Thom Yorke is a human rights activist, environmentalist, vegetarian, and, most famously, as frontman for the British band Radiohead, a giant in the music world. He’s also the latest artist to slam the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement, which targets Israeli and non–Israeli Jews.
Speaking about those who want to blacklist Israeli Jews, Yorke told Rolling Stone magazine that “the kind of dialogue that they want to engage in is one that’s black or white.”
I have a problem with that. It’s deeply distressing that they choose to, rather than engage with us personally, throw shit at us in public. It’s deeply disrespectful to assume that we’re either being misinformed or that we’re so retarded we can’t make these decisions ourselves. I thought it was patronizing in the extreme. It’s offensive …
BDS activists “just to throw the word ‘apartheid’ around” Yorke said, adding that they seem to believe he and his bandmates are incapable of making moral decisions on their own. “They talk down to us and I just find it mind-boggling that they think they have the right to do that. It’s extraordinary.”
Other artists who have slammed BDS bullying include the late author Umberto Eco (he called their ideas “absolutely crazy” and “fundamentally racist”); Irish writer Gerard Donovan (who called BDS activists “idiots” who try to bully and cajole and are guilty of “outright intimidation”); the band Dervish (who described BDS’s “avalanche of negativity,” “venom” and “hatred”); the manager of Jazz musician Jack Terrasson (who condemned their “intellectually dishonest” and “pathological hatred”); and Malian singer Salif Keita (who criticized BDS’s “false propaganda” and its “blackmail attempts, intimidation, social media harassment, and slander”).