Roger Waters calls on musicians to boycott Israel
Roger Waters, the former frontman of Pink Floyd, has called on fellow rock stars to boycott Israel in an open letter that has drawn accusations of hypocrisy from officials, reported The Telegraph. DHA photoRoger Waters, the former frontman of Pink Floyd, has called on fellow rock stars to boycott Israel in an open letter that has drawn accusations of hypocrisy from officials, reported The Telegraph.
The letter, first posted on the Electronic Intifada, a pro-Palestinian website, says musicians must tackle Israel over what Waters calls its “crimes” of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” because of an alleged unwillingness of Western government and the U.N. Security Council to do so.
“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.
“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,” he said.
The singer had been expected to issue a written boycott plea earlier this year but was suspected to have changed his mind after telling the Huffington Post Live in an interview that he was “considering my position.”
However, in preamble to his letter, he indicates that he was encouraged after hearing that violinist Nigel Kennedy had accused Israel of apartheid in a recent Promenade concert at the Royal Albert Hall, to be broadcast on the BBC. The corporation has said it will not include Kennedy’s comments in its broadcast for “editorial” reasons.
Waters’ gesture met with a withering response from the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Paul Hirschson, a ministry spokesman, who said he was a Pink Floyd fan, said the musician had forgotten the moral of the story in one of his most famous songs, “Wish You Were Here.”
“That song is addressed to a friend and chides him for thinking that he can tell right from wrong,” Hirschson said. “He has forgotten his own words. The Roger Waters we knew from the 70s and 80s is no longer with us. He’s just an aging rock star now.”