REM singer Michael Stipe speaks out in support of Radiohead over BDS

Ex-REM singer defends British band after widespread criticism from pro-boycott celebrities


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?’


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