Monday, 3 April 2017

Letter from Stuart

Dear Radiohead,

I just want to start with letting you know that Radiohead have been the single biggest musical influence on me since the age of 14, and you continue to be of my main inspirations 20 years later. What inspires people about your music (among many things) is that it is also infused with a social conscience and commentary about the world that people can relate to and empathise with.

I sincerely urge you to reconsider your position of playing in Tel Aviv this July, and instead to respect the current international boycott of what can only be described as an apartheid state.

I understand that there is a personal connection to Israel within the band, and that perhaps the logic of yourselves is that everyone, no matter where they are from, should be able to have the experience of seeing you play live. I understand this. You guys are human.

But this is not about the fans. This is about something much bigger than this that affects millions of people. People that experience the biggest and most horrendous form of institutional racism that has existed since apartheid South Africa. It is the single biggest injustice facing the world today. Palestinians lives are completely controlled by Israel. Thousands upon thousands of their people have been killed by Israels powerful army in the name of 'self defence'. Their borders, electricity, water supply and homes are under the control of Israel. Day by day the West Bank has settlements illegally built on by Israel. Gaza is known as the biggest prison in the world.

The international cultural boycott of apartheid Israel is having a serious effect. Radioheads position on this can be pivotal. If you play, then you will undermine the boycott and embolden the right-wing Israeli government in their campaign to wipe out Palestinian land. If you refuse to play, you will put the wind in the sails of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign and make a big difference to the cause of the Palestinian people.

I do not believe that you are able to sit on the fence on this issue. Whatever you do, you are taking a political position that has an affect on millions of people. I hope you choose the right one.

Yours hopefully