Legendary rock band Radiohead stands up to BDS, defending its decision to perform in Tel Aviv on July 19.
On Saturday at the Glastonbury Music festival, activists from the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement demanded that English legendary rock band Radiohead cancel its scheduled concert in Tel Aviv on July 19.
The incident was documented with photos from the Facebook group “Radiohead fans for Palestine.” One photo caption read, “We’re at Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid State getting ready to tell Radiohead to respect the boycott and #CancelTelAviv.”
There were also images of activists with PLO flags and a banner reading, “Good times had by all just swallow your guilt and your conscience.” The banner’s message was followed by the dates of the State of Israel’s existence, 1948-2017, accompanied by the slogan, “Israel is an apartheid state. Radiohead, don’t play there.”
British daily The Guardian, which is frequently hostile towards Israel, did not mention the incident in its review, which suggests that the protest was likely relatively small.
Anti-Israel activists from the London Palestine Action group reportedly protested earlier this week outside the office of Radiohead’s accountant Hardwick & Morris. The activists held signs such as, “Radiohead: don’t leave Palestinians high and dry” and “Karma police, arrest this man for his crimes against solidarity.”
Already in February, dozens of high-profile artists publicly pressured Radiohead to cancel their concert in Israel. This led to Radiohead singer Thom Yorke’s angry reaction in a subsequent interview with Rolling Stone.
“I’ll be totally honest with you: this has been extremely upsetting. There’s an awful lot of people who don’t agree with the BDS movement, including us. I don’t agree with the cultural ban at all, along with J.K. Rowling, Noam Chomsky and a long list of others,” Yorke said.
Not only did Yorke defend Radiohead’s decision to perform in Israel, but he went on the offensive during the interview:
“….It’s deeply disrespectful to assume that we’re either being misinformed or that we’re so retarded we can’t make these decisions ourselves. I thought it was patronizing in the extreme. It’s offensive and I just can’t understand why going to play a rock show or going to lecture at a university [is a problem to them].”
“It’s deeply distressing that they choose to, rather than engage with us personally, throw s**t at us in public.”
The BDS movement was co-founded in 2005 by anti-Israel activist Omar Barghouti. It presents itself as a human rights organization, while demanding the destruction of Israel.
By: Daniel Krygier, World Israel News