Europe

German Festival Cancels Concert by Band Due to Group’s Support of Anti-Israel Boycotts

A German arts and music festival said on Wednesday that it was cancelling a concert by the Scottish band Young Fathers due to the group’s support for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which targets the Jewish State.

The Algemeiner reported that Ruhrtriennale festival posted a press release on its website, announcing that the concert scheduled for August 18 had been cancelled. They said the reason for the cancellation was the band’s refusal to “distance” itself from the BDS movement, despite being asked to do so by the festival.

Ruhrtriennale’s Artistic Director Stefanie Carp, said, “The Ruhrtriennale distances itself in all forms from the BDS movement and wishes to have absolutely no connection with the campaign.” Carp added. “We have therefore decided to cancel the concert. We regret this immensely, because the Young Fathers would have set an important tone in the program of the Ruhrtriennale.”

In a statement to Artists for Palestine UK, Young Fathers confirmed the cancellation. The band accused the Israeli government of “grave violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people,” and rejected the criticism levelled at them. The band stood by their position and called the BDS movement “non-violent and anti-racist.”

The Young Fathers pulled out of the 2017 Berlin-based Pop-Kultur festival because the Israeli Embassy had sponsored an artist from Israel with a 500-euro donation. In the past, the Young Fathers urged the band Radiohead to not play in Israel. Radiohead, however, rejected the BDS campaign and performed in Israel.

Earlier this year, a report by the German state intelligence agency in Baden-Württemberg defined BDS as anti-Semitic in nature.

[Photo: Petzinka Pink Architekten, Düsseldorf / WikiCommons ]