Stipe posted a photo with the message, "I stand with Radiohead and their decision to perform". The concert is still on, and this weekend, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe spoke out in their defense. Adding, "Let's hope a dialogue continues, helping to bring the occupation to an end and lead to a peaceful solution".
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke in particular has attracted headlines for refusing to bow to pressure, most notably from Pink Floyd founder and bassist Roger Waters and film director Ken Loach, not to play in Israel. Waters supports a cultural boycott of Israel until Palestinians are granted greater equality under Israeli law and has called on Radiohead to cancel the gig as a result.
Roger Waters is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), and immediately criticised the band's decision. 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. "It's offensive and I just can't understand why going to play a rock show or going to lecture at a university [is a problem to them]".
Amid slinging indefensible charges at Israel, Waters said Yorke had been "whining" about his efforts. "I know Thom Yorke's been whining about how he feels insulted, people are suggesting he doesn't know what's going on". "The choice is simple".
Replying to Loach, Yorke said on Wednesday, "Playing in a country isn't the same as endorsing its government". "We don't endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America".
Yorke responded testily to the article, writing in a statement posted on Twitter, "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".