Friday, 21 April 2017

Letter from Susannah Nachenberg

This letter comes from Susannah Nachenberg, Radiohead fan and member of Jewish Voice for Peace.

I was at the Radiohead show at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley [April 18] - I’m a huge fan. And I unfurled this banner not to shame them, but to show frontman Thom Yorke and the band that they will be losing a huge fan if they go through with their planned concert in Tel Aviv.

The band knows what social justice means - they’ve stood up for Tibet, and against the War on Terror. York even tweeted about not normalizing Trump. And as artists with a conscience, Radiohead should stand in solidarity with Palestine.

Because in a world where Palestinians have freedom of movement and other basic human rights, there'd be no need for an international call for cultural boycott.
Radiohead has not played Israel since 2000. That was before the apartheid wall. 200,000 more illegal settlers have moved into the West Bank and East Jerusalem since then, and there have been three massive attacks on Gaza. 

And more to the point, hundreds of Palestinian civil society organizations have come together to call for an international cultural boycott of Israel until it abides by international law. And Radiohead shouldn’t cross that picket line.

They’d be far from alone. Ms. Lauryn Hill, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Elvis Costello, Bjork and many others have heeded Palestinian civil society’s call. These artists see apartheid Israel for what it is. And most importantly, they’ve embraced their role in making change.

Palestinians don't have a choice to reject or accept apartheid in Israel. It is a daily, grinding experience. Radiohead has a choice to do the right thing. I still hold out hope that they will.


Susannah Nachenberg
JVP Bay Area

PS: Radiohead only has a few more dates left on their summer tour - you can check the schedule here to see if one is near you. It’s rare that we have such a direct way for people outside the US to do on the ground work with us - but if you’re going to a show or would be willing to flyer outside, email and we’ll help you set it up!