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Big Thief criticised after announcing two shows in Israel

06 June 2022, 12:49 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

Big Thief have been criticised online after announcing and defending their decision to book two shows in Tel Aviv, Israel for next month.

Over the weekend Big Thief announced two shows in Tel Aviv, Israel that will take place on 6 and 7 July, and shared a lengthy statement to "clarify our motivations and intentions for playing in Tel Aviv, Israel, with as much transparency as possible."

Big Thief wrote, "Over the last seven years we’ve traveled constantly around 3 of our members' home country, the United States, meeting each other's families and childhood friends and sharing in the joys and sorrows of a complicated, beautiful and tumultuous home. We have grown so close. It is important for us to share our homes, families and friends with each other in order to gain a deeper understanding of one another and the people and places that have made us who we are. It is important for us to go where we have family to share space and play for them. It is foundational. It is in that spirit that we made our decision to play in Israel."

"We are well aware of the cultural aspect of the BDS movement and the desperate reality of the Palestinian people," Big Thief continued. "In terms of where we fit into the boycott, we don't claim to know where the moral high ground lies and we want to remain open to other people's perspectives and to love beyond disagreement. We understand the inherently political nature of playing there as well as the implications. Our intention is not to diminish the values of those who support the boycott or to turn a blind eye to those suffering. We are striving to be in the spirit of learning."

They added, "With this in heart, the show's profits will be donated to NGOs that provide medical and humanitarian aid to Palestinian children, including joint efforts between Palestinians and Israelis working together for a better future."

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Despite the band's statement, the decision hasn't been received well online, with some pointing out that their above statement is nearly identical to one that they posted about a show that was due to take place in Tel Aviv in March 2020.

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