of voters that wholeheartedly support his attempts to oppress women and non-whites and immigrants. Are the systems rigged? Are shrewd manipulations in place? Do the voters choose at all?

For those in the international community that support the Palestinian people’s call for boycott, for those that believe in BDS as a strategy, the issue of rock bands playing Israel is a no-brainer. I’m not entirely convinced, since Israel is a very different animal than South Africa at the time of Apartheid. Their financial and military entanglements with Western superpowers are far more pervasive and there is the purposely confused Zionism/Judaism angle which renders many non-Israeli Jews and their friends unsympathetic to the BDS strategy. It seems to me that the biggest barrier to BDS, next to government and business unwillingness is a massive problem of collective action. When Radiohead played Tel Aviv and engaged in a social media spat with pro-BDS artists, they too conflated the Zionism/Judaism and Israel/Israeli issues. Thom York wrote of his bandmember’s Israeli wife etc. I think that for a band with their kind of reach, it was a stupid statement and a gross misunderstanding of what BDS is about, and a very defensive and selfish cop out to avoid reality: they decided to play Israel because it suited them financially, because there was a crowd that would pay to see them and adore them. They don’t give a s**t about BDS, not because they disagree with the strategy, but because it doesn’t jive with their plans. Collective action failure.

BDS can only succeed if everyone, all artists, especially those with large international audiences join in. Then the critical attention and bad press and lack of cultural events in Israel might be enough for the Israeli voters to become so fed up and embarrassed by their regime, that they might rally for regime change. Who knows whether that would even be possible in Israel, BDS or not. I don’t know enough about how entrenched the Netanyahu regime is, how corrupt they are or how conservative or how right wing the population leans. What’s clear however, is that the cost of not collectively acting, a bit of neutral music news coverage in exchange for a huge paycheck, is definitely not enough to deter these bands. There’s nothing to make them think twice about playing Israel. Is this the fault of BDS as a strategy? Or are they just f**king dicks?

Honestly, I don’t know. If the US government and military forcibly moved all black people to an interment camp in Montana and denied them basic human rights, I would call for boycott and be OK with never seeing a foreign touring rock band play in my town ever again. If I was in a band, I wouldn’t play Israel. If an artist that I truly loved and had not seen for a long time decided to tour and also play Israel, would I boycott their tour? I don’t know. I would rather they not play Israel. Is BDS a good strategy? Probably not, but it’s the one that’s in place right now and one that many artists support. Media coverage does seem to be increasing as well. Should artists, especially non right wing artists support BDS? I think so. If they don’t does that make them assholes? Probably. I think in the case of the Sisters of Mercy, their reach, their audience, their financial needs, playing Israel is worth the money. I think that’s sad. But s**t, I’m sad, everyone’s sad, everyone’s done things for a paycheck that in retrospect was not worth it. To me, there have been so many questions raised recently about separating art from artists’ actions, of whether it is possible to support a band regardless of their intolerant statements or their s**t behavior or their political beliefs. And I’ve had a hard time drawing my own limits. Sometimes, it’s clear like with Morrissey, sometimes it’s not, like with Michael Gira. I think the best thing to do is make a stink if your convictions are strong enough for boycott. If nothing else, it may cause an artist to respond in public, and that may lead to a clearer understanding of their positions on issues of which you may care. If your convictions for boycott aren’t strong, go ahead, buy that ticket, but it may sit funny with your conscience later.
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