Voice of the Jewish News: The hidden agenda that’s not so hidden

Voice of the Jewish News: The hidden agenda that’s not so hidden

This week's editorial reflects on Radiohead's refusal to heed calls to boycott the Jewish state

Richard Ferrer has become a leading voice on Jewish communal issues since becoming editor of the Jewish News in 2009, writing about contemporary Jewish life for a national audience. He edited the Boston Jewish Advocate, America's oldest Jewish newspaper and created the Channel 4 series Jewish Mum of the Year.

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke in action
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke in action

Anyone with half an eye on the recent Glastonbury and TRNSMT music festivals will have seen Palestinian flags waved in the crowd by those calling for Radiohead to cancel its concert in Tel Aviv next week.

This motley crew count among their fans the film director Ken Loach, who has repeatedly urged the group to boycott Israel [the same Ken Loach whose film I Daniel Blake is currently being screened in – you guessed it –  Tel Aviv].

This week, for the second time, Radiohead’s lead singer Thom Yorke put him in his place, pointing out: “Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones.”

Of course, the major wrinkle in Mr Loach’s worldview is that if he were to be randomly dropped from the sky into any Middle East country, he would pray to his maker that his biased little backside landed in Israel.

There is no second choice country in the region if you value women’s rights, gay rights, religious freedom, political freedom, free speech and a free press.

Which begs the question: what’s really behind Mr Loach and his flag-waving friends’ Israel aversion?


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