Roger Waters slams Thom Yorke over Radiohead’s Israel show


Roger Waters has criticised Thom Yorke and Radiohead over their planned show in Tel Aviv, Israel, tomorrow (July 19).

Yorke has been engaged in a war of words with Ken Loach over recent days, after the British filmmaker urged the band to unite with the Boycott, Divestment And Sanctions (BDS) movement which calls for a cultural boycott of Israel and was set up to “end Israel’s occupation, racial discrimination and denial of basic Palestinian rights.”

Yorke responded saying: “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government.”

But he’s come under fire again from Waters, who, along with Thurston Moore, TV ON The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and 50 others, send Radiohead an open letter in April asking them to reconsider playing the show.

Waters said in Facebook Live talk with the BDS movement (via Rolling Stone): “My answer to people who say we should go there and sit around the campfire and sing songs: No, we shouldn’t. We should observe the picket line.

“Anybody who’s tempted to do that, like our friends in Radiohead, if only they would actually educate themselves. I know Thom Yorke’s been whining about how he feels insulted, people are suggesting he doesn’t know what’s going on.

“Well Thom, you shouldn’t feel insulted because if you did know what’s going on, you would have a conversation with Ken Loach, who’s been begging you to have a conversation, or with me, I begged you, Thom.

“I sent you a number of emails, begging you to have a conversation. As did Brian Eno – you ignored us all, you won’t speak to anyone about anything. So it’s that kind of isolationism that is extremely unhelpful to everybody.”

Waters added: “I look forward to – if you feel like it, when you finish your trip to Israel, because you probably still will go – write me a letter and tell me how much good you did and how much change you managed to affect by chatting with musicians.”

In 2015, Waters and former Pink Floyd bandmate Nick Mason called upon the Rolling Stones to cancel their plans to perform in Israel.

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.