The Jakarta Post
In this April 14, 2012 file photo, Thom Yorke, left, and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead perform during the band's headlining set at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. (AP/Chris Pizzello)
Before Radiohead even has the chance to kick off its world tour this summer, the British rock band is already facing stumbling blocks.
Concerned by Radiohead’s scheduled July 19 performance in Tel Aviv, Israel, 47 notable figures within the performing arts sphere and beyond have signed an open letter urging the group to reconsider the gig.
“You’ll be playing in a state where, UN rapporteurs say, ‘a system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people,’” reads a letter signed by actors Maxine Peake, Ricky Tomlinson, Miriam Margolyes and Juliet Stephenson, along with South African archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“In asking you not to perform in Israel, Palestinians have appealed to you to take one small step to help pressure Israel to end its violation of basic rights and international law,” the letter continues, referring to previous requests made by Palestinian activists for the band to cancel its appearance.
The letter goes on to point out the band’s seeming double standard in its past support of other causes: “Since Radiohead campaigns for freedom for the Tibetans, we’re wondering why you’d turn down a request to stand up for another people under foreign occupation.
“You may think that sharing the bill with Israeli musicians Dudu Tassa & the Kuwaitis, who play Jewish-Arabic music, will make everything OK. It won’t, any more than ‘mixed’ performances in South Africa brought closer the end of the apartheid regime.”
“Please do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over,” the letter concludes.
The band’s spokesperson said it had no comments. (sul/kes)
Your premium period will expire in 0 day(s)close x