Israeli-Arab singer defends Radiohead concert in Tel Aviv

"They are trying to shut down the music. I will not be a part of that."

July 19, 2017 02:21
1 minute read.
Nasreen Qadri.

Nasreen Qadri.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Nasreen Qadri, an Israeli-Arab musician, backed Radiohead's performance in Israel on Wednesday, despite pressure that the British group was under by the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement to cancel their summer concert in Tel Aviv.

In an opinion piece published Tuesday on Newsweek online, Qadri stated that the cancellation of performances hurt her as a "Muslim Arab woman," and also mentioned that those who call on Radiohead to cancel their show are "hurting those who wish to promote peace and tolerance in a troubled region."

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She wrote that "those who call for boycott are only trying to divide us. They are trying to shut down the music. I will not be a part of that." Qadri also mentioned that she felt she was "lucky to be born in Israel."

We need to "work together," Qadri stated, writing that if there is no engagement, peace will not occur.

Qadri also said that she is hoping the concert will build "bridges."

Qadri was born in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, but grew up in the central city of Lod. The cities are both mixed, with Arab and Jewish communities.

Qadri won an Israeli television singing competition in 2012.

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke (L) and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters (REUTERS)

Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has been waging a months-long battle with Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke over the band's slated Israel gig.

Yorke has resisted Waters's efforts to get the band to cancel, and hit back at the singer.

"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," said Yorke in a Rolling Stone interview. "It's really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years. They talk down to us and I just find it mind-boggling that they think they have the right to do that.

Amy Spiro contributed to this report.

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