Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A final message to Radiohead

Dear Radiohead,

We first contacted you in February to explain why we, a group of your fans, felt that you shouldn't perform in Israel. You didn't get back to us. In March a member of our group politely approached Colin at a public event to hand our letters to him. Colin refused to take the letters. Since then we have tried to contact you in various ways, both public and private, and have had no response. You ignored us.

You've also ignored the majority of the artists who have called on you to boycott. When you have responded, you've done so in a way that makes clear you feel like you should be able to act however you want without being questioned.

But worst of all, you've ignored the Palestinian people. It is they who made the call to boycott - not us, not Ken Loach, but the Palestinian people. Thom, you told Ken Loach that music is about crossing borders - well, there are Palestinians who tell you they are unable to cross borders to hear your music. You say music is about dialogue, but you've refused to enter in to any kind of conversation.

Your words are hollow. This isn't engagement, this is public relations.

Many of us have had faith that you'd come round, or at the very least start talking. But all we've been met with is silence and hostility. Many thought that you cared really, had just been given bad advice. But refusing to speak to Palestinians shows breathtaking arrogance. You have conducted yourselves with an unbelievable sense of entitlement.

Being a politically-engaged band is about listening to those without power and being willing to accept you might be wrong. Your conduct over the last five months has shown you are incapable of this. When you walk out on that stage in Tel Aviv this evening, you will show the world that your political overtures are just a facade. Please, stop trying to make money off that image.

You've had the choice of listening to the powerless or siding with the powerful and your decision couldn't be clearer. History will judge you on your actions.

Radiohead Fans for Palestine