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July 17, 2017 4:56 pm

Ex-R.E.M. Lead Singer Publicly Backs Radiohead’s Decision to Go Ahead With Israel Concert in Face of BDS Pressure

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Michael Stipe during a 2003 show in Italy. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Ex-R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe on Sunday publicly backed the English rock band Radiohead’s plan to go ahead with its upcoming concert in Israel in the face of pressure from pro-BDS activists.

“I stand with Radiohead and their decision to perform,” the 57-year-old American rocker wrote on Instagram. “Let’s hope a dialogue continues, helping to bring the occupation to an end and lead to a peaceful solution.”

Radiohead will appear on Wednesday in front of tens of thousands of fans in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park.

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Last month, Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke told Rolling Stone that the harassment the band had received from BDS supporters about its Israel concert was “extremely upsetting.”

When Radiohead first announced the concert in April, BDS advocates — including Desmond Tutu and former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters — signed an open letter urging the band to cancel the show to “help pressure Israel to end its violation of basic rights and international law [against Palestinians].”

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