Brian Eno Wrote Strongly-Worded Letter About Israel-Palestine Conflict

The producer compares Israel to KKK and brands America as "hypocritical" for its support of "ragingly racist theocracy" in Gaza.

Brian Eno Wrote Strongly-Worded Letter About Israel-Palestine Conflict
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Brian Eno has written a strongly-worded letter about the current conflict between Israel and Palestine.

The letter has been published on David Byrne's website with a note from Byrne explaining why he decided to put it online.

"I received this email last Friday morning from my friend, Brian Eno," Byrne writes (via NME). "I shared it with my office and we all felt a great responsibility to publish Brian's heavy, worthy note."

"I sense I'm breaking an unspoken rule with this letter, but I can't keep quiet any more," Eno begins. He then describes a picture he saw on the news that day of a Palestinian man carrying his four year old son's remains in a plastic bag. He goes onto express his dismay that America refused to support a proposed UN resolution to set up an international inquiry into accusations that Israeli actions could amount to war crimes.

"What is going on in America?" he writes. "I know from my own experience how slanted your news is, and how little you get to hear about the other side of this story. But - for Christ's sake! - it's not that hard to find out. Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY?"

The producer then details a 2013 trip he took to Israel, where he witnessed the tensions first hand. He then goes onto describe what he calls the Israeli "settler militias" who have the "notion that they had an inviolable (God-given!) right to the land, and that 'Arab' equates with 'vermin' - straightforward old-school racism delivered with the same arrogant, shameless swagger that the good ole boys of Louisiana used to affect. That is the culture our taxes are defending. It's like sending money to the Klan".

After Eno's letter, which can be read in full here, Byrne also publishes the response of Eno's friend Peter Schwartz, who makes a more balanced case detailing the historical context of the conflict.

"I don't think there is any honour to go around here. Israel has lost its way and commits horrors in the interest of their own survival," Schwartz writes. "And the Arabs and Persians perpetuate a conflict ridden neighbourhood with almost no exceptions, fighting against each other and with hate of Israel the only thing that they share."

Earlier this week One Direction's Zayn Malik had received death threats after sending out a tweet supporting Palestine. Other musicians to speak out about the conflict include Madonna, Neil Young and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder.

90 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    azrael667
    According to the UN, Israel has bombed a UN shelter in Gaza after Israel told the Gazan people to leave their houses and go to said safehouse. I'm not saying the Hamas is innocent at all but that's just... insidious.
    JelloCrust
    Yeah, any claims that Israel is defending itself are intellectually bankrupt.
    eatfresh1736
    "According to the UN..." The UN are anti-Zionist liars, and Ban Ki Moon is the biggest hypocrite of them all. The UN is worse than Fox News. What I don't understand about Brian Eno, is that I see the American news, and if anything, it is slanted towards Gaza, not Israel (except Fox News, but they suck in general)
    JelloCrust
    The thing of it is, the US news used to be wholly invested in supporting Israel. This time around, information is too readily available to keep with the "party line." Well both parties' line.
    DaNiC700
    When musicians (and celebrities in general) speak out on issues they don't fully understand it's not gonna end well. If you want to get an accurate picture of what's going on please try reading various news outlets around the web (not only biased sources such as fox news or al-jazeera) and then come to your own conclusion on the situation. So for now don't take your advice on serious international matters from musicians.
    godzillarissa
    The best we can hope for is that letters like these encourage people to look stuff up for themselves. But let's be honest, most everybody has picked a side already and those letters will change nothing.
    rafey
    What does their occupation have anything to do with speaking out about this? By your suggestion, the only people qualified to talk and air opinions on the matter are the Israelis and Palestinians living in the affected areas.
    insydney
    Most of the time they paint the issue black and white and that right there shows how little they actually know about what's going on. Reputable sources of information backed up by scholars who have dedicated a good part of their lives to studying the various issues in the middle east often go unheard, while celebrities can spill out ignorant statements and the general public eats it up.
    xeper9
    If only he knew the reality of what's happening there.Don't you all think it's a little strange that Israel is performing "ethnic cleansing", "Massacring the innocent population" and "killing children by the masses" when during the las couple of weeks, 1500 people were killed in Gaza after about 3000 attacks, airstrikes and bombing by the IDF? suddenly the numbers don't seem that large do they? If Israel wanted, it could destroy Gaza a thousand times, but they don't do it. Why don't you ask yourself why? How come? All you hear and see on the news\internet are completely biased, one sided reports, and I don't blame them- the ratings are higher when you write about genocide and show death-porn images that we all crave. None of you knows what it's like to have tunnels dug under your village\town, leading straight to a mall, a garden, a house- with Hamas activists (labeled a terror organization, responsible for hundreds of murders, suicide bombings etc) on the other side. Hamas war prisoners admitted during questioning that they planned a massive attack on Israeli cities during Rosh HaShana- A jewish holiday, with hundreds of activists coming out of said tunnels to murder thousands of civilians.....But I bet you wouldn't give a shit about it if it happened, because Israel will never show you pictures of dead bodies, children massacred by Hamas or entire families blown to bits by suicide bombers. Hamas' greatest weapon is you- the people who are easy to manipulate with media and social networks, and while I do not agree with some actions taken by the IDF, and saddened by the death of innocents, no country would have just stood there while it's people are being threatened with death every day, murdered every day and hiding in shelters for 14 years. The US completely destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq after 9\11. Don't see anyone boycotting them. end of rant. It's hopeless anyway...
    cyclonus
    Hamas are a pack of terrorists, and the IDF don't seem to care about murdering the Gaza population trying to destroy them. That seems to be the unbiased thick of it
    eatfresh1736
    Why should the IDF care? The people are glad to give their lives in the name of Allah (or so Hamas tells us.) The IDF does more than anyone in recent history to minimize civilian deaths, but it shouldn't be too cautious at the expense of its own people. "Stop external threats" vs. "Allow the guilty to hide among the 'innocent'". Which would you choose? Innocents are inevitably going to die when they're the ones sharing a building with the rockets. That's Hamas' fault.
    cyclonus
    Which of course makes it perfectly okay to murder innocent civilians regardless. This whole f**king feud needs to be put to bed, it's so tiresome
    eatfresh1736
    It's not okay to murder innocents, but how is the alternative better? Either Palestinians die or Israelis will die. Why should Israel protect Palestinians over their own people? Everything would be simpler if Hamas didn't force their own people to live with the rockets. But they do. So Israel does what they must. That's how war works. If you live in the offending country, bad things are going to happen to you, even if it's not your fault. They could use shelters, but they don't.
    rafey
    Oh god, you can't seriously suggest they go to the shelters, not after what's happened this week. "Hey, I'm going to be pissing on you. Here's an umbrella to protect yourself with. Why aren't you using the umbrella? You're getting piss all over yourself, what's wrong with you?"
    Hamburger89
    Anybody who picks up a gun is to blame, doesn't matter what flag you carry. All we need to worry about is the fact that our tax money is being used to buy guns for the israelis. I wouldn't mind if they had them just for defensive reasons but not for agressive expansion.
    oxymoronicman
    Aggressive expansion? If Israel wanted, they would have owned Gaza thirty years ago. Bro, do you even internet?
    N7Crazy
    But then they would have to deal with most of the civilised world condemning them, and losing a crucial ally as USA would have no choice but to back out of their alliance. Though, apperantly Israel seems to care less and less about that stuff in recent years
    crazysam23_Atax
    Considering that Israel did used to own Gaza and gave it up to the Palestinians in an attempt at peace, I think it's fair to say that Israel hasn't actually been pursuing aggressive expansion policies. (See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_dis... Also, it's quite clear that Israel by no means is seeking to conquer Gaza, if you have been paying attention to the news in recent weeks.
    Smegal
    Oh yes wikipedia, the most reliable source of information on the internet...
    crazysam23_Atax
    If you don't consider wikipedia reliable (which it is, since the wikipedia editors ensure everything is cited), then you can view the sources at the bottom of the wikipedia page I linked. I'm certain those are reliable, academic sources. /rolleyes
    THE BULGE
    Things is Hamas are an organisation not a nation. Israel is not a fully recognised state but the actions taken are fully supported. The videos of zionists sat upon a hill celebrating the explosions is sickening. This rouge state is responsible for almost all west/Middle eastern conflict.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Israel has been a fully recognized state since 1948. What the hell are you talking about?! And how is Israel a rogue state? You obviously have zero idea of the history of the region.
    acefecoo
    Israel is not recognised by every country in the world.
    THE BULGE
    They are constantly breaking international law. They have just sold rights to search for oil to an American company owned by dick cheney on land that belongs to syria. They are constantly adjusting Palestine borders and moving civilians into these occupied territories. They have one excuse anf that is a religious one and that they were promised this land. Fuck them.
    xeper9
    They're celebrating interceptions of Qassam, Grad and mortar fire by the Iron Dome system, you idiot. I bet you would as well, if after 14 years of living in shelters and being constantly fired upon and having your brothers, parents, children blown in front of you by Hamas' rockets, you'd suddenly be kept safe by your government. And may I remind you the celebrations in Gaza after 9\11? Gazan women handing out candy in the streets to celebrate the murder of three Israeli teens? oh, you don't remember don't you?... surprising.
    rafey
    "I bet you would as well, if after 14 years of living in shelters and being constantly fired upon and having your brothers, parents, children blown in front of you by ' rockets, you'd suddenly be kept safe by your government." - both sides, don't you realize this you colossal idiot?
    JelloCrust
    Barely anybody has die from Hamas rocket fire, or any other resistance in all the decades that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land and committing the dictionary definition of genocide, while I believe the Palestinian death toll in. . . two weeks? . . . was over 1,000, or over 4 times the Israeli death toll since Hamas formed. So, yeah.
    eatfresh1736
    According to the growing size of the Palestinian population, Israel is doing the worst, most backward job of genocide in the history of genocide.
    K33nbl4d3
    The idea that either side is bloodless is idiotic, but Israel has been expanding into Palestinian territory for the last 50 years, so it's hard to see them as the lesser evil...
    shutupandsee
    It's about Israel so everyone suddenly cares. People rushing to point fingers to Israel instead of actually blaming the real causes of this "war", the Hamas. An absolutely corrupted people who take all of their citizen's resources just so they could build a tunnel in order to blow up a bus in middle of Jerusalem. Each tunnel cost on average $3M which that money was for building hospitals, shelters, houses and such. And who is giving to them all the materials they use for building those tunnels? Israel. And what happens in Syria is much worse the Israel, but I don't see anyone giving a shit about that.
    Aays
    When you turn Gaza into an open air prison and block off the entire Strip for 50+ years, how are you not going to expect resistance?
    shutupandsee
    Of course they are going to block it when people are using those passages to smuggle ammunition and such. What do you expect, they will let them do so?
    rafey
    You think that's the only thing they're blocking from entering the region? Ammunition and such? Remember when they banned soda, juice, jams, spices, shaving cream, cookies, chips, and sweets? It wasn't that long ago they lifted the ban. Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/israel-ease...
    eatfresh1736
    Palestinians refused to share a state in 1948 and fought back, not Israel. So when they find themselves at the mercy of Israel, they cry now. Why should Israel let them even have an inch of land? (And Israel did not steal their land. If anything, it's the exact opposite.)
    N7Crazy
    JIDF's (almost) sole representative on UG is apperantly busy today...
    rynlrkn2
    Why the hell would Palestine want to share with Israel!? Palestine was just chilling and then the U.N creates a state in the middle of their country. And how could you say it was the Palestinians stole Israeli land? Because a bunch of Jews lived there 2000 years ago?
    eatfresh1736
    *Living there SINCE over 2,000 years ago. Call the land what you want, the Palestinians had no more of a legitimate country than the Jews who were living there.
    N7Crazy
    > The palenstinians ahd no more a legitimate country than the jews who were living there. I advice you to purchase a certain book known as a "history" book. It contains all sorts of magical knowledge, such as "history" which shows that the palestinians definatly had a country long before Israel existed. It was annexed by the British in 1917, one of the many reasons why it was even possible for Israel to exist. The palenstinian people have lived in the area of what is now most of Israel far longer than any other occupant, even before the jews seeing as they're direct descendants of the Canaanites. Actually, scrap the first part. This is the internet, history is at the tip of your fingertips, and anyone claiming bullshit (read: you) can be disproven in a matter of second. Even if it's not intentional bullshit, but simply ignorance, it does not excuse a shitty comment as that one, as in this day and age, ignorance is more than ever a choice.
    Jazz1992
    Why the f**k would anyone want to agree to share their country? How would Americans feel if someone just came one day, took half of their country and said: "OK, this land is ours now. Comply or be blown to bits."? How fair is that? That is conquest and nothing more.
    Charlatan14
    If Hamas could, they would exterminate every last Israeli man, woman and child. Fortunately, they do not have the capability. Israel does have that capability to do the same to the Palestinians, yet they do not do it. Israel doesn't care much for PR right now, they're more concerned about winning a war that is being waged against them.
    spdmot
    Fuck dudes, educate yourself on what's happening. I'm in Israel and you have no idea how happy I am not to be in Gaza. They are occupied and rules by Hamas, a TERROR organization as a government. Their kids are taken to fight these wars and the civilians are poor as **** because the HUGE amount of money they are being donated is for building weapons and tunnels to kill Israelis. Israel is getting thousands rockets targeted at civilians by Hamas. Just found a huge tunnel system from Gaza to Israel that had already been used to try and invade Israel to bomb ****ing kindergartens. Hamas is firing and working within civilian building, just to stack up more civilian casualties when Israel is attacking, so someone would hear about that and say that Israel is making an "ethnic cleansing" which is ridiculous. It's a sad situation for both sides, especially because if Hamas wouldn't be so strong in Gaza and their people would prefer peaceful ways of solving this, I know Israel would co-operate. But the people in Gaza are convinced, very much by Hamas, that Israel just wants to rule them. And people in Israel think that the people in Gaza want them dead because of these ****ing attacks. Anyway, you srsly can't blame one side in this (and I have tons of criticism towards my country), especially when one of the sides are terrorists that do have a choice.
    RichieJovie
    As you are on a side your opinion cannot be seen as balanced.
    crazysam23_Atax
    No one's opinion on this can be balanced (since everyone takes a side in an issue like this), but this guy is actually close to the conflict. I'd say he probably knows more about than a bunch of random internet users 1000s of miles from Gaza and Israel.
    RichieJovie
    Opinions can be balanced. What you do is look at facts and assess from there. It is quite simple. I have no side, being neither Muslim or Jewish, Israeli or Palestinian. So my view is one of balance.
    eatfresh1736
    That's very zen of you, but he is actually in Israel. That means that he doesn't have an opinion. Reporters have opinions. Politicians have opinions. He lives in a country that's at war. There doesn't need to be balance. Of course, no one should blame anyone without weighing the facts, but once you do, there's a side that's more right, and a side that's more wrong. Balancing an opinion doesn't mean you're being fair, it just means you've only looked at an insignificant cross section of the issue. Remember, a clock is right twice a day, but it can be right the entire day if you only check it those two times. Weigh EVERYTHING, and you'll see how unbalanced the issue is.
    Dynamight
    There's always a side to pick based on personal beliefs, so the fact that you're on no side doesn't make your view balanced, just uninformed. Also, you have to be on the field to look at facts; you're not going to get any from behind a TV or a newspaper. Unlike the guy you tried to discredit, you only receive information from the media and internet comments, all of which have an agenda.
    eatfresh1736
    I highly disagree with you, I don't want to **** dudes! (I agree with he other stuff though.)