The controversy surrounding Radiohead's upcoming Israel show -- which is now in two days (July 19) -- continues. After several artists protested the show, and Thom Yorke defended the decision, Thom's old pal Michael Stipe has shown the band his support. He posted an Instagram reading:
I stand with Radiohead and their decision to perform.
Let's hope a dialogue continues, helping to bring the occupation to an end and lead to a peaceful solution.
Sincerely, Michael Stipe
You can see the Instagram below.
My answer to people who say we should go there and sit around the campfire and sing songs: No, we shouldn't. We should observe the picket line. Anybody who's tempted to do that, like our friends in Radiohead, if only they would actually educate themselves. I know Thom Yorke's been whining about how he feels insulted, people are suggesting he doesn't know what's going on.
Well Thom, you shouldn't feel insulted because if you did know what's going on, you would have a conversation with [director] Ken Loach, who's been begging you to have a conversation, or with me, I begged you, Thom. I sent you a number of emails, begging you to have a conversation. As did Brian Eno; you ignored us all, you won't speak to anyone about anything. So it's that kind of isolationism that is extremely unhelpful to everybody.
I look forward to – if you feel like it, when you finish your trip to Israel, because you probably still will go – write me a letter and tell me how much good you did and how much change you managed to affect by chatting with musicians.
Thom Yorke's recent statement, which was in reply to an op-ed by Ken Loach, read: "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."
Here's Michael Stipe's Instagram: