Artists stand with Ken Loach and against McCarthyism

“We are deeply troubled to learn of a McCarthyite campaign demanding Oxford University cancel a public event with director Ken Loach discussing his distinguished career in film. The campaign to silence a world-renowned artist, which has been active behind the scenes and which became public at the last minute, is using the controversial IHRA definition of antisemitism to try to prevent a cultural event from taking place. If any further evidence were needed to demonstrate how a vaguely worded definition is being deployed to silence critics of Israeli policy towards Palestinians — then this is it. We have been warned by respected Palestinian academics, Israeli scholars, leading experts on antisemitism, dozens of progressive Jewish groups, and others that this definition is being used as a political weapon. We cannot fight racism, including antisemitism, by demonising and silencing supporters of Palestinian rights.”


Hany Abu-Assad, filmmaker

Raed Andoni, filmmaker

Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian parliamentarian, scholar and civil society leader

Nahed Awwad, filmmaker

Victoria Brittain, journalist, author, playwright

Judith Butler, philosopher and gender theorist

David Calder, actor

Dame Carmen Callil, publisher, editor

Julie Christie, actor 

Caryl Churchill, playwright

Steve Coogan, actor, comedian, producer

Dror Dayan, filmmaker, senior lecturer 

Raymond Deane, composer, author

Esther Ruth Elliott, actor, director

Brian Eno, musician, producer

Peter Gabriel, musician, founder Womad music festival

Tony Graham, theatre director

Ohal Grietzer, composer and mixed-media performer

Barbara Harvey, civil rights and labor lawyer

Trevor Hoyle, novelist and radio dramatist

Ronnie Kasrils, former South African Government Minister

Mike Leigh, screenwriter, director

Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, South African Parliamentarian

Jean Said Makdissi, writer

Samir Makdissi, Professor Emeritus of Economics, AUB

Kika Markham, actor

Mai Masri, filmmaker

Thurston Moore, musician

David Morrisey, actor

Rebecca O’Brien, producer 

Ruth Padel, poet

Maxine Peake, actor

Mark Rylance, actor

Alexei Sayle, comedian

Eyal Sivan, filmmaker 

Rosemary Sayigh, journalist and scholar

Ahdaf Soueif, author, founder PalFest

Rima Tarazi, Palestinian pianist, composer and social activist

Harriet Walter, actor

Roger Waters, musician

Samuel West, actor, director 

Rabbi Alissa Wise, deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace

50 thoughts on “Artists stand with Ken Loach and against McCarthyism

  1. Alima Sonne says:

    This has to be cold out for what it is.
    As far as I know it’s still isn’t illegal yet, to criticise the Israeli government and it’s oppression of the Palestinian people.
    This has to stop.


    • Theresa says:

      We have a most humanitarian human being who is also a wonderful director of important and profoundly educating films, etc. as well as entertaining! And very far removed from being an anti semite ! How ridiculous!!


  2. Taraneh Ahmadi-Parker says:

    This is deeply disturbing and should be stopped
    Ken Loach is one of the most inspiring film makers , artist, activist. I have no words to describe third people in Oxford University that stopped him talking to students. It’s absolutely shameful.


  3. David Seeger says:

    Pay attention.
    This man is on our side.
    He cares, he has a big heart.
    Suppressing him suppressed us all


  4. Lynne Hayes says:

    Ken Loach’s films are raw and show what life is really for many people in Britain. These students need to hear what he has to say.


  5. Elena says:

    To equate anti-injustices, committed by the expansionist state of Israel, to anti-semitism, is just too convenient isn’t it??
    We cannot permit that the terrible holocaust the Jewish suffered, the crimes committed by Nazis (and world indifference, and support of European fascism), be a blanket justification of injustices committed by Israel’s Zionist expansionism against Palestinians.


  6. Irene Sepion says:

    Surely the world famous Oxford University is not going to indulge the witch hunters in this endeavour to discredit an honourable man such as Ken Loach is it? Surely it’s not going to risk its world wide reputation for first rate intellectual thought and learning is it? If it denies allowing Ken Loach to deliver his lecture but has allowed Tommy Robinson to deliver his Oxford University is on a very slippery slope downhill. What is the university afraid of? What pressure is being placed on the university to do this and by whom? It appears very much a political question does it not? Oxford University knows the truth that Ken Loach hasn’t got an anti Semitic bone in his body so should this witch hunt come to pass and Ken Loach is refused by Oxford it will express without doubt the dire and very dangerous situation certain factions of our society are preparing for this country and its people.


  7. Sean Ross says:

    Zionist facist state and its betrayal of it people who walked before them, shame on you. I had a very poor education and even I am aware that Oxford must be under political our financial muscle to try and stop this, stand up and expose them. This is farcical on Oxford behalf that they can give Tommy Robinson a pulpit to preach from and are backing this, I stand by ken Loach


  8. Adriana says:

    It does a disservice to the Jewish people to label any criticism of the state of Israel as antisemitism. I stand with Ken and the people of Palestine. Shame on Oxford.


  9. Alaine West says:

    I agree with you totally. Someone doesn’t want the truth about Isreal to be known. Or could it be with brown envelops. This is exactly what happened to the activist Jackie Walker.


      • Shirley Breeze says:

        This is a frightening reminder of the past when the world fought another insufferable regime that threatened to stifle and destroy another culture. We cannot allow misguided political hatred to suppress the innocent cultural freedoms we enjoy.


  10. Dervla murphy says:

    Is he directly supporting Hamas or is he encouraging and supporting violence and hatred against any of Israeli people? No? Allow him to speak.


  11. Ian France says:

    Decent and principled men and women: Dianne Abbott, Ken Loach, Jeremy Corbyn relentlessly smeared or gagged by a savage media and mendacious campaign of surpression.


  12. John Fray says:

    Any violence, be it civilian or military, needs to be condemned whether its by the Israeli state or anyone else. Ken Loach has for long time shown how those who are in desperate or downtrodden need to be defended and helped. He is an esteemed Oxford Alumni and his voice should never be silenced.


  13. jay ginn says:

    standing with ken loach and all who struggle for tolerance, humanity and solidarity with oppressed peoples anywhere – including Palestinians.
    Shame on Oxford.


  14. Roland says:

    Ken Loach est un très grand cinéaste, humaniste dont la justice à toujours été le leitmotiv.
    Il est scandaleux de lui faire un procès d’intention. La politique israélienne à l’égard des palestiniens est un déni d’humanité et la dénoncer est le devoir de tous les êtres humains et particulièrement les cinéastes. l’Etat hébreu, n’en déplaisent aux sionistes de tout bord commet des crimes contre l’humanité et le cinéma est un moyen d’en témoigner. Critiquer le sionisme n’est pas de l’antisémitisme, c’est juste rappeler que c’est une idéologie coloniale d’un autre temps dont les années sont comptées !
    Solidarité avec Ken Loach.
    Un modeste cinéaste autodidacte réalisateur de “The tank and the olive tree, another story of Palestine”


  15. Kieron Hatton says:

    Ken Loach has been an inspiration throughout my life, and particularly in my role as a social worker and academic. I stand with Ken.



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