Thom Yorke Responds To Israeli Gig Criticism

Radiohead frontman responds to criticism made by Ken Loach about the band's upcoming live show in the country

Thom Yorke has responded to criticism made by film director Ken Loach about Radiohead’s upcoming gig in Tel Aviv.

Radiohead have refused to cancel the show despite mounting pressure in recent months for them to pull it as part of the ongoing cultural boycott of the country which is supported by many in relation to the government’s treatment of the Palestinian people.

Writing recently in The Independent, Loach said: "[Radiohead’s] stubborn refusal to engage with the many critics of their ill-advised concert in Tel Aviv suggests to me that they only want to hear one side – the one that supports apartheid… Radiohead need to decide if they stand with the oppressed or with the oppressor."

Loach addressed the article link to Yorke on Twitter, to which the latter replied: "Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing the government. We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. As we have in America."

Yorke further states that the band does not support Israeli leader Netanyahu any more than they do US President Donald Trump, but points out that they still play live in the US.

"Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression," Yorke concludes. "I hope that makes it clear Ken."

A number of figures recently issued an open letter to Radiohead calling upon them to cancel the gig, which is still scheduled to take place on July 19, with Loach, Roger Waters and Brian Eno among those adding their name to the letter.

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