Radiohead are currently on a performance spree, touring the world in support of their latest album, A Moon Shaped Pool. However, they’re facing a little bit of controversy, especially because they chose a particular venue to perform at. Israel in the Middle East that is being accused of apartheid, is not a favorite with many western liberals.
At a concert in Scotland where Radiohead were performing, a number of Palestinian protestors turned up with flags to try and prevent the band from visiting Tel Aviv. This deeply upset lead singer Thom Yorke, who was visibly disturbed by the presence of the protestors at the concert.
Now, a number of contemporaries of Yorke are voicing their opinion on the matter, encouraging Radiohead to not visit Israel. Roger Waters, Thurston Moore and Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio fame have signed an open letter that has been addressed to Radiohead.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Thom Yorke has said of the protest against the band, “I’ll be totally honest with you: it has been extremely upsetting. I don’t agree with the cultural ban at all.”
Director Ken Loach has also come into the picture, penning an essay in The Independent in which he states: “Radiohead need to decide if they stand with the oppressed or the oppressor. The choice is simple.”
Thom Yorke then took to Twitter with a very valid argument:
“Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its 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.
We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America.
Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about sharing humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression. I hope that makes it clear Ken.”