Peter Gabriel wants ‘generous’ Israel

Pop star Peter Gabriel has disclosed his current priorities and his take on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Asked why he did not release any new material in nearly 10 years, the ex-Genesis front man told Austrian newspaper Kurier yesterday (Sun): “I will start working on some new stuff in January. I’ve got many ideas for experiments with electronics and rhythms.

“But I’ve got a young family, a nine-year-old son who I am helping with in writing own songs. I will take time to do so because I am more interested in an exciting life than many records on the market.”

The British singer said about his forthcoming album “New Blood” which features orchestral versions of some of his best-known songs: “I didn’t simply pick my greatest hits to merge them with orchestral sounds. I chose songs which do not have the usual verse–chorus concept but drama and a certain development instead. This was the only way to create an album with an orchestra of high quality.”

Gabriel explained he always backed those suggesting that Palestinians should get their own state. “I am not against Israel in any way, but I oppose Israeli aggression,” he underlined, adding that he considered the way the country acted towards Palestinians as “disgraceful”.

Gabriel told the Kurier: “I think Israel must be generous and act generously in peace negotiations – in our but also in its own interest. This would help making Israel a safer place.”

Speaking about the expected veto of the United States in the United Nations (UN) Security Council against Palestine’s application to be acknowledged as an autonomous country, the artist said: “Fair play to (US President Barack Obama). He’s got a tough job. I think the major problem is the strong influence the Israeli lobby in America has on the country’s politicians, both left-wing and right-wing. This puts a lot of pressure on Obama.”

Asked for his opinion on the increasing economic engagement of China in Europe, the ambitious human rights activist said: “China seems to be our bank today. That’s why our politicians do not dare to stand up and challenge its stance on human rights. However, I think that the Chinese show more respect towards those who do so.”

Gabriel added: “I think that the wealthier China gets, the more advantages we will see in this regard. (…) We should be less afraid of China.”