Morrissey on stage. (Amy Harris/Invision/AP) (Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
Morrissey

British rock singer Steven Patrick Morrissey calls Israeli boycott efforts “absurd and narrow-minded.”  

Former ‘Smiths’ front man Steven Patrick Morrissey, a vocal advocate for the Jewish state, has again taken a swing at the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) movement, accusing it of stiffening free-speech and of narrow-mindedness.

In an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel to promote his new album, Morrissey slammed the BDS movement as “absurd.”

His new album includes several pro-Israel and Jewish-themed tracks.

In a song called “The Girl From Tel Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel,” Morrissey pays homage to Etty Hillesum, who was murdered in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

Asked about the song, Morrissey replied:” I love this city [Tel Aviv],” according to a translation of the interview published by the Jewish Chronicle. “The rest of the world does not like Israel well. But the people there are very generous and friendly. You should never judge a people by their government. It is very rare for the government to reflect the wishes of the people,” he stated.

Morrissey then attacks the boycotts on the Jewish state.

“I’m against it… It is absurd and narrow-minded. Being politically correct is incorrect. It is absurd. It means forbidding the freedom of speech. This is how the BDS movement sounds to me,” he said.

He later added that ”I mean, you have to open the debate. Just as one should not boycott Israel. You have to sit down and listen to people. You cannot say I’m not listening, you do not agree, so you’re wrong.”

Another track on the new album, titled Israel, features lyrics accusing those who “rain abuse” on Israel of doing so because they are “jealous” of the country.

Morrissey’s pro-Israel stance spans over a period of more than a decade. He even appeared on stage in Tel Aviv draped in an Israeli flag.

In 2008 he ignored calls by boycott activists to pull out of a concert in Israel, and instead ended a show saying: “God bless Israel.”

He also has the word “Israel” tattooed on his forearm in Hebrew.

In 2012 Morrissey was given a key to the city of Tel Aviv by its Mayor Ron Huldai.

“I have become a small face of Tel Aviv. I will be very happy to represent it with integrity and loyalty,” Morrissey said.

A number of high profile British artists are viciously anti-Israel, the most prominent of whom is Roger Waters, who has been accused of espousing outright anti-Semitic ideas.

By: United with Israel Staff