Legacy of a decision
This is what Thom Yorke said at their show in Tel Aviv: “A lot was said about this, but in the end we played some music”... Before playing 'Karma Police.
Come someone who says he knows all is need about the Israeli / Palestinian situation, who doesn't want to be lectured, such a lack of understanding is appalling.
Every musician is free of movement, expression and choice. But as a long-time fan of their music, I must say, I'm really, really disappointed.
We all change and evolve. In better or worst. I'm not going to be able to listen at Thom Yorke's preaching on the so numerous issues he addresses the same way as I did perviously. Because it comes down at where you draw the line. For him, as long a subject touch their little comfort as a band, as Colin Greenwood is married to an Israeli artist and has many projects ongoing with Israeli musicians, their so-called moral can be on pause.
Well, don't call yourself committed to anything then. And don't go rag with an eco-friendly record packaging...
Again, really, really disappointing.
Artists for Palestine UK—the group who organized the petition against Radiohead’s concert—released a follow-up statement, saying Yorke “once again fails to make any mention of the Palestinians who suffer under Israel’s regime.” Film director Mike Leigh later released his own personal statement in critique of Yorke’s defensiveness. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) also took a shot at the band, accusing them of “professing to know better than [Palestinian people], in a classic colonial attitude.”
You can read more on how the right-wing press and politicians used the show to promote their idea of domination on Artists for Palestine's website. Just one example:
Radiohead gig promoted by Israeli diplomatic missions around the world
July 29, 2017
Radiohead are a band that many had associated with progressive politics. But now it turns out they have an extraordinary following among Israeli diplomats and right-wing conservatives. From US radio host Glenn Beck and Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler, a range of around twenty Israel lobby groups, and thirteen Israeli diplomatic missions around the world from Ireland to Colombia, these groups are united in their explicit contempt for the indigenous Palestinian people’s lives.
The Jerusalem Post described Radiohead’s Israel gig and Thom Yorke’s rejection of the Palestinian call for BDS as “the best hasbara [advocacy] Israel has received lately”. Thom Yorke has defended their decision saying that “playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government”, but the Israeli government and its supporters certainly do endorse Radiohead.Palestinian, Israeli and UK artists and activists have repeatedly pointed to the inevitable instrumentalisation of the band’s appearance in Tel Aviv by Israel and its supporters.