Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke apparently flipped off pro-Palestinian protesters at a Friday concert in Glasgow, Scotland, amid a continuing campaign to pressure the band to cancel its upcoming gig in Tel Aviv.
Several Palestinian flags and signs calling on the band to boycott Israel were held aloft during the band’s concert at the TRNSMT Festival in the Scottish city.
During a break in between songs, the musician muttered the phrase, “Some fucking people” four times into the microphone in what appeared to be a reference to the around ten Palestinian flags waving in the crowd at the time.
The online music site Consequence of Sound reported that Yorke also gave the middle finger to the protesters from Glasgow Palestine Action, Glasgow Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Radiohead Fans for Palestine, who had also all demonstrated outside of the concert.
Since the announcement of Radiohead’s July 19 concert in Israel, the English rock band has been bombarded with protests from pro-Palestinian groups calling on them to withdraw from their commitment.
— Hil Aked (@hilary_aked) July 8, 2017
In February, dozens of high-profile artists had signed a letter urging the band to cancel its performance at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine last month, Yorke characterized the letter as “offensive” and called out its signees for assuming the band is not informed on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“It’s deeply distressing that they choose to, rather than engage with us personally, throw shit at us in public,” he said. “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.”
Yorke noted that Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood was particularly hurt by the hatred the band had been subjected to over the upcoming concert.
Greenwood’s wife Sharona Katan was born in Israel. She described herself on Twitter as an Arab Jew who is proud to have Arab roots as she traces ancestry to Iraq and Egypt.
Since then, several groups have chastised Yorke for his rhetoric and criticized him for refusing to further discuss the topic.
“Thom’s is a simple choice: will he stand with the oppressor or the oppressed?” said film director Ken Loach in a statement through Artists for Palestine UK on June 5.
A cultural boycott campaign against Israel has had limited success. Stevie Wonder pulled out of a Friends of the IDF benefit in Los Angeles, and Lauryn Hill scrapped an Israel show but numerous major names including Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Santana, Lady Gaga, and Bon Jovi have performed in recent years. Rod Stewart played in Tel Aviv in May and Britney Spears performed last week.