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Radiohead on playing Israel: “We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump”

Coachella 2017 - Weekend 2, Friday
Radiohead at Coachella 2017 (more by Erik Voake)

Earlier this year, many artists — including Thurston Moore, Tunde Adebimpe, and Roger Waters — protested against Radiohead for planning to play Israel. One of the latest artists to protest against the band is independent film director Ken Loach, who penned an op-ed for The Independent titled “Radiohead need to join the cultural boycott of Israel – why won’t they meet with me to discuss it?”

Thom Yorke then directly replied to Ken on Twitter, writing:

Playing a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government.
We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others.
As we have in America.
We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America.
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. I hope that makes it clear Ken.

Radiohead are set to play Israel on July 19. They recently played Manchester (moved from the still-closed Manchester Arena) and Glastonbury.

The band’s OK Computer 20th anniversary reissue, OKNOTOK, is out now.

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