Radiohead’s Thom Yorke responds to Ken Loach’s pro-BDS op-ed in the Indy.

As is often the case with many pro-BDS polemics, the justification offered by British director Ken Loach to politically, economically and culturally isolate Israel - and only Israel - included distortions and at least one outright lie: that there are "racially segregated roads" in the West Bank.

Yesterday, anti-Zionist activist director Ken Loach took to the virtual pages of The Independent (increasingly the favourite forum for the Corbynista wing of the British left) to rebuke Thom Yorke, lead singer of the band Radiohead, for refusing to cancel his upcoming Tel Aviv gig.  As is often the case with such pro-BDS polemics, Loach’s justification for the call to politically, economically and culturally isolate Israel – and only Israel – included several blatant distortions. It also contained one outright lie: that there are “racially segregated roads” in the West Bank.

We followed up our tweet with an email to Indy editors, providing background on this myth and demonstrating that there are no – nor have there ever been – “racially segregated” or “Jews-only roads” in Israel or the West Bank.

Additionally, Radiohead’s Yorke responded to Loach on Twitter, providing a broader argument against excluding millions of Jews from the international community. 

Finally, Dave Rich of The CST contextualises Loach’s BDS activism by providing some useful background in these tweets, which include a reminder that in 1987 Loach directed Perdition, a play – widely viewed as antisemitic – that was ultimately cancelled by the Royal Court Theatre.

(For those active on Twitter, here’s Loach’s handle: @KenLoachSixteen.)

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