British rock band Radiohead threatened by BDS supporters after guitarist performs in Tel Aviv with Israeli musician

Greenwood released an album with Dudu Tassa last year titled ‘Jarak Qaribak,’ which features vocalists and musicians from across the Middle East.

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

Supporters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel threatened the British rock band Radiohead last week after a band member performed in Tel Aviv with Israeli Mizrahi musician Dudu Tassa.

Radiohead guitarist and award-winning composer Jonny Greenwood performed with Tassa at the Barby Club on May 26, a day after he was spotted at a protest in the city where demonstrators called for the Hamas terrorist organization to release the hostages abducted on Oct. 7, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be removed from office, and the Israeli government to hold elections.

Greenwood is married to Israeli visual artist Sharona Katan, whose family member died while serving in the Israel Defense Forces during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Greenwood released an album with Tassa last year titled “Jarak Qaribak,” which features vocalists and musicians from across the Middle East, including Cairo, Ramallah, and Beirut.

The album’s title means “Your Neighbor Is Your Friend” and in each song on the album, the singers give their own spin on a tune from a country other than their own.

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Greenwood and Tassa performed songs from “Jarak Qaribak” during their concert in Tel Aviv.

On May 30, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) denounced the performance and said Radiohead will be targeted with “grassroots measures” if it continues to support Israel.

“Palestinians unequivocally condemn Jonny Greenwood’s shameful artwashing of Israel’s genocide. We call for peaceful, creative pressure on his band Radiohead to convincingly distance itself from this blatant complicity in the crime of crimes, or face grassroots measures,” PACBI wrote in a post on the official website of the BDS movement.

“We call on Palestinian/Arab musicians to refuse to act as a figleaf for international artists who artwash military occupation, apartheid and genocide. To do so is to abrogate their moral duty.”

PACBI also claimed that performing in “apartheid Tel Aviv” is “profoundly immoral” and accused Greenwood of promoting Israel’s alleged “76-year-old regime of settler-colonial apartheid.” Radiohead has not responded to the threats issued by PACBI.

The BDS movement seeks to isolate Israel from the international community as a step toward the Jewish state’s eventual elimination.

Radiohead has performed in Israel for over 20 years and most recently in 2017, which was the band’s longest set in 11 years and its second-longest concert ever.

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The 2017 show caused an uproar and garnered protests from supporters of the BDS movement, including fellow musicians and film director Ken Loach.

Israel supported Radiohead beginning in late 1992, not long after the band released its debut album. The success of Radiohead’s hit song “Creep” has also been attributed to Israel, when a radio DJ played the song on repeat on the Israeli army station Galei Tzahal.

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