Artists Urge Radiohead To Cancel Israel Show

The likes of Thurston Moore, Ken Loach, Roger Walters and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have urged the band to cancel their planned Tel Aviv show.

Dozens of the world’s leading artists have urged Radiohead to cancel their upcoming show in Israel.

46 musicians, writers, directors and humanitarians, including Thurston Moore, Young Fathers, Maxine Peake, Adrian Sherwood, Roger Waters and Ken Loach, have signed an open letter asking the band not to play their show in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on July 19.

In the letter they appeal for the band to reconsider their decision to tour there, and to respect the cultural picket line requested by Palestinian organisations.

The letter highlights the contrast in Radiohead’s previous support for the Tibetans living under occupation with the position of Palestinian people, and asks the band to "do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over."

"We understand you’ve been approached already by Palestinian campaigners. They’ve asked you to respect their call for a cultural boycott of Israel, and you’ve turned them down. Since Radiohead campaigns for freedom for the Tibetans, we’re wondering why you’d turn down a request to stand up for another people under foreign occupation. And since Radiohead fronted a gig for the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we’re wondering why you’d ignore a call to stand against the denial of those rights when it comes to the Palestinians."

Thurston Moore appealed to artists to respect the boycott and avoid playing shows in the country, adding: "It is a small sacrifice in respect to those who struggle in honourable opposition to state-sponsored fascism."

Above you can watch a video appeal by journalist and Radiohead fan Ali Al-Arian, titled #DearThom. You can read the letter in full here.

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds have drawn similar criticism, after a date at Tel Aviv’s Menorah Arena was announced as part of their own upcoming tour.

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today