London’s E1 nightclub founder steps down after travelling to serve in Israeli Defence Force in Gaza

Aprilia Rine

London’s E1 nightclub founder steps down after travelling to serve in Israeli Defence Force in Gaza
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The founder of London’s E1 nightclub has stepped down after it emerged that he had travelled to Gaza to serve for the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). 

As reported by Mixmag, the news was flagged by the group Ravers For Palestine, who shared a screenshot of a now-deleted Facebook post that showed Yuval Hen wearing an IDF uniform, with a caption saying he was “returning home” after four months in Gaza. 

In a statement, E1 said that is “a place for music and dancing,” and that it has “no connection to political movements and confirm that our previous owner stepped away in October due to being deeply affected by the ongoing crisis across Israel and Palestine.” 

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“We will continue to provide a safe space for people to enjoy club culture in East London,” the statement continued. 

Ravers For Palestine has called for the public and artists to boycott E1 “until further notice”. “There can be no place in our culture for actors engaged in colonial violence – especially those in places of power and ownership,” the wrote. 

At the time of writing, the current death toll of Palestinians in Gaza stands at 28,775, with around 1,410 Israelis killed and around 100 Israeli hostages still remaining in Hamas captivity after the October 7 attacks.  

Israel is currently being urged by many Palestinian supporters not to send ground forces into Rafah on the Egyptian border, where many of the strip’s citizens are now living after areas closer to their homes became engulfed by fighting. Around 1.5million people are living in Rafah, among fears that there are few to no other places for Palestinians to seek refuge. Thousands are expecting to gather at Pro-Palestinian rallies in London today (February 17). 

The entertainment world has continued to react to the ongoing Israel-Gaza crisis. Last night, Idles showed solidarity with the people of Palestine during the launch show for their new album ‘Tangk‘ at Brixton Electric in London. 

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Introducing ‘Mother’, frontman Joe Talbot paid tribute to his own late mum’s social conscience and said that if she were alive today, she would also support the Palestinian cause. 

During ‘The Wheel’, he altered the lyrics to the chorus to “Can I get a hallelujah? Viva Palestina“, before dedicating the ode to immigrants ‘Danny Nedelko’ to the people of Gaza and singing: “My blood brother’s Palestinian, my best friend is a citizen, he’s strong, he’s earnest, he’s innocent.” 

Earlier this month, Israel chose their Eurovision entry amid calls for the organisers of the event to ban the country over the war in Gaza. 

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