REM singer Michael Stipe has spoken out in support of British band Radiohead.
The Oxfordshire rock five-piece, whose guitarist Jonny Greenwood is married to an Israeli, have been subjected to criticism over their decision to play a concert in Tel Aviv.
Stipe, whose own band played in Israel in the 1990s with Radiohead as their support act, published an Instagram post which said:
'I stand with Radiohead and their decision to perform. Let's hope a dialogue continues, helping to bring the occupation to an end and lead to a peaceful solution. Sincerely, Michael Stipe'
Life Is Sweet director Mike Leigh, meanwhile has, like fellow film director Ken Loach and former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters, issued a statement criticising Radiohead’s position:
As the lights go out in Gaza and Palestinian cancer patients die because they are denied travel permits by Israel, while a Palestinian poet in Israel lives under house arrest for a poem she wrote on Facebook, while a young circus performer from the West Bank languishes in administrative detention without charge or trial – Thom Yorke speaks loftily about ‘crossing borders’ and ‘freedom of expression’. One has to ask, freedom for whom exactly?’