Despite outcry from within the music industry itself, Radiohead are refusing to boycott Israel by performing in Tel Aviv on the 19th of July.
An open letter issued to the band from Artists for Palestine UK, a group of artists and activists, reads:
By playing in Israel you’ll be playing in a state where, UN rapporteurs say, ‘a system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people’.
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.Please do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over.
A statement has been issued from director Ken Loach:
The Palestinians’ land is being stolen, they are being oppressed in every way, their daily lives made intolerable, many are imprisoned unlawfully in Israel, including shockingly, their children.
This is hypocritical of the group, when they are prominent members of the free Tibet movement.
So why are Radiohead determined to support a rogue nation that profits from apartheid, war crimes, the violation of international law and crimes against humanity?
It might not be purely for the money. It turns out that the band has personal ties to the country. Jonny Greenwood, the bands guitarist, is married to Sharona Katan – an Israeli artist.