THE LOS ANGELES TIMES MUSIC BLOG REPORTS
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has long been an outspoken critic of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. But his latest protest is close to his line of work — he’s asking musicians to boycott the country.
“I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel,” he wrote, in an open letter posted to his Facebook page and the Palestinian activist website Electronic Intifada.
“Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”
ROGER WATERS SPEECH TO THE UN NOVEMBER 29, 2012
Uploaded By xXxmoesalfitixXx
Waters has been a frequent advocate of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement regarding Israel, encouraging institutions to withdraw investments there, among other tactics. In the letter, he said he drew inspiration from British violinist Nigel Kennedy’s criticism of Israel, the successful boycott of South Africa during apartheid, and Stevie Wonder’s recent rejection of states with “Stand Your Ground” laws.
Elvis Costello and Annie Lennox are among the musicians who have expressed similar support for a musical boycott of Israel. But Waters recently caught criticism at a show in Belgium, where the famed Pink Floyd inflatable pig appeared with a star of David and images of repressive regimes.
A note from Roger Waters – August 18, 2013
18th August 2013 Warsaw
To My Colleagues in Rock and Roll
Nigel Kennedy the virtuoso British violinist and violist, at The Recent Promenade Concerts at The Albert Hall in London, mentioned that Israel is apartheid. Nothing unusual there you might think, then one Baroness Deech, (Nee Fraenkel) disputed the fact that Israel is an apartheid state and prevailed upon the BBC to censor Kennedy’s performance by removing his statement. Baroness Deech produced not one shred of evidence to support her claim and yet the BBC, non political, supposedly, acting solely on Baroness Deech’s say so, suddenly went all 1984 on us. Well!! Time to stick my head above the parapet again, alongside my brother, Nigel Kennedy, where it belongs. And by the way, Nigel, great respect man. So here follows a letter last re-drafted in July
25th July 2013
To My Colleagues in Rock and Roll.
In the wake of the tragic shooting to death of un-armed teenager Travon Martin and the acquittal of his killer Zimmerman, yesterday, Stevie Wonder spoke at a gig declaring that he will not perform in the State of Florida until that State repeals it’s “Stand your ground” Law. In effect he has declared a boycott on grounds of conscience. I applaud his position, and stand with him, it has brought back to me a statement I made in a letter I wrote last February 14th, to which I have referred but have never published.
The time has come, so here it is.
This letter has been simmering on the back burner of my conscience and consciousness for some time.
It is seven years since I joined BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) a non violent movement to oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank ,and ,violations of international law and Palestinian human rights. The aim of BDS is to bring international attention to these Israeli policies, and hopefully, to help bring them to an end. All the people of the region deserve better than this.
To cut to the chase, Israel has been found guilty, independently, by international human rights organizations, UN officials, and the International Court of Justice, , of serious breaches of international law. These include, and I will name only two:
1.The Crime of Apartheid:
The systematic oppression of one ethnic group by another.
On 9 March 2012, for instance, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on Israel to end its racist policies and laws that contravene the prohibition against racial segregation and apartheid.
2.The Crime of Ethnic Cleansing:
The forcible removable of indigenous peoples from their rightful land in order to settle an occupying population. For example, in East Jerusalem non Jewish families are routinely physically evicted from their homes to make way for Jewish occupants.
There are others.
Given the inability or unwillingness of our governments, or the United Nations Security Council to put pressure on Israel to cease these violations, and make reparations to the victims, it falls to civil society and conscientious citizens of the world, to dust off our consciences, shoulder our responsibilities, and act. I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel, to shed light on these problems and also to support all our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Israel who are struggling to end all forms of Israeli oppression and who wish to live in peace, justice, equality and freedom.
I am writing to you all now because of two recent events.
- Stevie Wonder.
Word came to me, the first week of last December that Stevie Wonder had been booked to headline at a gala dinner for the Friends of The Israeli Defence Force in LA on 6th December 2012. An event to raise money for the Israeli armed forces, as if the $4.3,000,000,000 that we the US tax payers give them each year were not enough? This came right after The Israeli defence Force had concluded yet another war on Gaza, (Operation Pillar of Defence), according to human rights watch, committing war crimes against the besieged 1.6 million Palestinians there.
Anyway, I wrote to Stevie to try to persuade him to cancel. My letter ran along these lines, “Would you have felt OK performing at the Policeman’s Ball in Johannesburg the night after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 or in Birmingham Alabama, to raise money for the Law Enforcement officers, who clubbed, tear gassed and water cannoned those children trying to integrate in 1963?”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu also wrote an impassioned plea to Stevie, and 3,000 others appended their names to a change .org petition. Stevie, to his great credit, cancelled!
2. Earlier that week I delivered a speech at The United Nations. If you are interested you can find this speech on YouTube.
The interesting thing about these two stories is that there was NOT ONE mention of either story in the mainstream media in the United States.
The clear inference would be that the media in the USA is not interested in the predicament of the Palestinian people, or for that matter the predicament of the Israeli people,. We can only hope they may become interested as they eventually did in the politics of apartheid South Africa.
Back in the days of Apartheid South Africa at first it was a trickle of artists that refused to play there, a trickle, that exercised a cultural boycott, then it became a stream, then a river then a torrent and then a flood, ( Remember Steve van Zant, Bruce and all the others? “We will not Play in Sun City?”) Why? Because, like the UN and the International Courts of Justice they understood that Apartheid is wrong.
The sports community joined the battle, no one would go and play cricket or rugby in South Africa , and eventually the political community joined in as well. We all as a global, musical, sporting and political community raised our voices as one and the apartheid regime in South Africa fell.
Maybe we are at the tipping point now with Israel and Palestine. These are good people both and they deserve a just solution to their predicament. Each and every one of them deserves freedom, justice and equal rights. Just recently the ANC, the ruling party of South Africa, has endorsed BDS. We are nearly there. Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.
RECENTLY, AT A PINK FLOYD CONCERT IN BELGIUM, THE EVER POPULAR INFLATABLE PIG (TRADEMARK FOR PINK FLOYDS CONCERTS), FLEW HIGH ABOVE THE CROWD AS IT ALWAYS DOES. AN ISRAELI AT THE CONCERT WAS QUITE UPSET AS THIS “PIG” HAS A “STAR OF DAVID” LOGO ON IT, AS WELL AS OTHER SYMBOLS.” THIS IS THE RESPONSE TO THIS PIG BY RABBI ABRAHAM COOPER.
Pig Balloon at Roger Waters Concert Features Star of David; Wiesenthal Center Calls Him ‘Open Hater of Jews’ (VIDEO)
Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has taken the hammer to British rock musician and anti-Israel activist Roger Waters after a giant pig shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David was released into the sky at a July 18th concert in Belgium.
“With this disgusting display Roger Waters has made it crystal clear. Forget Israel, never mind ‘limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.’ Waters is an open hater of Jews,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the center in an email to The Algemeiner.
“The video is beyond shocking. The only books this bigot should be getting should be with the Mullahs in Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood,” Cooper added.
“I came to the concert because I really like his music, without any connection to his political stance toward Israel,” Alon Onfus Asif, an Israeli living in Belgium told Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot. “And I had a lot of fun, until I noticed the Star of David, on the inflatable pig. That was the only religious-national symbol which appeared among other symbols for fascism, dictatorships and oppression of people. Waters crossed the line and gave expression to an anti-Semitic message, beyond all his messages of anti-militancy.”
“Rogers’ concert took place as part of the music festival in the city of Werchter, and it opened his European tour. Next to the Star of David, on the wild pig balloon, there was also a sign of oil conglomerate Shell, and a graffiti message stating, ‘Everything will be okay, just keep consuming,’ and ‘What’s wrong with people?’” Yediot reported further, calling the incident “a blatantly anti-Semitic display.”
The pig’s hind quarters appear to feature a silhouette of a man giving a Nazi salute.
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center urges other entertainers to denounce his anti-Semitism and bigotry,” Cooper concluded, calling on others to similarly respond to the offensive imagery.
Another Jewish watchdog, the Anti Defamation League which criticized Waters in 2010 for “using imagery long associated with stereotypes about Jews and money as part of a segment of his 2010-2011 ‘The Wall Live’ Tour,” said that Waters’ pig was old news and in context was not anti-Semitic.
“This is the same thing he’s been doing for years,” said Todd Gutnick, Director of Media Relations. “We believe there’s no anti-Semitic intent here in the use of the Star of David symbol.”
“The song is ‘Run Like Hell’ from Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall.’ The song is written from the point of view of the anti-hero, ‘Pink,’ during a hallucination in which he becomes a fascist dictator and turns a concert audience into an angry mob. True to form, Waters appears dressed for the part. It is a concert tradition going back years that during this song an inflatable pig is released into the air. For this most recent tour, the pig appears to have numerous symbols, including a hammer, dollar signs, and sickle and a small Star of David,” Gutnick explained.
“In the film version of “The Wall,” the mob raids and destroys the homes of Black and Jewish people, so the use of the Jewish and other symbols on the pig is consistent with the lyrics of the song,” he concluded.
The inflatable pig is a staple at Waters’ concerts, and has taken on different shapes and forms over the years. The Algemeiner was unable to immediately confirm if the pig has appeared before in this precise form.
Waters is well known as a vocal activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid” and “international crimes” in a November 2012 address at the United Nations. Last fall he was also at the forefront of efforts to boycott an Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
El Al Israel Airlines recently canceled a promotional package that appeared on its website for an August Roger Waters concert.
At the time of publication no reply was received to The Algemeiner’s request for comment via Waters’ website.
THE VIDEO (AND INFLATABLE PIG) IN QUESTION…
Uploaded By Bart Mulckhuijse
WELL, ONE THING YOU DONT WANT TO DO, IS PISS OFF A VERY POPULAR MUSICIAN OF A VERY POPULAR ROCK BAND LIKE PINK FLOYD. THEY HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF INFLUENCE, A VERY VERY LARGE AUDIENCE OF FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS AND FRIENDS AND WONT MIND “TAKING YOU ON PUBLICLY.” ID LIKE TO THANK THE RABBI FOR HELPING TO BRING ROGER WATERS CAUSE TO LIGHT WITH SO MANY WHO SUPPORT THIS CAUSE RIGHT BESIDE HIM.
ANOTHER NOTE RECENTLY POSTED TO ROGER WATERS FACEBOOK PAGE IN RESPONSE TO THE RABBI COOPER PERSONALLY…
An open letter from Roger Waters
There has been some comment on the Internet about the Wall Show in Belgium to which I feel I should respond.
One Alon Onfus Asif, an Israeli living in Belgium, came to The Wall show in Belgium last week and being an observant sort of chap Alon noticed a Star of David on the Pig that is destroyed by the audience at the end of the show. Then Alon dutifully videoed our Pig on his phone, posted this video, and alerted Israeli Daily, Yediot Ahronot. This story was duly picked up by the ever watchful Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the entirely predictable resulting rant is attached here:
Often I can ignore these attacks but Rabbi Cooper’s accusations, are so wild and bigoted they demand a response.
Dear Rabbi Cooper,
I hold your outburst to be inflammatory and un-helpful and would suggest it can only impede progress towards peace and understanding between people. It is also extremely insulting to me personally in that you accuse me of being ‘Anti Semitic’, ‘A Jew Hater’ and ‘Nazi Sympathizer’
I have three specific points to make:
1). Your use of the adjective “ANTI-SEMITIC”.
First I direct you to an announcement by ‘The Anti Defamation League’ an American organization, who’s declared aim is to defend Jewish people and Judaism from attack. They recently said.
“While we wish that Mr. Waters would have avoided using the Star of David, we believe there is no anti-Semitic intent here.”
I should point out that in the show, I also use the Crucifix, the Crescent and Star, the Hammer and Sickle, the Shell Oil Logo and The McDonald’s Sign, a Dollar Sign and a Mercedes sign.
2). JEW-HATING? I have many very close Jewish friends, one of whom, interestingly enough, is the nephew of the late Simon Wiesenthal. I am proud of that association; Simon Wiesenthal was a great man. Also I have two grandsons who, I love more than life itself, their Mother, my daughter in law, is Jewish and so, in consequence, I’m told, are they.
3). NAZI? Not only did my father, 2nd Lieutenant Eric Fletcher Waters, die in Italy on February 18th 1944 fighting the Nazis, but I was brought up in post war England where I received the most thorough education on the subject of Nazism and where I was spared no horrific detail of the heinous crimes committed in the name of that most foul ideology. I remember my mother’s friends Claudette and Maria, I remember their tattoos, they where survivors, two of the lucky ones.
My Mother spent the whole of the rest of her life, involved politically to make sure the future for her children and grandchildren, in fact for everyone’s children and grandchildren, black, white, Gentile, Jew, Latino, Asian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, et al, had no Sword of Damocles in the form of the despised Nazi Creed hanging over their heads.
I for my part, as best I can, have continued along my parent’s path. At the age of nearly 70, in the spirit of my Father and Mother and all they did, I have stood my ground, as best I can, in defense of Mistress Liberty.
The Wall Show, so lamely attacked by you, is many things. It is thoughtful, life affirming, ecumenical, humane, loving, anti war, anti colonial, pro universal access to the law, pro liberty, pro collaboration, pro dialogue, pro peace, anti authoritarian, anti fascist, anti apartheid, anti dogma, international in spirit, musical and satirical.
It is not.
ANTI-SEMITIC or PRO NAZI
I have often come under attack by the pro Israel lobby because of my support for BDS, (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) which I won’t go into here, anyone interested can access a speech I made at The United Nations on the 29th November last year.
However I will say this, in a functioning theocracy it is almost inevitable that the symbol of the religion becomes confused with the symbol of the state, in this case the State of Israel, a state that operates Apartheid both within its own borders and also in the territories it has occupied and colonized since 1967.
Like it or not, the Star of David represents Israel and its policies and is legitimately subject to any and all forms of non violent protest. To peacefully protest against Israel’s racist domestic and foreign policies is NOT ANTI-SEMITIC. Your contention that because I criticize the Policies of the Israeli government I should be lumped in with the Muslim Brotherhood is risible, and again a personal affront. I have spent my whole adult life advocating separation of church and state.
At every Wall Show I invite 20 vets from whatever country we are in backstage at half time to meet, exchange handshakes and good wishes and mementos. At one show, a year or so ago, an older vet, Vietnam era, at a guess, blocked my exit, he put out his hand which I took, he did not let go, he looked me in the eyes and he said ” Your Father would be proud of you.”
Tears burn my eyes.
The Wall is reaching out to you and all the other Rabbi Cooper’s out there.
Come to the show!
For the sake of some perspective. The inflatable pig that so offended young Alon has appeared at every Wall Show since September 2010, some 193 shows, yours is the first complaint. Also the pig in question represents evil, and more specifically the evil of errant government. We make a gift of this symbol of repression to the audience at the end of every show and the people always do the right thing. They destroy it.
PERSONALLY, ID LIKE TO THANK ROGER WATERS (AND RABBI COOPER), FOR BRINGING THIS TYPE OF MEDIA ATTENTION TO THE CRIMES OF THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION AGAINST PALESTINIANS. I AGREE,”The interesting thing about these two stories is that there was NOT ONE mention of either story in the mainstream media in the United States.”
ROGER WATERS FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/rogerwaters
FOR THIS AND YOUR STAND, I PERSONALLY SAY “THANK YOU, WE NEED MORE ROGER WATERS IN THIS WORLD TO EVER SEE PEACE FOR ALL”
JUST TO REMIND TO OUR IGNORANT ZIONISTS READERS, WITH THE BRAIN FULL OF FAKE TALMUDIC PROPAGANDA: PALESTINA WAS ALWAYS THE GEOGRAPHIC NAME ON THE MAPS, FOR CENTURIES:
HERE ARE FEW VERY OLD MAPS:
AND HERE, FOLLOWING IS THE DECLARATION PAGE
“STATE OF ISRAEL IS BORN”