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Monday
Jul172017

Michael Stipe supports Radiohead's decision to play Israel concert

Dave J Hogan/Getty ImagesRadiohead will play a concert in Tel Aviv, Israel this Wednesday, July 19 -- a decision that's been met with criticism, particularly from Pink Floyd's Roger Waters. Now, Radiohead has received a nod of support from R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe.

"I stand with Radiohead and their decision to perform," writes Stipe in an Instagram post. "Let's hope a dialogue continues, helping to bring the occupation to an end and lead to a peaceful solution."

Waters supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which calls for a cultural boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. He, along with over 50 other prominent figures, including former South African archbishop Desmond Tutu, have signed a petition urging Radiohead to cancel their show.

In response to the criticism, Yorke told Rolling Stone, "The kind of dialogue that they want to engage in is one that's black or white…It's deeply disrespectful to assume that we're either being misinformed or that...we can't make these decisions ourselves. I thought it was patronizing in the extreme."

In a separate response, Yorke noted that Radiohead does not endorse Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "any more than [U.S. President Donald] Trump, but we still play in America."

"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," Yorke writes.

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