Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd fame, told HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps this week that he is now rethinking his call for a boycott of Israel.
Recently, presumably because of the musician’s views, the New York City 92nd Street Y announced the cancellation of his scheduled April 30th appearance.
“I am considering my position,” Waters said of the boycott. “The letter asking my fellow musicians to boycott Israel has never appeared. I am thinking all of this through extremely carefully and I’m thinking it all through extremely carefully because I care more about the outcome, because I care about the people involved, than I do about the moment.”
That’s a lot of thinking for a rock musician, you must give him that.
Waters told HuffPost that he is being “very, very careful to avoid some kind of dramatic moment that could very easily blow up” and damage his ability influence things in the longer term.
“If you were to ask Susan Engel, who’s the director of lectures at 92Y, why she won’t speak to anybody about the cancellation of my talk…she won’t speak to you. She won’t speak to anyone,” Waters said. “I’ve asked and asked and asked, and in the end I just gave up.”
Maybe Susan Engel doesn’t want to damage her own ability to influence things in the longer term…
Still, Waters has not changed his views on who is right and who is evil in the Arab-Israeli conflict. No surprises there: “The occupation and the settlement building is an impregnable obstacle to peace,” Waters said. “There can never be peace unless the occupation ends and the settlement building ends.”
Of course, in the nearby Gaza Strip there’s no peace at all, in fact, there’s been a whole lot of extra war after the occupation and the settlements all ended. But you can’t confuse this Pink Floyd ace with the facts.
Waters said that the strategic goal for the region “should be a solution of the Palestinian refugee problem, an end to the occupation, security and the right to lead a decent life for all the citizens of Israel, both the Jewish citizens and the Palestinian citizens.”
“That’s the goal that those of us who actually care about people are attempting to encourage,” he said.
So brave. So unabashed. But only to a point. Seeing as his bookings around the civilized world, where 60s geezers – his only remaining audience – won’t buy tickets if he continues his anti-Israeli boycott drive, well, Roger is willing to compromise. Meaning, he’ll take it back.
Principled, but practical.