A host of musicians and other entertainers have criticized Radiohead for moving forward with their July 19 show in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Thom Yorke has gone into detail on his feeling on the situation in a brand new Rolling Stone interview, telling them that the open letter that was published asking for them to halt their appearance and signed by the likes of Roger Waters, Thurston Moore, Robert Wyatt, Julie Christie and Desmond Tutu was “extremely upsetting”.
Yorke went on to say that he doesn’t agree with the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement against Israel in reference to their actions against Palestine.
The kind of dialogue that they want to engage in is one that’s black or white. I have a problem with that. It’s deeply distressing that they choose to, rather than engage with us personally, throw shit at us in public. 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].
He also defended Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood:
The person who knows most about these things is [Radiohead guitarist] Jonny [Greenwood]. He has both Palestinian and Israeli friends and a wife who’s an Arab Jew. All these people to stand there at a distance throwing stuff at us, waving flags, saying, “You don’t know anything about it!” Imagine how offensive that is for Jonny. And imagine how upsetting that it’s been to have this out there. Just to assume that we know nothing about this.
…if you want me to be honest, yeah, it’s really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years. They talk down to us and I just find it mind-boggling that they think they have the right to do that. It’s extraordinary.