Friday 24 November 2017

Thousands sign petitions against Radiohead’s Tel Aviv gig

This is the latest in a line of complaints ahead of the band’s gig.

Thousands sign petitions against Radiohead’s Tel Aviv gig (David Jensen/PA)
Thousands sign petitions against Radiohead’s Tel Aviv gig (David Jensen/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Radiohead’s record label has been handed petitions signed by 14,000 people urging the band to cancel their upcoming gig in Tel Aviv as part of a cultural boycott.

The group’s July show has previously been hit with criticism by the likes of film director Ken Loach, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and a host of Israeli musicians, who all have called for the show to be pulled.

The new signatures were handed to a member of staff at XL Recordings in London by activists from London Palestine Action, alongside a mock-up petition that read “Radiohead: Please don’t play Tel Aviv! Love from 14,000 fans”.

A sign bearing the petition’s plea was also posted to a bus stop near to the record label’s office.

One of the petitions, launched by US group Jewish Voice For Peace, read: “Palestinian civil society, in an effort to bring worldwide attention to injustice and inequality in Israel/Palestine issued a call for cultural boycott in 2005.

“We ask you to honour that call.

“Israel is regarded as an apartheid state because of separate laws for Jews and non-Jews.”

“Stand with us as we work for peace, justice, and human rights – cancel your concert in Tel Aviv.”

The petitions follow the publication of an open letter to Radiohead by a group of Israeli musicians, in which they said performances by international artists serve as a “propaganda tool for the Israeli government”.

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Thom Yorke of Radiohead (Yui Mok/PA)

In April, Loach and dozens of other artists and actors, along with Archbishop Tutu, penned an open letter asking Radiohead to “think again” about performing in a country “where a system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people”.

I, Daniel Blake director Loach said the Creep hit makers should cancel for the sake of Palestinians and their “own self-respect”.

In June, Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that he did not agree with the cultural boycott.

He said: “There are people I admire like Ken Loach, who I would never dream of telling where to work or what to do or think.”

Yorke added that he found the response “deeply disrespectful” and “patronizing in the extreme”.

Radiohead are due to perform at Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon on July 19.

A representative for XL Recordings has been contacted for comment.

Press Association

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