AWARD-WINNING director Ken Loach has been accused of double standards as he came under fire for seeing himself from a cultural boycott of Israel that he promotes.

Rebecca O’Brien, Loach’s producer, insisted it was down to a “mistake” that the Palme d’Or winning I, Daniel Blake is currently showing in Israeli cinemas.

Loach has vocally condemned artists who perform in Israel as supporting an “apartheid regime” but there are claims he allowed his films to be distributed in the country without objection.

His Israeli distributor Guy Shani said was "is a conundrum that has puzzled me. It seems that Ken Loach feels himself exempt from the cultural boycott."

Criticism of Loach came after he criticised Radiohead's decision to play a gig in Tel Aviv this month.

After hearing about Loach's films being shown in Israel, Yorke tweeted simply: "k... ?"

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators disrupted Radiohead's performance at the TRNSMT Festival in a protest against the Israel gig scheduled for Wednesday.


“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 lead singer Thom Yorke who has been puzzled by Loach's position.

He added in a message directed at Loach last week: "Playing in a country isn't the same as endorsing its government. We've played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. As we have in American.

"We don't endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America.

"Music, art an academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression."

Mr Shani said of Loach's position: "I can’t tell you how absurd this is. We’ve been showing his movies for years. I have been paying him money every year. His latest film I, Daniel Blake has been really successful in Israel.

"So successful that we had some private events with Israeli government institutions where they booked the film to show to employees because of interest in the subject."

Mr Shani had refuted the idea that that he screened Loach’s films without the director’s consent.

“You don’t sell a film to someone a director doesn’t want a film sold to. It is a serious business. You have a list of regions and they approve country by country and then you need to get approval by producer and director,” he said. “And if you have a relationship, a sales agent with a director who is really important to you, of course you don’t sell against their wishes.”

Loach has previously refused to show a movie at the Edinburgh Film Festival because another film sponsored by the Israeli embassy was in the programme.