Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has hit back at director Ken Loach over criticism of the band’s upcoming gig in Israel.
The award-winning filmmaker has repeatedly called on the group to cancel the concert on July 19 as part of a cultural boycott against Israel and on Tuesday accused them of undermining the struggle for human rights in an opinion piece in the Independent.
Responding to Loach tweeting out the article, Yorke said performing in Tel Aviv did not mean they were endorsing Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu any more than playing in the US was supporting President Donald Trump.
He added: “Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression.”
Following Loach’s call for the band to snub playing in the Jewish state, it emerged that the director’s film ‘I Daniel Blake’ was appearing at a number of Tel Aviv cinemas. The film is being show at the Lev Tel Aviv cinema on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
Yorke had earlier responded to an open letter signed by stars from across TV and music, including Loach and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, which called on them to cancel the show.
He told Rolling Stone in June it was “deeply disrespectful to assume that we’re either being misinformed or that we’re so retarded we can’t make these decisions ourselves”.
The band have been faced with a number of Palestinian flags during recent headline performances at both Glastonbury Festival and TRNSMT in Scotland.
After flags were raised at TRNSMT in Scotland, Yorke reportedly told the crowd: “Some f****** people”.
The gig in Tel Aviv wraps up their world tour which began in May 2016.
Radiohead should heed their friends who tell them that by performing in Tel Aviv they will undermine the struggle for human rights. #BDS
— Ken Loach (@KenLoachSixteen) July 11, 2017