Artists for Palestine UK published an Open Letter to Radiohead signed by 47 leading cultural figures back in April. Today, we issue the following statement in response to frontman Thom Yorke’s comments via Twitter directed at Ken Loach (copied below).
London, July 12, 2017
Thom Yorke makes a statement justifying Radiohead’s forthcoming appearance in Israel – and once again fails to make any mention of the Palestinians who suffer under Israel’s regime.
Yorke writes that Radiohead have been ‘playing Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others.’ Yet he hasn’t noticed that all successive Israeli governments- liberal and others- have been responsible for systematic war crimes against the Palestinian people.
Last week the UN declared that 10 years of blockade have rendered Gaza ‘unliveable’. The truth is, Israel explicitly uses international artists to produce a glitzy image for itself, when it is in fact a colonial military regime. In the context of Palestinian experience, Yorke’s invocation of a cliché about art and music ‘crossing borders’ rings hollow. Radiohead can cross borders with ease – but no Palestinian can. Palestinian artists and academics can’t cross military checkpoints and the apartheid wall. Many sit in prisons. What about them?
Palestinians are asking Radiohead to stay away until apartheid ends: they’re waiting for an answer.
Artists for Palestine UK
Ken Loach – Thom Yorke on Twitter yesterday: