Brian Eno Compares Gaza Situation To Holocaust

Brian Eno spoke out against the Gaza situation at the Stop Gaza Massacre protest, London Saturday 3 January 09.

Here’s his summary of his comments:

An Experiment in Provocation

Stealing Gaza

By BRIAN ENO

It’s a tragedy that the Israelis – a people who must understand better than almost anybody the horrors of oppression – are now acting as oppressors. As the great Jewish writer Primo Levi once remarked “Everybody has their Jews, and for the Israelis it’s the Palestinians”. By creating a middle Eastern version of the Warsaw ghetto they are recapitulating their own history as though they’ve forgotten it. And by trying to paint an equivalence between the Palestinians – with their homemade rockets and stone-throwing teenagers – and themselves – with one of the most sophisticated military machines in the world – they sacrifice all credibility.

The Israelis are a gifted and resourceful people who fully deserve the right to live in peace, but who seem intent on squandering every chance to allow that to happen. It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that this conflict serves the political and economic purposes of Israel so well that they have every interest in maintaining it. While there is fighting they can continue to build illegal settlements. While there is fighting they continue to receive huge quantities of military aid from the United States. And while there is fighting they can avoid looking candidly at themselves and the ruthlessness into which they are descending.

Gaza is now an experiment in provocation. Stuff one and a half million people into a tiny space, stifle their access to water, electricity, food and medical treatment, destroy their livelihoods, and humiliate them regularly…and, surprise, surprise – they turn hostile. Now why would you want to make that experiment?

Because the hostility you provoke is the whole point. Now ‘under attack’ you can cast yourself as the victim, and call out the helicopter gunships and the F16 attack fighters and the heavy tanks and the guided missiles, and destroy yet more of the pathetic remains of infrastructure that the Palestinian state still has left. And then you can point to it as a hopeless case, unfit to govern itself, a terrorist state, a state with which you couldn’t possibly reach an accommodation.

And then you can carry on with business as usual, quietly stealing their homeland.

I tend to agree with Eno. The US has been dumping buckets of money into the Middle East for decades, and it’s difficult to see how this serves our interests or humanitarian interests anymore.

You can hear that there were both supporters and hecklers in Eno’s audience, though.

Do you think Eno is right? Or do you think he should STFU and get back to making music?

via Dean Whitbread

26 thoughts on “Brian Eno Compares Gaza Situation To Holocaust

  1. Politics are an ugly business. Musicians mixing with politics is usually even uglier. By some of his statements, I think he has made it clear that he has not studied the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict to the fullest extent. I do love his Here Come the Warm Jets however…

  2. WeAreAllDevo –

    Artists that try to get you to think can be ponderous – but art that doesn’t make you think is much more dangerous.

  3. …If BBC news says it, If CNN says it, if all images ( by the way screened by Hamas before hitting REUTERS, AFP, AP…etc) and there comments totally truthful, if there is no editing, no lies..then Eno is telling the truth because what he sees on TV is the truth.

    … obama not saying anything about the situation makes him look amazingly great too… at least (according to this blog message maybe?) he’s not a (con) artist so it is ok for him to say nothing AND, of course that “One president at a time” bull they keep saying… so “do you think we should STFU and get back to making music?”

    How come it is OK for Hamas to send 1000s of flying bombs into Israel.. but it is not OK for Israel to respond after so many years..? “do you think we should STFU and get back to making music?”

    How much each of those peaceful Hamas fireworks cost anyway? “do you think we should STFU and get back to making music?”

    Did you know more ppl are dying each month in chicago from violence than in irak right now..should we send troop in chicago to stop it then or “do you think we should STFU and get back to making music?”

    Do you know more ppl are dying on the american roads each year than palestinians? How come no one says anything about that? do you think we should STFU and get back to making music?”

    do you think we should ALL STFU and get back to making music?

    🙂

  4. Becasue Eno has a forum in a country which allows him freedom of expression, he can spout watever rhetoric he wants. This website, however should concentrate on Eno’s and other’s music, not politics. Why does this site, which has stated it tries to stay away from politics, continue to promulgate a not so disguised liberal agenda? Create a spearate blog for your musical/political opinions and lets keep this blog focused on music. Contreversial politics like this here only creates confrontation, argument, and disagreement. I can get this crap from CNN or MSNBC. I don’ need it here.

  5. “Becasue Eno has a forum in a country which allows him freedom of expression, he can spout watever rhetoric he wants. This website, however should concentrate on Eno’s and other’s music, not politics. Why does this site, which has stated it tries to stay away from politics, continue to promulgate a not so disguised liberal agenda? Create a spearate blog for your musical/political opinions and lets keep this blog focused on music. Contreversial politics like this here only creates confrontation, argument, and disagreement. I can get this crap from CNN or MSNBC. I don’ need it here.”

    I was going to write something like that but i must say it is his blog and he can talk about whatever the hell he wants.. If he want to exploit other ppl misery to generate traffic on his site and make more money he has the right to do it to. If he wants to say anyone who does not agree with him is a Nazi that ok too… Freedom of speech and Freedom to mock

    “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” – Noam Chomsky 🙂

  6. What’s My Line –

    You may have confused my traditional conservative agenda (limited role of government) with a liberal one – but that’s probably because the concept of what’s conservative has been thrown in the dumpster in the last 20 years. So called “conservatives” have been responsible for the largest expansion in the role of government in history and the largest debts.

    When a musician of Eno’s significance in the world of electronic music makes a statement like this, though, it forces the issue of whether you can consider his art without his politics.

  7. i believe you can be a great artist. It does not mean you will be a great father or mother. You can make ppl believe you can do anything if only you were elected. It does not mean you are telling the truth..but you believe in what you preach.. like a drug dealer testing his own crack…

    I don’t know Eno enough… If what he’s saying now was always what he has been saying for the past 30 years..then yes he’s genuine i respect his foolish political view.. If he’d just woke up, watched the news and made an opinion based on what journalists reported, thinking “Yes We Can© “then you are an hypocrite. You never said anything before.. so why open your mouth now… and NO.. your political view never impacted your talent before or the opinion of your fan..so why now?

    just curious.

  8. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll keep this less antagonistic and accusatory. Blagover, you are exactly right. “He” can put whatever he wants on his blog. I can also choose to critique “his” choice and you can critique my critique. It’s a wonderful, powerful chance e have to exchange ideas and opinions. I appreciate what you wrote and it ga me a chance to re-read and re-think what I was trying to say.

    Synthhead, forgive me if I am confused by any agenda you may or may not have. I wrote in haste and thanks to the anonymity of the internet, I find it easy to write before my brain can catch up.

    The bottom line is I would rather see articles here that don’t give an additional platform for any artist and their specific political agenda whatever the bent. Music has emiotion within by defintion. Because of that, unfortunately, political causes become an emotional playground for an artist’s music. However, I find it easier to ignore a political message wrapped around great music than to ignore the blather some artists spew when given a verbal platform. I guess that’s why I prefer instrumentals in general. Give me a good Dave Brubeck solo to a vocal telling me who to vote for any day…

    While Eno is a muscian creating some great music, I’d just rather not be bombarded by explicit politics here.

    Thanks

  9. Good feedback.

    I’m not sure one can understand an artist’s works without understanding their beliefs – but I understand that you like to keep the focus on music.

    Thanks!

  10. So when a bunch of B list pop celebs get together and make ‘Do they Know it’s Christmas’, we applaud them for their philanthropy.
    But when a highly intelligent and articulate musician of Eno’s stature has the balls to speak out against the slaughter of civilian children, folks start tutting about ‘mixing music & politics’.
    Frankly, anyone who thinks that his/her art (or anyone else’s, for that matter) is more important that the lives of innocent children, probably doesn’t have a lot to offer the world.
    Nice blog, btw, with or without the politics,
    cheers
    Roger

  11. Knowing these artists politics really kills their work for me. I really could care less what they think or belive. Just as they do not care what their listeners think or believe. What to be a political pundit, then become one.

    The situation in Isreal will all come out in the end. And Mr. Eno has no impact on it, sitting in his million dollar studio. If he really wants to understand the sitiuation, move to Isreal and become an EMT or a Fireman or Hostpital worker. Then tell me that Israel is the bad guy.

  12. I think Eno is correct. In Europe we are complicit with this slow genocide in Gaza. Thew UK aids the US part in brutal wars of occupation in Iraq (with its invented WMD) and Afghanistan (with its Taleban created by the West) and grovels to the Israelis as they brutalize and murder defenseless people). Those who don’t give a damn are simply making the situation worse. I think Brain has studied the situation in Gaza well (check with Jewish academics like Noam Chomsky, for example). (Perhaps nanobot6 should move his family to Gaza. When he sees them blown apart by tank or rocket fire, he can tell talk about who is the ‘bad guy’.) If more people spoke out our government would act.

  13. Who cares about Eno anyway? He has never been relevant but is clearly a has-been now who just speak out to get a few minutes in the spotlight.

    Comparing the situation in Gaza with the holocaust is moronic.
    In the 30s the Jews weren’t treated well anywhere. They had reasons to hate everyone, but they didn’t shoot any rockets and they didn’t provoke the holocaust. They were innocent victims. the Palestinians on the other hand has a history of suicide attacks and they shoot rockets. Hamas is a terrorist classed organization who don’t recognize Israel, and they don’t care about where their rockets hit. That’s bad enough but they also hide behind women and children and cynically sacrifice them. If
    Eno really cared he would have spoken from that perspective….

  14. Dx09 makes the same point i would have — namely that german jews of the 1930’s were not firing rockets by the thousands — let alone even throwing rocks — at the civilian german population..i’m a big fan of brian eno, and have almost everything he has ever recorded in my library..and while i completely respect his right to state his misguided — my opinion — beliefs, he is yet another example of why laura ingraham’s book “shut up and sing” was such a bestseller..

    “…i could be half the man i used to
    they said you were hot stuff
    and that’s what baby’s been reduced to…”

  15. Eno is right, and -in besides that- deserves all my respect for being so brave to speak that out loud in a jew-controlled-world. Have you all got so blind by TV lights that cant you recognize a holocoust?. Love one another, that’s it.

    N.

  16. This question belongs to another forum, For sure there are kids suffering in the middle-east due to religious matters, But will it ever end!? as long as there are mental retarded religions on earth, NO.

    We visit this site to learn about the only true religion, synthezisers.

  17. Nicolas on Feb 12th, 2009 said: “….a jew-controlled-world..”

    Hello Nicholas. What do you propose to lessen the control of the world by jews?

  18. “Have you all got so blind by TV lights that cant you recognize a holocoust?”

    Nic. With consideration that there’s hundreds of websites that detail many of the atrocities of Nazi Germany, possibly you should turn off your TV and study what actually happened. You will have no problem spelling Holocaust correctly, nor misunderstanding why comparisons to Gaza aren’t even close. More people died in one day in the Holocaust than in 10 years of Israeli / Palestinian actions.
    If you had actually studied the Holocaust, you’d know this.

  19. Eno is right .. and when Albert Einstein compared the leaders of Israel with Nazis, he was right. The abused become the abusers, and the victims of genocide become the perpatrators of genocide. Israel’s government hasn’t changed since Einstien’s time, but only gotten worse.

  20. I agree with Eno on this one. However, I am very disappointed by the agreeing posts with support for the text “jew-controlled world”. This stupid idea has been brought up time and time again. Face it, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a forged document and the United States supplies Israel with weapons, not the other way around. As much as we would like to believe that the world is going to shit because of a shadowy cabal, it’s not. That’s just oversimplification. Please don’t degrade Eno’s argument with conspiracy crap.

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