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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
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Roger Waters Open Letter Calls on Musicians to Boycott Israel

By: JTA

British rocker Roger Waters published an open letter calling on fellow musicians to join a boycott of Israel.

“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,” Waters wrote in the letter dated Aug. 18. The letter was previously drafted in July.

The former Pink Floyd front man said he was inspired to release the letter after British violinist Nigel Kennedy at a recent promenade concert at the Albert Hall in London called Israel an apartheid state. The BBC said it would remove his remarks in rebroadcasts of the concert.

Waters, who has been active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement for at least seven years, referred to the boycott of apartheid South Africa, saying that first a trickle of artists refused to play there, leading to a “flood.”

He singled out Stevie Wonder’s canceling of a performance for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces as a recent success story. Wonder quit his participation in the December fundraiser at the last minute under pressure from many corners.

“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,” Waters wrote.

Waters recently came under fire for using at in his concerts a huge inflated balloon in the shape of a wild boar with a prominently visible Star of David, as well as a hammer and sickle, crosses and a dollar sign, among other symbols. It is a gimmick he has used for several years.

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10 Responses to “Roger Waters Open Letter Calls on Musicians to Boycott Israel”

  1. Basha Kline says:

    there is no answer to teflon-coated ignorance nor total stupidity of those who consider Israel and its Jews to be the "enemy." – unfortunately bias overrides the knowledge of exactly what Israel has contributed to this world and just maybe these people who boycott the only democracy in the middle east will need the medical equipment or developments that Israel has produced – perhaps they will even boycott these advancements when the need arises but I doubt it!

  2. Tabitha Elkins says:

    So is Roger Waters suddenly an antisemite? Doesn't he realize that there are many freedom-loving and peace-loving people in Israel who want real change? Does he believe that punishing the Israelis will help anyone? Peace-loving Palestinians and Israelis need to overcome the corruption of their respective governments and work for constructive peace. There is violence on both sides- does Roger Waters ignore the suffering on the other side of the fence? This is sad, because I am a fan of Pink Floyd.

  3. Jennifer Badani says:

    Absolutely, let's not fool ourselves. The middle east has so much problems with poverty & uneducated people. Instead of blaming Israel. They should educate & feed their people. It's easier to blame & be lazy about real issues. Also the muslim take oil out of Sudan & leave the Africans starve to death. They become War Children. Why in the world is not anyone looking into real issues?

  4. Alan Kardon says:

    I call on all people, not only musicians to boycott Roger Waters. There is no place for anti Semitism in this world. He has absolutely no explainable reason for his statements.

  5. Alan Kardon says:

    Yes he is an anti-semite.

  6. Edward Lobel says:

    **** Cabrera it is obvious from your letter that you do not have a clue as to what the problem is and before you respond again, you need to know what you are talking about before everyone knows how ill informed and ignorant you are.

    The question here is that does Israeli government treat their citizens differently based on being Jewish. Arab, or other non-Jewish people and the answer is NO. Whether or not you want to believe it, they treat all Citizens the same! Everyone is entitled to medical care and Arabs are treated in the same hospitals in beds next to Jewish citizens. The are all educated and all have the same access to government programs.

    Apartheid is the issue and nothing else. Ask any person who grew up in South Africa under Apartheid and has ever visited Israel and they will laugh at you for even thinking in the slightest that Israel is an Apartheid state.

  7. Yechiel Baum says:

    With the Jewish management in the music industry, why is he employed and promoted? Where was his parents during WWII. Did he support the British Arpatheid country baring the Jews from Israel and safety of England. Deserves investigation.

  8. yes This is sad and because I am fan of pink floyd

  9. yes This is sad and because I am fan of pink floyd

  10. yes This is sad and because I am fan of pink floyd

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