Boycott Israel?
  • JafoIAm March 2013
    Dear Mr. Waters, If Israel is an apartheid state as you claim, please tell me why Arab-Israelis sit wherever they want on buses, serve on the Israeli Supreme Court and in the Knesset (Israeli Congress/Senate), attend universities alongside Jews and are free to worship unmolested at a multitude of mosques throughout Israel? Why do all road signs in Israel contain Hebrew, Arabic and English names on them? If a person with your power wants to champion a cause, please don't casually throw around words that you don't understand. Keep rocking. Loved your tour in Los Angeles years ago.
  • Tulipa March 2013
    Hi, Jafo. Pleasure. 
    Could you please post a link here to when and where Roger Waters said that Israel should be boycotted?

  • Tulipa March 2013
    Thanks, PatrickHouston. According to what I had previously read here about this subject, I thought RW was for a boycott against the Hebrew culture. After reading the Intifada's interview, I understand that his message is not quite so, but rather similar to what he said at the UN. The only new thing to me was his musical boycott, which didn't surprise me at all, given that he's a musician.

    Does anyone here know the history of the Jews in Algeria? It's very interesting and pertinent to this discussion.

  • Shaul April 2013

    Dear Roger
    Israel is the only democracy in M.E. from far. All the Muslim population in countries surrounding Israel are much much more opressed by there own system including Gaza and Ramalla  than in Israel.
    Please be objective the boycot of Israel is over passed better check the situation in Syria , Egypt , Lybia , Tunisia,.....
    Anti Zionism is antissemitism . Martin Luther King
    Shaul . 
  • David18 April 2013
    Dear Roger,

    You are the classic antisemite and there really is no difference between you and the Hitler Youth. You would have made a superb Nazi. Hopefully, you and your family will die of cancer very soon and the world will be rid of another evil monster family--yours.

    All the best for a speedy death.

    David Bloch
  • agoldstein April 2013

    David, it is true that Roger is a hater of Israel, but he is not in any way, shape or form to be compared to Nazis! Your comment is completely uncalled for, and I am saying this as someone who has been highly critical of Roger on this website and elsewhere. I will not buy another Pink Floyd album, and I will not attend another Waters concert, until he retracts his anti-Israel positions. But that does not make him a Nazi.

    Avi Goldstein

  • agoldstein April 2013

    Tulipa, you can easily look up the history of the Jews of Algeria. As in most Arab countries, the Jews of Algeria had a glorious culture, until after 1948 and 1967 they were basically robbed of their possessions and driven out of the country. Any discussion of compensating Arab refugees MUST also include compensating the million Jews who were driven from Arab countries.

    All the best, Avi

  • Why do you keep saying he is a hater of Israel ? he is a hater of whats going on there, there's a HUGE difference!
  • agoldstein April 2013

    Spartacus, he is a hater of  Israel because he focuses his anger on Israel, of all countries in the Middle East. What is "going on in Israel"? Do you mean a country where one group is not allowed in at all, last I heard? That would be Saudi Arabia, where Jews are denied entry. Do you mean the country where the government beheads people and cuts off their limbs? Saudi Arabia, again. Where it is illegal for women to drive? That's right, its Saudi Arabia

    Perhaps you mean the country where the government has murdered thousands of its own citizens. Hmm, that would be Syria. Or the place where Arabs brutally murdered their fellow citizens during political unrest. Try the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

    But if you mean the country where an Arab woman has been the beauty queen, that would be Israel. Where Arabs serve in the Parliament alongside Jews, where an Arab sits on the Supreme Court? Israel. Where Arabs and Jews are free to walk the streets together, to shop together, to dine together? Israel. Where an Arab won the "Idol" talent show? Take one guess: Israel.

    So when someone singles out the country that, on its worst day, is better than any Arab country on its best day, yes, I call that hatred.

  • YOU can call it what you want, however that doesn't give you the right to say other people hate it!
  • agoldstein April 2013
    I most certainly have the "right," at least as much right as he has to call for a boycott of the only Jewish state. Hmm, only Jewish state, and that's the one he picks out for criticism. What should we think about that?
  • agoldstein April 2013
    Nolm, I have an idea. Rather than dealing in non-specifics, let's  talk about specifics. You claim that Waters is "a hater of what's going on" in Israel.  I would like to know exactly to what you are referring, and what you would like Israel to do specifically instead of what it is doing. Then we can discuss this and see who is right. Thanks. Avi (sorry, we may have a time delay here. I am in the U.S. and I don't know where you are located).
  • Kawarthas April 2013
    I agree with Mr Waters' decision - today's Israel is like South Africa in the 70s: segregationist, racist, and abusive.
    Until there is concerted international pressure, there will be no impetus for change...
  • agoldstein April 2013

    Kawarthas, as I asked before, rather than speak in broadsides, how about some specifics? You have made a serious charge, that Israel is like apartheid South Africa, that Israel is segregationist and racist. I maintain this is ludicrous and  borderline anti-Semitic. So how about telling us exactly how Israel is like South Africa?

    Keep in mind, Kawarthas: in Israel, an Arab sits on the High Court; Arabs and Jews ride buses together (no separate buses,  like in South Africa; Arabs attend  the same universities as Jews, sitting in the same classes, classes that are taught both by Jews and Arabs; Arabs and Jews are treated in the same hospitals, by Jewish and Arab doctors, and  more.

    However, there is a place where segregation persists: women can't drive; non-Muslims can't worship; reportedly black slavery exists; men and  women are not permitted to walk together. I am speaking of course about that great democracy, Saudi Arabia.

    I await your answer. Thanks.

  • ZetaMan April 2013

    I have many good friends in Israel and have nothing against the state. I did, however, read this article a few weeks ago and found it was pertinent to the conversation here. I do not agree with discrimination in any form and thought this idea regarding a separate bus-line for Palestinians was concerning. Measures should be taken to ensure friendship and unity rather than divisiveness wherever possible. 
  • After Rosa Parks got on the bus, she did not explode.
  • agoldstein April 2013

    ZetaMan, I agree with you that if the article as reported is true, we should be concerned. I have to research further, since I do know that in Israel proper, Arabs and Jews use the same transportation. I was in Israel last year and I rode the Jerusalem light rail many times. Arabs were on the rail line as well (despite the fact that some Arabs have tried to damage the line!).

    i suggest you read the following:

    and then we will talk!

  • ZetaMan April 2013

    Ah yes, my friend, there are always two sides to every story so it is nice to see what others have to say about that particular issue. Thank you for the informative article. As far as Israel is concerned, as I said, I do not harbor any hatred for the state whatsoever. I happen to be a "Christian" even though I'm not very religious. However, my mother was in Israel during the Six Days War in 1967 and described the horror to me first-hand. I'm just a big pusher of peace, love, and unity. I have no doubt that Israel is very inclusive as you say, I just hope the situation never devolves to the point where division becomes the norm. I just fear that the way things are described in the NBC article will be used as fodder for further anti-semitism and more hatred. This is never the solution.

  • agoldstein April 2013

    ZetaMan, I agree with you one hundred percent.

    By the way, Israel is not perfect. There is always room for improvement. But Israel is better, for Arabs as well as Jews, than most countries in the world! As I wrote elsewhere, Israel on its worst day is better than any Arab country on its best day.

  • Larinthian April 2013
    Roger Waters, YOU ARE A FIRST CLASS LOSER. You're music stinks and you make the street corner banjo player look like a super star. But, what is really sad is just how sick and demented you are. Maybe, it's all of those years doing acid. It has made you COMFORTABLY NUMB IN THE HEAD!!! How you can spew your bigoted hatred all over the world is disgraceful. As someone of notoriety, you have the opportunity to make the world a better place and strive to work towards a world of peace and understanding. Instead, you squander this opportunity by spreading hatred, lies, and evil. That's what you are EVIL. If you want to crawl in the sewer with the Arabs that's your problem. But, don't try to talk others like Stevie Wonder from doing the right thing and performing at a pro-Israel event. Since you like Boycott and Divestment so much, I have a great idea. Why don't we start a Boycott and Divestment campaign against you! This wouldn't apply to me because I wouldn't buy any of your junk anyway. But, for the fools that do, don't buy any of this nut cases music, if you could call it that, go to any concerts, buy any merchandise, or anything else he tries to peddle. Then you could live in the gutter where you belong. May you have a life of catastrophe and doom. You truly deserve it.
  • ledery1 April 2013
    Roger Waters is a genius and he has the guts to speak his mind. Further he opens up his page as a forum for discussion so people can, hopefully, think for themselves. Thanks Roger.
  • waveprojectwaveproject April 2013
    generally, i agree with roger´s action of boycotting. as far as i can
    understand, it is an attempt to clear up the situation and to get
    attention to to consternation of the palestinian people in this conflict
    which does not appear, softly said, in a correct way in the official

    but i don´t feel
    that roger´s  operation really is something like" telling both sides of
    the story" because the root of the game in the middle east can´t be
    found without "digging in the dirt" .this "Or should we rather take a
    very good look in the mirror at ourselves?"for me expresses the question
    for other actions of boycotting.

    roger´s dissapointment about
    obama´s foreign politics in the interview shows that he obviously had
    some expectations of a change.....i remember well of the reactions in
    some circles in my country when it was clear that it´s going on in the
    same way again and this was just half a year after his FIRST selection.

    in my view this call for boycott of a foreign state won´t have any real
    attention to what is going on.this" war after war after war after war
    after war...."is the game of one gang. and this gang was chosen by

    there were many artists in the rock scene who
    suppportet obama´s first election. even crosby stills nash &young
    were touring through the states. where are they now? why don´t they take
    their guitars, compose something like" don´t vote them" and position
    themselves in front of the white house and " keep on rocking in the free

    wouldn´t this be something really effective in
    oppostion to just signing any amnesty declaration like it was at the
    arresting of pussy riot?
  • agoldstein April 2013

    Waveproject, I have tried FOR WEEKS to get somebody, anybody, who posts here and on the related fora to explain what exactly it is that you have against Israel. Without knowing that information and discussing it, certainly one should not be jumping to the conclusion that Israel is worthy of a boycott.

    At the same time, please explain why one would focus on Israel, the ONLY democracy in the Middle East, a country where people can walk freely, work freely, worship freely, vote freely: and I AM TALKING ABOUT THE ARABS IN ISRAEL! That's right, Arabs are freer in Israel than they are in any other Middle East country.

    So, I am waiting to hear. Thanks.


  • waveprojectwaveproject April 2013

    would you mind to reread my post above- possibly you might find out what i am really trying to say?
    if you are not clear enough about it, feel free to ask me again and we will find a way.

  • agoldstein April 2013

    Hi. I have re-read your post. No, I don't understand what you are trying to say. So let's try the following:

    You wrote that a boycott of Israel will bring "attention"  to the "consternation of the Palestinian people." The word "consternation" is certainly being misused here; perhaps English is not your native language. If you clarify what you meant, that would help us understand. I can then reply.


  • waveprojectwaveproject April 2013

    my "it is an attempt to clear up the situation and to get attention to to consternation of the palestinian people..."
    means the situation of isolation. and you are right: my native language is german and in my dictionary the word mentioned is not quite correct. anyway, this post actually comes from another thread in which the discussion about this subject is broadened to the american foreign politics. further this one is part of the core of another thread mentioned my stray dog in which the general question about human behaviour in relation to the current state of things is analyzed rather precícely.

    if you want to understand what we are trying to say you may invest some time to go through it because it´s not very senseful for me to repeat its points . but after having done this, you may have some questions about it which we could discuss.
  • erang April 2013
    Dear Roger,

    I woke up this morning to read that you are calling
    for a cultural boycott on Israel, which happens to be the country I was
    born and raised in, and the country in which I still live.  It also
    happens to be the only democracy in the Middle East with our neighbors
    running either dictatorships or cruel internal wars in which murder of
    babies and rape are legitimate (in their view) means of war.

    happen to live in the north, where there is also a large Arab population
    that enjoys full liberties:  political, freedom of speech, movement
    etc.  There is nothing like that for minority groups in any Arab
    country  and as a result Christians, for example, are almost an extinct
    species in many Arab countries.
    Not only that - they live much better
    than MUCH better than any Arab citizen an any Arab country, apart from
    the dictators and their friends and family.

    Your opinions, which
    are expressed in your call to boycott Israel show not only ignorance of
    Historical fact, but also ignorance of the present situation in the
    Middle East.  Unfortunately this type of ignorance is common in the UK
    due to massive anti-Israeli propaganda disguised as news. 

    History, in short is that even though Israel agreed to split historic
    Palestine - the roman name for the piece of land that includes today's
    Israel and Jordan, and which the Jews have always called The Land of
    Israel - not once, but twice.  In the twenties it was split between The
    Hasheemite Kingdom of Eastern Jordan (a.k.a. Jordan) and was given by
    your government to a family from Arabia (today - Saudi Arabia, which
    means the Land of Arabia which belongs to the family of Saud - another
    great invention of your government) to rule.  They still rule over the
    native people of Jordan to this day.  The second time was in the late
    forties, when the UN decided to split (again) what was left  and to have
    a Jewish and an Arab state side by side, west of the Jordan river.
    The Jews agreed.
    Arab leaders, on the other hand, called for a war that will drown the
    Jews in their own blood, drown then in the see and more vivid
    descriptions of their plans to commit genocide.  Surprisingly they
    failed, and the Jews escaped a second holocaust.
    Later they attempted
    again and again to destroy Israel.  In 67' they Jordanians lost Judea
    and Samaria in the war (a.k.a the occupied territories) which they
    themselves occupied illegally since the war of 48'.  Ever since these
    territories are in dispute as they never belonged to any country and
    where never an entity of their own.
    The term Palestinians is only in
    use since there is a Jewish state in order to use it as a political
    weapon against it, but no such nation actually exist, and if Israel was
    not to exist there will also immediately cease to be a Palestinian
    people and they will go back to being Arabs - Syrian, Egyptian etc.

    I will not continue - the information is out there for he who wants to know the truth.
    you live in the country which, along side with France, is responsible
    for setting up all these dictatorships in the Middle East after WW1, and
    much of the anger that is expressed today as violence towards Israel
    and Jews is actually anger at colonialism and at all the wrongs
    committed by Europe, and mainly the UK and France, in the Middle East. 
    you don't seem to understand that, but it is the same anger that caused
    the terrorist attack in Boston a few days ago and the same that will
    take over Europe if it is given the chance.

    I can only tell you
    that each time Israel tried to reach an agreement with the
    "Palestinians" the answer was to take what they can now, and then to
    raise another wave of terrorist attacks to avoid a final agreement that
    will end the conflict.

    To this day you will not find an Arab
    leader that will stand beside Israel on any issue, or will tell you what
    are the terms on which they will agree to announce the end of the
    The reason is that they do not accept the Jewish state under any terms and in any borders.

    I will just warn you that you have become a tool for spreading lies and hatred.
    The same hatred that Israel is suffering from ever since Jews started to BUY lands to found their new state.
    hatred is manifested in murder of kids and babies, in shooting missiles
    at civilians, in terrorist attacks, and in education for more death and

    Please think twice before becoming a tool for those aims.
  • They suffered and they are making suffering other, even more than they have suffered. You're right Roger, we must talk about it and do not let them do! Act like you are acting is brave! I support your action because you know that peace must be in this part of the world first, in order to let peace comming every where else. All Israelis are not violent, but those who wish you to die in suffering are monsters with no memory ..  How can they be so violent to you by the language ... Hold on! dear Roger! Hold on! Keep on keeping on I think they say in English (I am frensh but no body is perfect)... With all my love! Floyd-lennongandhy ....
  • barjohn May 2013
    Roger Waters wants to make a difference. He wants peace. He's a musician for f*cks sake! He has the opportunity to do it his way, just as some of those here will never do anything but criticize, berate, hate and demonize in the name of their lack of ability to do anything about it. That's war in a nutshell. Stand on the sidelines and throw stones.
  • barjohn May 2013
    Dear Roger,

    You are the classic antisemite and there really is no difference between you and the Hitler Youth. You would have made a superb Nazi. Hopefully, you and your family will die of cancer very soon and the world will be rid of another evil monster family--yours.

    All the best for a speedy death.

    David Bloch

    As the famous Delbert Grady once said: "I'm sorry to differ with you sir, but YOU are the cancer. You've always been the cancer."
  • Roger Waters is helping not only the Palestinians, but also the Israelis, by taking a stand against the racism and criminal behaviour of their government that is sure to bring their demise along with the Palestinians' one day. All racist ideologies are the same, and they must all be fought even if each battle is tough and complicated.

    For all those still adamant on recycling Israeli propaganda lies one way or another: Roger Waters sees through this nonsense - that's why he has chosen to join the boycott campaign and ask other artists to join in. He's way too intelligent and too human to fall for your lies or turn a blind eye to thr truth.  

    Hats off to you, Mr. Rogers. You've put your conscience before all else, and for that we admire you and will forever be grateful.  

  • Bump
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  • hippo June 2013
    Hello Mr. Waters,

    I agree with Liorschwimmer.
    I recently read about your desire to boycott Israel and I just wanted to share some facts with you.
    Did you know that Israel was voted for a counrty and was given the right to become a country by the United Nations Assembly?
    This was on November 1947, on May 14th 1948 David Ben Gurion declared on the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.
    one day, just one day later our country was attacked by no less then 5 armies!!! 5!!! (Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq).
    They wanted to destroy us and went against our right to form a country by right, decision and by law!!!
    We won!!! yes, little Israel fought back and won against 5 armies!!!
    If you will, imagine this - you're in a court and the judge just awarded you a verdict that gives you the right to walk in the streets freely, the minute you walked out the courts doors you got attacked by 5 different people just for walking in the street, a right you were given just a few moments ago!!!
    We are a small country with a long history dating all the way to the bible.
    We (Israelis) have only one small country only one and you want to take it away from us??
    Do you know what's the Hamass and Fatahs agenda is?? to destroy Israel and kill us all!!!
    Maybe you need to take a good look at all the countries around the world and read about their history before boycotting us!!
    Every war started with the other side attacking us!!! we never ever attacked another counrty!!! and yet you are calling to boycott us?? are you kidding???
    More facts for example - In the past 12 years more than 13,000 rockets and mortars have exploded in Israels territory!!
    Since we withdraw from Gaza strip (2006) more than 8,000 rockets were fired at us from Gaza strip!!!
    8,000!!! on innocent people!!! I-n-n-o-c-e-n-t man, women and children!! yes yes, schools, hospitals and what ever you can think of were a targeted like anything else!!!
    Don't judge before you know the whole story (THERE IS ALOT MORE TO IT!!).
    Hope you'll open your eyes and change your mind.
  • Patrick you are bumping the wrong threads ( wink ) we want to bump this to the end of the car insurance dude
  • aweber June 2013

    Mr. Waters, in regards to your comments to Alicia Keys in trying to keep her from performing in Israel, you noted the rights of "indigenous" palestinians.  You are a musician, and clearly not an anthropologist.  Look back in history, not just the last several hundred years.

    And do you also boycott the arab nations where Jews and Christians are outright banned?  Where it is preached to kill them?  Or just Israel, where arabs can vote, ride buses and show their faces in public in a democracy. 

  • Sorry church, I got a little carried away... and now I find myself needing life insurance for my gold fish.
  • One minute either side with a little butter is all the insurance required.
  • No i done it as well now (DOH )
  • cassiomurilo January 2014
    Israelis are as Americans, with a certain democratic liberty to defend their country, but fuck the rest of the world.

    Say that the other countries are not democracies is easy, then let's wars to make, foray and encroach of another's sovereignty. Fallujah in Iraq is ablaze with dramatic consequences.

    Still hurts to hear me say, "make war to bring peace" as if education is not resolved. Yes education has been very effective in shaping human thought for us to accept the money as his only savior, and we accept killing our brothers the Earth as the only way to bring peace.

    Wars are business, nothing more. Take toilet paper to clean the mouth :(
  • StrayDogStrayDog January 2014

    Slightly rephrasing George Carlin: “Making war to bring peace is like screwing for virginity”.

    Wars are certainly just dirty “business, nothing more” – as far as the Elites are concerned at any rate. So, let’s try to not get involved in it in any way – for instance, through declaring its voluntary participants heroes.

  • Fatah's agreement to align with Hamas is further evidence that even the so-called "moderate" Abbas has no interest in peace
  • I have published the following in a major Jewish American newspaper.

    The Dark Side of Roger Waters

    By Avi Goldstein

    An early evening in the summer of 1991 found me driving my family through the Galilee, on our way to a resort on Lake Kinneret. The radio was tuned to the British Broadcasting Corporation’s international station, and a program titled Desert Island Discs came on. The show, a decades-long BBC production, features celebrities playing the short list of recordings they would take with them were they to be stranded on a desert island for the rest of their lives.

    To our delight, the guest for this particular program, a rebroadcast of an April show, was none other than Jonathan Sacks, then the Chief Rabbi Elect of Great Britain. Rabbi Sacks proceeded to spin classical pieces, chazanut, and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. I took great pleasure in listening to one of the world’s most prominent Jewish figures as he spoke about his choices. (Rabbi Sacks’ eight selections are listed at

    None of Rabbi Sacks’ picks would be on my list, were I to be headed for a lifetime in moat-like solitude. For one thing, he included not a single selection from Pink Floyd. It is reasonable to assume that if I were allowed to take twenty albums into exile, up to three Pink Floyd records would make the final cut: Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall. Although many roots-rock fans disdain the progressive music that Pink Floyd embodies, other fans hold the band – and its leader, Roger Waters – in tremendous esteem.

    While some readers of this newspaper may not recognize Waters’ name, to many readers (probably more than you think!) he is rock royalty. Today his concerts continue to sell out, as he mounts sophisticated, innovative shows that belie his three-and-a-half-score years.

    All this would not be germane to Five Towns Jewish Times readers, if not for the fact that Roger Waters has emerged in recent years as a vocal and vituperative anti-Israel spokesman. Waters is articulate and smart, and precisely because of his standing as a musician, his words carry weight among fellow artists and among fans. Several months ago, an article in a local paper insisted that Waters was making no headway in his battle against Israel, but I must disagree. Indeed, he was instrumental in convincing Stevie Wonder (one album, Songs in the Key of Life, gets to my island) to withdraw from a major benefit for the Israel Defense Forces last year. Indeed, every time a major artist schedules a concert in Israel, Waters publicly calls upon the performer to back out.

    One wishes that Waters’ opinions could be attributed to a momentary lapse of reason, but in fact they have developed over the course of many years, to the point where he is today the poster boy for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to economically isolate the Jewish state.

    Articles have been written about Waters and Israel, but for the most part the authors have been unfamiliar with the evolution of his Middle East views. For one thing, Waters actually did play in Israel, and not so long ago; yet even that show had overtones that portended his future course. In 2006, he scheduled a concert at Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Park. Israelis are big Pink Floyd fans, and Waters reportedly had wanted to play there for some time. The trouble began in mid-preparation, when, having taken an interest in the Palestinian Arab cause, Waters requested a change of venue to the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Neve Shalom, believing that the latter better reflected his political views. (Apparently, the fact that Jews and Arabs mingle freely in Tel Aviv did not register with him.)

    Still, he did play in Israel, something that some other artists would not do at the time, generally out of safety concerns. As time passed, however, Waters assumed a more dogged anti-Israel stance. In the fall of 2006, I attended a Waters concert at Madison Square Garden. There, among other provocations, video images accompanying the music likened Israel’s defensive barrier to the Berlin Wall. No attempt was made to understand that the Berlin Wall was built by East Germany to keep freedom-lovers from escaping while Israel’s defensive wall was built to keep homicide bombers out. In the eyes of Roger Waters, a wall was a wall.

    Waters was not done. In more recent concerts he has featured a balloon pig (a common feature at Pink Floyd concerts) with the image of a Star of David alongside images of oppression such as the hammer and sickle. The obvious inference: Israel is an oppressive state.

    Waters recently fully adopted the anti-Israel position of the BDS movement. And in testimony before the United Nations last November, Waters went even further. He had earlier attended the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a virulently anti-Israel conclave that arises periodically to spew its hatred. While the Russell Tribunal carries no weight and is not on its own taken seriously, Waters used it in his UN testimony as a springboard from which to assert his views. Among other things, Waters stated that he represented “global civil society,” clearly implying that the State of Israel is not civil.

    Waters’ UN testimony can be viewed online. In it, he praises Hamas for dropping its opposition to the State of Israel and for endorsing recognition of Israel based on its withdrawal to the June 4, 1967, borders. One can only wonder how Waters has become so deluded; Hamas would be shocked to be informed that its signature platform plank, the dismantling of Israel, has been dislodged. Indeed, this would mean that Hamas is more amenable to compromise than Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, which to date have refused to make full peace even if Israel withdraws to the 1967 lines!

    continued in next post
  • When someone denounces the State of Israel, the only Jewish country, in such resounding terms, the question arises: is he anti-Semitic? I don’t think Roger Waters is anti-Semitic, and he has taken pains to publicly state that he has nothing against Jews. However, the nomenclature that he uses when it comes to Israel – claiming it is an apartheid state and making odious comparisons with Nazi Germany – renders the issue of anti-Semitism practically moot. One recent despicable comment about Israel: “The parallels with what went on in the nineteen-thirties in Germany are so crushingly obvious.” And so Waters may not be anti-Semitic, but his rhetoric echoes the words of anti-Semites. He is not rock music’s equivalent of Wagner, but he does look at Israel with paranoid eyes.

    Lest any readers remain unconvinced, Waters’ rhetoric, and the BDS movement that he champions, are dangerous. While BDS spokesmen will not admit it, an analysis of the group’s views confirms its belief that Israel should not exist in its current form, that is, as a Jewish state. (BDS evidently is not bothered by the existence of a multitude of Muslim states, or states where Catholicism is the official religion, or the existence of Anglican Great Britain, Roger Waters’ country of birth.)

    How pernicious is BDS? I venture that we disregard it at Israel’s risk. The BDS strategy has been to equate Israel with Apartheid South Africa and consequently to encourage an economic boycott of the Jewish state. To date, BDS has made little headway. There are a handful of university student councils that have voted to support economic divestment from Israel. A small academic group, the American Studies Association, acquired transcendent publicity for its recent vote in favor of divestment. These successes are overwhelmingly countered by the enormous investments made in Israel by companies such as Google, Facebook, and Intel. Yet while the BDS victories have been minor, let us keep in mind that most movements start small. Israel can ill afford to ignore Roger Waters and his Israel-hating cohorts. Each time BDS succeeds, it builds another brick in the movement that is dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

    To date, there are very few musicians besides Roger Water who refuse to play Israel. The most significant is Elvis Costello (although Elvis’ wife, the uber-talented pop-jazz pianist Diana Krall, has not opted in to his boycott and has performed in the Jewish state). At minimum, supporters of Israel should not buy albums or attend concerts by artists who contest the right of the Jewish state to exist. Further, I have in the past posted reasoned pro-Israel comments on I urge readers to be proactive online in defense of Israel.

    Going back decades, important rockers made Israel a tour stop despite the country’s small population. Among these was Eric Clapton, regarded by many as the best rock guitarist ever (he gets to the island with Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, recorded with his band Derek and the Dominos). Dire Straits (on the island with Love Over Gold) played in Israel, as did Paul Simon (Graceland is his island contribution), U2, Jethro Tull, and Renaissance (which graces the island with the majestic Scheherazade & Other Stories). The political backlash accompanying a performance in Israel surfaced only in the past decade.

    In this latter period, many significant musicians have graciously played in the Jewish state, often resisting enormous pressure. Paul McCartney performed two shows a few years ago, despite facing death threats. (McCartney and his fellow Beatles are on my island with two albums, Revolver and Abbey Road. McCartney’s Band on the Run, which he recorded with Wings, is a close runner-up.) Sir Paul made clear that he was not about to permit politics to get in the way of music’s universal appeal.

    Interestingly, McCartney is a strong supporter of One Voice, an organization that seeks support among Jews and Arabs for a two-state solution. One can agree or disagree with One Voice, but it is not at all anti-Israel. In fact, the aforementioned Lord Sacks is a One Voice member.

    Elton John recently played in Israel, as has Alicia Keys, the soul songstress, who refused to buckle to enormous pressure to cancel her appearance. Barbra Streisand, Deep Purple, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have also performed, as has Carl Palmer, the drummer for Emerson, Lake & Palmer (on the island with Trilogy).

    Bob Dylan, who has expressed powerful Zionist views, played Ramat Gan in 2011. (Dylan comes to the island with the magnificent Blood on the Tracks.) And while rumors circulated a while ago that Jon Bon Jovi would not play in Israel, the rumors are absolutely unfounded. In a recent BBC interview, Bon Jovi was asked to name the country where he most desired to perform. His immediate answer: Israel.

    The Rolling Stones have announced that they will play in Tel Aviv in June. The Stones (on the island with Sticky Fingers) are widely regarded as the best live rock and roll band of all time, and their appearance would be a true blow to the Waters initiative. We can be certain that they will face a torrent of protest from Waters and BDS. Also slated to perform are Justin Timberlake and superstar Neil Young (whose Harvest Moon is a strong contender for island status). We can show our support for these artists by posting positive notes on their websites and on message boards.

    Most recently, Waters turned his ire upon the actress Scarlett Johansson, who appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for the Israeli company SodaStream. Waters and his BDS fellow travelers were incensed that Johansson would endorse a company that has a manufacturing facility in the West Bank, despite the fact that this plant employs hundreds of Arabs alongside Jews on an equal footing. Jewish organizations have, to their credit, publicly thanked Johansson, who has courageously stood her ground.

    Those of us who recognize that Israel is a shining diamond in the mostly cruel world that is the modern Middle East must not let our guard down. International artists such as Roger Waters must be taken to task when they viciously attack the Jewish state. No country is perfect, and Israel is not an exception. We can respectfully debate some of Israel’s policies. But when one challenges Israel’s elemental right to exist, it becomes a matter of us and them. We cannot afford to act as if there is no threat; we must not be comfortably numb.
  • Hello I'm here trying post from my new iPhone, sorry to interrupt
  • I'm sure you'll forgive ;-)

  • SkyBlueHopeSkyBlueHope October 2014
    hello! :) xxx

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