Thursday, 30 March 2017

Letter from John

I urge to, please back out of your Tel Aviv concert, where you will be used as a propaganda tool for the Israeli government. In 2016 Israel has killed it's record number of children. What's happening there is not normal. Do not normalise it.



Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Letter from Jasbir

Dear Radiohead,

Having finally been able to buy tickets to see you perform live, I'm devastated to learn that months after the sales of tickets in various locations around the world, you make a shock announcement that you'll be performing in Israel thus making it impossible for people like me to get a refund in protest.  I paid over £100 to see you perform in Dublin and that does not take into account a flight from London to Ireland.  

You admirably cast yourselves as a "political" band, making your position on subjects such as climate change and the Trump presidency clear, but I'm struggling to understand how you can perform in Israel given the recent illegal expansion of settlements condoned by Trump, not to mention the obvious brutal injustices meted out to the Palestinians on a daily basis.

If you had planned this concert all along you should have made it clear from the start so that people who care about the Palestinian cause would not have been duped into buying tickets.  

I'm sure you have no intention of reconsidering the Tel Aviv concert but you should at least own the hypocrisy of your actions.


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Letter from Simon

Dear Ed, Colin, Jonny, Phil and Thom,
One of the great things about being Radiohead is that you can get away with upsetting your fans. I know people who haven’t listened to anything post-Kid A because it’s not ‘proper rock’ any more. But you have made a career out of making daring creative choices that were a genuine risk to your career. I’ve always admired the braveness.
And I’ve always admired your awareness of the political contradictions in being a touring band. A hidden gem of your early catalogue is Maquiladora – the lyrics betray a band with an awareness of their own privilege and a compassion for those not lucky enough to make it to the party. The line always sticks out for me: “Good times had by all… just swallow your guilt and your conscience.”
I just can’t see how that same band is willing to break the cultural boycott and play to a segregated audience in Israel. Palestinian civil society called the boycott to combat the state of apartheid that is imposed on them by Israeli authorities. Palestinians routinely have their homes destroyed and their land taken away. They are imprisoned, brutalised and killed. The venue you will perform in, Hayarkon Park, is one the site of a Palestinian village called Jarisha which was wiped off the map in 1948.
Perhaps you think that playing for an Israeli crowd doesn’t mean you agree with everything their government does. But you are certainly responsible for what goes on at a concert you’ve organised. And the truth is you will be playing to a segregated audience. You’ve chosen to hold your concert in Tel Aviv. The reality of apartheid is that Israeli forces deny freedom of movement to the people of Gaza and the West Bank. They will not be allowed to attend your concert. You will be playing to a segregated audience… the thought that you are okay with this sickens me.
We’ve all heard the argument that music and politics should be kept separate, but I think you’re the last band in the world to agree with that sentiment. So why don’t you come out and explain your decision? If you don’t, people will fill in the blanks and even I – who have for years defended your virtue far more than is reasonable – am starting to think it’s simply that the money was too good to turn down.
If money is the key question, then here’s where I stand. If you go ahead and break the boycott I will never give you another penny of my money. In the last year alone I’ve bought: three copies of A Moon Shaped Pool (electronic, CD and special edition), tickets to three of your shows and assorted other merchandise – I suspect my Radiohead-related outlay in just the last 12 months is about £400. If you go ahead and play Israel, you’ll lose my custom for life.
Maybe you’ll do a calculation and realise that the gig will pay more than you’d lose from the fans you’ve upset. Or maybe it’s not about the money at all. But the truth is, once you break play apartheid Israel, there is no going back. This will be your Sun City, on your reputation forever. You’ve always been daring creatively, but why risk your reputation for this?
It’s not too late to change your mind, but if you go ahead with this gig you will be siding with the oppressor and against the Palestinian people. Go ahead, have a good time… “just swallow your guilt and your conscience.”

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Letter from James

Dear Radiohead

It's no exaggeration to say that discovering your music as a teenager politicised me. I was raised in a pretty conservative family, your music helped me to start questioning capitalism, war, our relationship with the non human world. In fact I've since gone on to a lifetime of climate justice activism - beginning with my decision to attend Kingsnorth Climate Camp in 2008, an event that I heard about through Radiohead publicising this.

And as well as this pivotal role in my political life, Radiohead have seen me through everything from break ups to major life crises. I'm a huge fan, have seen you countless times - your music moves me like no other.

Which is why it's so hard to hear that you're playing in Tel Aviv. There is simply no way that a band can maintain a commitment to social justice and peace and play an apartheid state. Your decision is disrespecting the voices of Palestinians on the frontline of one of the most viscerally unjust examples of settler colonialism in the modern world.

It is not too late to change your minds. We are all on political journeys and learn as we walk. If you fail to pull out of playing apartheid Israel, your music - so important in my life - will be tainted for good. There is no going back once this concert is played.