Radiohead have played to a crowd of 47,000 in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park, despite petitions asking for them to partake in a cultural boycott of Israel.
In the last show of their three-month global tour, the band played their longest show since 2006, with 27 songs and two encores performed to a sold out crowd. The band’s frontman Thom Yorke was reported to have told the crowd: “A lot was said about this, but in the end we played some music.”
This is a week after British filmmaker, Ken Loach, appealed to the band via Twitter, saying: “Radiohead need to decide if they stand with the oppressed or the oppressor. The choice is simple.” Yorke later responded in a statement, arguing that: “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government.”
He went on to add that, “Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression.”
Radiohead were also petitioned in April to avoid playing in a country, “where a system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people” by Artists for Palestine, a network of artists and activists protesting the Israeli government’s policies towards the Palestinians.
Yorke also compared the Israeli political situation to that in the US, where they have also performed. He said: “We don’t endorse [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu any more than Trump.”
Their setlist included a rare performance of ‘Like Spinning Plates’, as well as classics such as ‘The Bends’, ‘Creep’, ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Pyramid Song’, and tracks from their newest album A Moon Shaped Pool.
Watch their latest music video below: