Palestinians are us, and we are them
by John Pilger When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them. One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter. “Arabs”, they […]
Thanks for sending me down a rabbit hole to that story about Thom Yorke & Radiohead. (The band ignoring requests from others in the arts asking them to adhere to BDS & not to play in Israel). This does not surprise me at all.
In 2006 during the merciless Israeli bombing of Lebanon Thom Yorke said if he were them (the civilians being bombed) he would just “leave”. (Not everyone is a billionaire musician who can just hop on a plane back to their big house & garden in Oxford Thom).
People were told by Israel to “leave” or be bombed & then were bombed “leaving”. (Search The Marwahin Massacre… This area Marjeyoun is where my family is from). How are people to “leave”. What about the elderly & disabled & ill & people looking after children… !
He also blamed people for being bombed because they voted for Hezbollah. Putting aside that Hezbollah ended the many decades long occupation of the south of Lebanon; I dont see how bombing innocent civilians — including infants & children & pregnant women & the elderly & disabled & Christians there who would not have voted for Hezbollah — is acceptable to Mr. Yorke.
To time travel a little further back to the mid & late 90s; Radiohead was very involved in those Free Tibet concerts that bizarrely took place during the 2nd Intifada when Palestinians getting slaughtered was shown on the television news each & every single day. Yet not a word was said by any of those musicians on behalf of Palestinians.
Those concerts also took place a year after the horrific Cana massacre (also near my family’s ancestral home) in which the State of Israel bombed the Fijian UN Compound where many innocent civilians had sought refuge from bombing & were horribly killed. (Do not search the photos online if you love children & you do not want to have nightmares).
Hence I don’t know why anyone is shocked that Radiohead/Thom Yorke are playing in Israel next Wednesday 19 July. I’ve been amazed that musicians & music lovers & artists who have loved & admired this band’s music did not notice this about them earlier.
The arena they are playing at was built over an ethnicly cleansed & demolished Palestinian village. There I said it… ethnic cleansing…
These type of people (Radiohead/Thom Yorke/wealthy pale Englishmen who think they know best & cluelessly carry on the colonialism & Orientalism of their forefathers) are insufferable. His entire defence was how insulting it is to them to question their goodness… & how Noam Chomsky & J.K.Rowling are against BDS as well (J.K.Rowling?!). So wait a minute… he wants us to understand that other wealthy white people living in comfort know better than Palestinians themselves? (And yes I know J.K.Rowling was poor & that Noam Chomsky has been a defender of Palestinians & friend of the late Edward Said).
It’s so colonialist & Orientalist — this way of thinking! And they don’t even realise it! Of course… which is how this kind of thinking keeps perpetuating itself! Because here you have PALESTINIANS THEMSELVES (all kinds of groups & organisations) asking for people the world over to adhere to BDS principles & practices; yet these wealthy white English people Radiohead/Thom Yorke & laughably J.K.Rowling (cited for some weird reason by Mr.Yorke) want us Palestinians & Lebanese & Arabs the world over & the rest of the people on the planet as well; to listen to THEM — OVER & ABOVE PALESTINIANS THEMSELVES. It is SO patronising.
Thom Yorke also took issue w/ the word ‘apartheid’ applied to the State of Israel. It absolutely engages in apartheid. This is like someone calling the police when their neighbour beats their wife & then being offended when they are told not to beat their own wife.
Artists for Palestine
You Can Now Pretend to Kill Palestinian-Looking Terrorists at Israeli Tourist Camps
Thanks for sending me this link. It looks like it’s so horrifying I have to take some aspirin first (headache already) & cook & eat something healthy & fortifying first… before reading that article. Just reading can feel like going to battle; I need to prepare! Probably pray also.
I heard of their ‘training’ w/ fake everything including fake indigenous Palestinians.
I hope The Nomad has gone or will go to the website I typed above (& messed up as a link when I didn’t type the www or http bit) & read the poem I left. (I think on 17 July on the director Mike Leigh post — the post before today’s post there. Please read my earlier comments on the posts just preceding that one also. They are all on the recent articles about Radiohead playing the State of Israel).
PS to Nomad
It was meant to be a letter to Radiohead for going against BDS & Palestinians’ own wishes by their playing Israel on 19 July (because I thought they and/or people they know might read that site); but it evolved quickly & unintentionally into a poem.