Radiohead's Thom Yorke responds as Ken Loach criticises Israel gig

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 12, 2017

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has hit back at director Ken Loach over criticism of the band's upcoming gig in Israel. Yorke has responded to Loach's comments via Twitter, insisting that: "Playing in a country isn't the same as endorsing its government", noting that the band's strong aversion to Donald Trump's politics hasn't prevented the band (and many other artists) from playing in America.

The award-winning filmmaker has repeatedly called on the group to cancel the concert on July 19 as part of a cultural boycott against Israel and on Tuesday accused them of undermining the struggle for human rights in an opinion piece in the Independent. "I don't know who is advising Radiohead", Loach wrote.

American Pop star, Britney Spears performs in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 3, 2017.

Those who signed a letter asking Radiohead not to appear in Israel include novelists Alice Walker and Hari Kunzru, Thurston Moore of USA alternative rock pioneers Sonic Youth and Nick Seymour of Australian rockers Crowded House.

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.

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In the article, Loach said that the band'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".

"The kind of dialogue that they want to engage in is one that's black or white".

"They talk down to us and I just find it mind-boggling that they think they have the right to do that". "I have a problem with that".

Yorke was alleged to have sworn at the protest, muttering "some people", as the band played Myxomatosis. He has both Palestinian and Israeli friends and a wife who's an Arab Jew.

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