Radiohead are due to play Tel Aviv, Israel next Wednesday and to say that they have come under fire for the gig is to understate the case a tad.
Although western stars like Britney Spears also played the city recently, there is a subtext that the more politically-aware Radiohead should be aware of the controversy surrounding their decision.
Many of their fellow artists - such as Pink Floyd's Roger Waters - have publicly urged them to cancel the gig due to the political situation regarding Palestine, but apart from calling the situation 'extremely upsetting', they have refused to back down. Thom Yorke told Rolling Stone: “I don’t agree with the cultural ban at all, along with J.K. Rowling, Noam Chomsky and a long list of others… There are people I admire [who have been critical of the concert] like Ken Loach, who I would never dream of telling where to work or what to do or think.”
Now, film director Loach has written an opinion piece in The Independent titled 'Radiohead need to join the cultural boycott of Israel – why won’t they meet with me to discuss it?’ that accuses Thom Yorke and his bandmates of only wanting "to hear one side – the one that supports apartheid”.
Loach tweeted the article's link to Yorke on Twitter, and the frontman responded saying that 'Playing in a country isn't the same as endorsing its government' and drawing parallels between playing in the USA while not endorsing Trump.
See his full response below:
— Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) July 11, 2017