Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has joined a line-up of arts world figures urging British rock band Radiohead to scrap its upcoming show in Israel and “stay away, until apartheid is over.”An open letter signed by a number of performers, as well as by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, tells the band to “think again” about heading to Tel Aviv and playing in a country “where a system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people”.
Among the 47 signatories are Wolf Hall writer Peter Kosminsky, Scottish Mercury Prize-winners Young Fathers and actors Ricky Tomlinson, Miriam Margolyes, Maxine Peake, and Juliet Stevenson.
The letter was organised by Artists For Palestine UK. It follows previous requests by Palestinian activists for Radiohead to pull out of the 19 July concert.
“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 reads.
It cites Radiohead’s support of Tibet’s independence as a reason to turn down the gig. “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.”
The letter adds: “Surely if making a stand against the politics of division, of discrimination and of hate means anything at all, it means standing against it everywhere – and that has to include what happens to Palestinians every day.”
In a separate comment on the issue, Loach said the band should cancel the gig “for their own self respect”.
The Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood is married to an Israeli artist, Sharona Katan, and he recently released an album with an Israeli singer, Shye Ben Tzur.
The band made its original announcement of the gig in Feberuary. As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, the band’s upcoming summer tour is intended to promote their latest album.
Radiohead played three shows in Tel Aviv in 1993 when they were still a struggling band with only a single album under their belt.
“Creep,” the most famous song from their debut album, gained wide radio play in Israel and the country was one of the first places outside the UK where the band won recognition.