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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘pink floyd’

Aging Rocker’s Failed Anti-Israel Crusade

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Back in 1976, when the burgeoning punk movement began transforming the rock’n’roll landscapes of London and New York, a young punk rocker named John Lydon scrawled the words “I Hate…” on his Pink Floyd t-shirt.

With this one stroke, Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, demarcated the past from the future: eschewing the lengthy and ponderous compositions of Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, Rotten and his mates set about delivering sharp, angry tunes in a compact three-minute format.

Almost 40 years later, popular music has undergone numerous other transformations, but Rotten (who now calls himself Lydon again) and Waters have remained polar opposites. And as Israelis know better than most, that’s true both inside and outside the recording studio.

Back in 2010, Lydon rounded on critics of his decision to play a gig in Tel Aviv by telling them, “I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won’t understand how anyone can have a problem with how they [the Palestinians] are treated.”

By contrast, Waters, outwardly, a much more refined and eloquent fellow, has firmly hitched himself to the movement pressing for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Waters’s support for BDS is thought to be the reason that his scheduled appearance at the 92nd Sreet Y in New York City was canceled back in April, while more recently he tussled with the Simon Wiesenthal Center over an accusation of anti-Semitism that stemmed from a feature of his live show, in which a Star of David is projected onto a flying inflatable pig.

In his response to the Wiesenthal Center, Waters denied he was an anti-Semite, coming out with the standard response that hating Zionism and hating Jews are completely distinct. But a subsequent letter written in August to “My Colleagues in Rock’n’Roll” – his legendary pomposity remains unaltered – is certain to revive the charge. This time, it’s hard to see how Waters can wriggle around it.

The letter begins by citing another British musician, the violinist Nigel Kennedy, who slammed Israeli “apartheid” during a recent concert that was recorded by the BBC. “Nothing unusual there you might think,” Waters wrote, “[but] 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.”

Why did Waters think it necessary to point out the maiden name of Baroness Ruth Deech, a noted academic and lawyer? The answer is obvious: before she was Deech, a name that resonates with English respectability, she was Fraenkel, a name that sounds positively, well, Jewish. And much as she might try to hide her origins, the intrepid Waters is determined to out her, along with her nefarious Jewish –sorry, I mean, Zionist – agenda.

Sarcasm aside, this is anti-Semitism of the ugliest, most primitive kind. Appropriately, Waters’s letter appeared first on the website of the Electronic Intifada, a U.S.-based outfit that has emerged as one of the prime organizing platforms of the BDS movement.

The Waters letter ends as follows: “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.”

In case it’s not clear, in the BDS movement, such elaborate formulations are code for “until such time as the state of Israel, which was born in a state of original sin, is finally eliminated.”

Here’s the rub, though: ten years ago, when the BDS movement was a relatively new phenomenon, statements like these would have set off a minor panic in the Jewish world. These days, we’re far more sanguine, and we’ve learned that Israel can survive and flourish no matter how many graying prog-rockers like Waters dedicate their lives to removing the world’s only Jewish state from the map.

As unpalatable as this may be for Waters’s digestion, the plain truth is that the BDS movement has failed. Its original aim was to replicate the massive outcry against South African apartheid during the 1980s, when songs like “Free Nelson Mandela” and “(I Ain’t Gonna Play) Sun City” ruled the airwaves. Instead, it has remained a fringe movement, a minor irritant that has had precious little impact on Israel’s economic life and garners media attention only when someone like Waters decides to shoot his mouth off.

Supermodel Bar Rafaeli Puts ‘Dumb’ Roger Waters in his Place

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli is not all bad. She dodged the IDF and romanced tie with a non-Jew, but she draws the line at Roger Waters’ using her photo for his Boycott Israel campaign.

Bar Rafaeli put Waters on the spot Wednesday after he once again appealed to artists to boycott Israel, even though he once used a picture of Rafaeli to promote one of his concerts.

Waters’ latest letter to entertainers, part of which can be read here, asked them “to declare a cultural boycott on Israel…and support all our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Israel who are struggling to end all forms of Israeli oppression.”

Among other things, Waters has accused Israel of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing,” but click here to see a bit of his own ethnic cleansing.

Bar Rafaeli tweeted, “Crazy thing … Went to the Roger Waters show in Paris, and saw a pic of myself on the wall!!! #respect!!! I’m honored” but after reading his letter, she let off steam.

“Roger Waters, you better take my picture off of the video art at your shows. If you’re boycotting – go all the way,” Rafaeli tweeted in Hebrew on Wednesday.

She called him “ comfortably dumb” on his boycott Israel campaign.

Rafaeli’s challenge, that if he really wants to boycott Israel he can boycott her pictures also, echoes the pathetic lack of commitment of previous Israeli boycotters, who forget that their computers, mobile phones, generic medicines and a ton of other products are Israeli-made or designed.

Bar Rafaeli is probably the last person one would expect to challenge the Boycott Israel movement and is another example of Israel’s always having a secret defense weapon.

She  has not been a favorite of the national religious crowd. She dodged the IDF draft requirement for women, reportedly by marrying, which granted her an exemption, and then divorcing him.

After a threat to boycott her “Fox” fashion chain, Rafaeli agreed to visit injured IDF soldiers on visits to Israel and encourage enlistment in the army.

“I don’t regret not enlisting, because it paid off big time,” she later wrote. “That’s just the way it is; celebrities have other needs. I hope my case has influenced the army.”

She also offended Israelis, and not just the orthodox, for her former romantic relationship with non-Jewish American actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

One nationalist Israeli organization asker her in a letter not to marry a non-Jew the sake of “future generations of Jews.”

Four years ago, Haredim in Israel censured her for putting “poison” in Israeli society by allowing a Tel Aviv billboard campaign to feature  a picture of her semi-naked. The billboards later were removed.

She may be secular and not a fan of serving in the IDF, but under almost every Sabra there is a Zionist heart.

Waters got it in his head to promote the Boycott Israel movement after having ignored boycott advocates and arriving in Israel in 2005 to perform. Leftists gave him their side of the story at the security fence near Bethlehem, and he canceled his show in Tel Aviv and moved it to an Arab-Jewish community.

Rolling Stone reported earlier this year that he was re-considering  his position on the boycott campaign.

“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,” Waters said.

He didn’t think very much and penned his latest letter this past week, showing Rafaeli he really is ”dumb” about the boycott.

HatTip: IsraellyCool

Vatican Newspaper Slams Roger Waters Antisemitic Imagery

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

An op-ed appearing in L’Osservatore Romano—the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper—slammed the use of anti-Semitic imagery by former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters at a concert in Belgium last month. The op-ed, however, did not mention Waters by name.

“The spirit and the style of the Werchter Rock festival was visible, with the fans who had every right to listen to music that they enjoy. But did they also have the right to draw the Star of David on the back of a pig and not be reported?” wrote Christina Dobner, the author of the op-ed.

“We continue to talk about the respect for every religion and every human being, yet we keep falling into these shameful situations,” she wrote.

During the concert, Waters featured a giant pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David. The pig-shaped balloon has been used in Pink Floyd concerts for decades as part of performances of songs from their album, “The Wall.”

Waters, who has been a vocal supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, has garnered widespread criticism for his concert display.

“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,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner.

In an open letter on his Facebook page, Waters rejected Cooper’s criticism and denied that he is an anti-Semite.

“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,” Waters wrote.

El Al Cancels Package for Concert of Pink Floyd Member and BDS Activist Roger Waters

Friday, July 19th, 2013

(JNS.org) El Al Israel Airlines said it promptly canceled a promotional package that appeared on its website for an August concert in Budapest by Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters—a vocal activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel—when it learned of the “sensitive issue” on Wednesday.

“This matter was brought to my attention yesterday afternoon,” Sheryl Stein, an advertising/public relations/social media manager for El Al, wrote in an email to JNS.org on Thursday. “Our Head Office received my email this morning and I am pleased to say this issue was resolved in a timely manner. On a regular basis, EL AL offers passengers packages to cultural events around the world. As soon as this sensitive issue was brought to our attention, the package was canceled.”

Waters accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid” and “international crimes” in a November 2012 address at the United Nations, and last fall was also at the forefront of efforts to boycott an Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Richard Allen, head of JCC Watch, an organization that is calling for the establishment of new guidelines to prevent Jewish funding of activity that gives BDS a platform, said he was “very pleased” by El Al’s quick removal of the Waters package. JCC Watch is organizing monthly protests until it sees new Jewish community guidelines on BDS, in response to the recent scheduling of events with Waters and “The Color Purple” author Alice Walker, another high-profile BDS activist. The Waters event that was scheduled for this spring was ultimately canceled, but Walker appeared at the Y—which receives $900,000 in funding per year from the UJA-Federation of New York—in late May.

“We hope that El Al’s cancellation of the Waters package is an indication that other Jewish organizations, such as the 92nd Street Y and the UJA-Federation of New York, will stop the promoting and offering of Jewish institutions to be used to proselytize the BDS movement against Israel,” Allen told JNS.org.

92nd St. Y to Embrace Another Israel Hater: Alice Walker

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Just a couple months ago The Jewish Press followed a spectacle created by the 92nd Street Y – the former “Young Mens Hebrew Association” – when it publicly embarrassed itself by welcoming a leader in the economic and political warfare effort against Israel known as the BDSM – the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions Against Israel Movement.

Once pro-Israel supporters of the 92nd St Y got wind that Roger Waters, the aging rocker of Pink Floyd fame, was going to be using the Y platform to spew his anti-Israel invective, emails began ricocheting across the internet, angry phone calls were placed and, eventually, the Y leaped at the opportunity to be able to say “so sorry, that date won’t work” when Waters tried to change the date of his appearance.

You’d think the outrage sparked in the pro-Israel community when the Y, which holds itself out as a center for Jewish life that offers learning opportunities, multigenerational holiday celebrations, and “talks on a broad range of Jewish topics encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their own special meaning in Jewish tradition and find joy in Jewish life and culture” was forced to retreat from hosting an Israel hater would cure the institution from pouring the same bucket of anti-Israel slime over its edifice.

But you’d be wrong.

Because guess who’s coming to dinner next?

Alice Walker, a fading superstar author of the 1983 classic The Color Purple, but one who has re-energized and enlarged her audience with the sure-fire appeal of spewing anti-Israel venom, is scheduled to appear at the Y on Thursday, May 30.  Walker is scheduled to appear with Eve Ensler, activist and author of the Vagina Monologues, to talk “about her activism and her writing, her conflicting impulses to retreat into inner contemplation and to remain deeply engaged with the world.”

A key part of Walker’s “deep engagement with the world” has been her very vocal and categorical opposition to Israel. Walker regularly refers to Israeli “Apartheid practices” and its “persecution of the Palestinian people.”  In a 2012 interview with Democracy Now!, Walker accused Israel of “stealing so much Palestinian land, they have essentially stolen all of Palestine.”

In the summer of 2011, Walker joined the second flotilla to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza aboard a ship named The Audacity of Hope.  In an interview with Foreign Policy, Walker claimed that Israel is the biggest terrorist in the Middle East.

I think Israel is the greatest terrorist in that part of the world. And I think in general, the United States and Israel are great terrorist organizations themselves. If you go to Gaza and see some of the bombs — what’s left of the bombs that were dropped — and the general destruction, you would have to say, yeah, it’s terrorism. When you terrorize people, when you make them so afraid of you that they are just mentally and psychologically wounded for life — that’s terrorism. So these countries are terrorist countries.

Her hatred of Israel is so great that Walker has refused to allow her book, The Color Purple, to be translated into Hebrew.

Walker’s first husband, Melvyn Rosenman Leventhal, was a Jewish civil rights lawyer.

And just to bring this story back to the beginning and tie it up in a bow, Alice Walker was front and center with Roger Waters as the two of them attempted to block Carnegie Hall from hosting the Israeli Philharmonic in October, 2012.

Both artists signed a letter which stated, in part, that they “are conscientious artists who support justice, human rights, equality, and democracy in the Middle East and around the world. Consequently, we are dismayed by Carnegie Hall’s upcoming October 2012 hosting of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The IPO is an organization that whitewashes Israel’s ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians. We call on Carnegie Hall to cancel the IPO’s upcoming October performance.”

If Walker was comfortable boycotting Israeli musicians because of their beliefs, surely she will be supportive if the 92nd Street Y decided not to provide a stage for her because of her hostility towards Israel.

Open Letter to Roger Waters: Music Is Our Shared Language

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters has declareed that a boycott of Israel is the “way to go”(“Roger Waters Calls For Boycott Of Israel,” Rolling Stone, March 20,2013). This statement is distressing not only because his numerous accusations leveled against the state are based on falsehoods, but are inflammatory as well. As members of the entertainment industry, we question Mr. Waters’ misinforming his fans in a way that only triggers further hostilities while continuing to dampen hopes for peaceful dialogue in the Middle East.

Mr. Waters blatantly condemns Israel, yet ignores the facts. Israel has never practiced or enforced racial segregation. As the sole democracy in the Middle East, Israel has always encouraged and legally enabled the integration of Arab peoples into all aspects of Israeli life. Arabs have been elected to the Knesset in every election since Israel’s founding and the Israeli Supreme Court guarantees all Arabs equal rights and full protection under the law.

The recently crowned Miss Israel was born in Ethiopia and quoted Martin Luther King in her acceptance speech! “There are many different communities of many different colors in Israel, and it’s important to show that to the world,” said the new Miss Israel.

Also consider that Israel has already elected a female prime minister, LGBT Israeli soldiers have the right to serve openly in the military, and married LGBT couples are ensured full adoption and inheritance rights. In fact, Israel’s official policies are often more advanced than America’s in promoting and supporting freedom of religion, women’s rights and gay rights, none of which exist in their neighboring nations or states.

Mr. Waters also proclaims his outspoken support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a frequently vilified organization that fundamentally questions Israel’s very right to exist. Even political author-activist Norman Finkelstein – a noted advocate of the Palestinian cause – has branded the movement “a hypocritical, dishonest cult” and said in a recent interview that BDS is “not really talking about rights. They want to destroy Israel.”

One-sided cultural embargos such as those advocated by Mr. Waters are an affront to both Palestinian and Israeli moderates who seek peace. We too wish for a resolution to the complicated Palestinian-Israeli situation, and believe that the unique connection between artist and fan is part of the solution. Music can reflect politics, but should never be disingenuous.

Mr. Waters should remember that music is our shared language, one that transcends dialects of hatred. Fans are the same everywhere in the world, and today many of Roger Waters’ fans are severely disappointed that he chose the words he did instead of those spoken on the same day by President Obama: “The United States of America stands with the State of Israel because . . . it makes us both stronger. It makes us both more prosperous. And it makes the world a better place.”

Roger Waters Proves Hypocrisy of Israel Boycott Advocates

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Well, well, well.  Roger Waters, formerly of rock band Pink Floyd fame, has learned how absurd it is to demand that speech be shut down, and has come to see the virtue of open-mindedness and tolerance.  At least when it comes to his own speech and tolerance for his own brand of intolerance.

Waters was scheduled to speak later this month at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.  The 92nd Street Y, formerly known as the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, engaged Waters to appear on April 30.  The event was billed as “A Conversation with Roger Waters.”

As a rock star for more than 40 years, Waters is probably the best known of those engaged in the global economic warfare against Israel, known as the BDS (Boycott of, Divestment From and Sanctions against Israel) Movement.  A constant refrain of his is to compare Israel to Apartheid South Africa, facts be damned.

Waters is not only a committed supporter of BDS, he bragged about having been instrumental in convincing Stevie Wonder to renege on his agreement to perform at a pro-Israel benefit in California that took place last year.  He also spoke at the United Nations on November 29, 2012, condemning Israel as an Apartheid state, and blaming Israel for denying the “Palestinian” people their “inalienable right” to “self-determination.”

In addition to these efforts to convince others that Israel must be shunned for committing “human rights violations,” Waters also was a leader of the effort to get Carnegie Hall to cancel the scheduled appearance by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in October of 2012.

Just recently he proudly insisted that boycott of the Jewish State was “the way to go.”  He did this by asserting that Israel – which has an Arab Supreme Court Justice, Arab members of its parliament, Arabs serving in every profession -  is a violent, vicious Apartheid state.

I think that the kind of boycott that was implemented against the apartheid regime in South Africa back in the day is probably the most effective way to go because the situation is that the Israeli government runs an apartheid regime in Israel, the occupied territories and everywhere else it decides. Let us not forget that they laid waste most of Lebanon around the time I started getting involved in this issue. They destroyed airports, hospitals, any public buildings they could.

But once word got out about the many utterly false anti-Israel statements made and actions taken by Waters, a tsunami of pro-Israel support washed over the Y and, eventually – though sheepishly and silently – the Y disengaged from Waters.

Rather than recognizing that there was a strong pushback from their base and that the invitation had been made without understanding the significance of his hatred for Israel, however, the Y slipped out the back door, as it were.  What the Y said when inquiries were made, to the extent it said anything at all, was that Waters had a “scheduling conflict” when the event was finally cancelled.  This was after a long series of “yes he will, no he won’t, he’ll be there later, Waters? we never heard of him, oops he’s gone, now he’s back, and then, finally, on April 4 : Event Cancelled.”

How do we know that? Because Roger Waters has now issued an official statement about what happened.

Incredibly, as the EoZ site notes, Waters is moaning about how wrong it is to shut him down, because “Not to Talk is Not an Option.”

Really.  Roger Waters, the biggest name BDS advocate on the planet wrote that.  It’s the title of his entry on his official site: “Not to Talk is Not an Option.”  Here is his version of what happened:

I was invited by 92Y to take part in an interview at the Theresa L. Kaufmann Concert Hall on the 30th April this year. I checked out a couple of previous talks on YouTube, and as they appeared to be serious and measured discourse, I accepted the invitation to take part.

Things were complicated when the Opera House in São Paulo, Brazil requested my presence for four full productions of Ça Ira, my opera on the French Revolution, around conflicting dates. In the end, the date for the dress rehearsal of Ça Ira fell on the 30th April, and so, reluctantly and very apologetically, I asked the team at 92Y if my appearance could be re-scheduled. Assistant Director Jennifer Hausler, who had been helping all along, couldn’t have been more understanding, gave me some alternative dates in June and I accepted June the 19th. Everyone was happy. Well, perhaps not quite everyone.

Roger Waters, BDS Advocate Against Israel, at 92nd St Y in April

Monday, March 25th, 2013

According to the Facebook Page of the 92nd Street Y, on March 22, 1874, the Young Men’s Hebrew Association was formed.  But a quick look at its current website shows that Roger Waters, former front man for the rock group Pink Floyd, and currently one of the  biggest haters of Israel outside of the Middle East, will be appearing at the 92nd Street Y late next month.

Waters is one of the best known of the small group of celebrity advocates for the economic warfare movement against Israel known as the BDS movement.  BDS stands for the boycott of, divestment from, and sanctions against the Jewish State of Israel.

Not only does Waters refuse to perform in Israel, but he also delights in placing enormous pressure on colleagues in the arts world to renege after agreeing to perform in or for Israel.

Just last year the musical superstar Stevie Wonder had agreed to appear at a fundraiser for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces gala in Los Angeles, in December.  Suddenly, shortly before the event, Wonder cancelled his participation, with the awkward explanation being that he is a “messenger of peace for the United Nations.”

At the time, the national director and CEO of the FIDF, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon, wrote in a press release that the “FIDF is a non-political organization that provides much-needed humanitarian support regardless of religion, political affiliation, or military activity.”

Many concluded that some officials at the U.N. had dissuaded Wonder from performing at the FIDF fundraiser, although restrictions are not imposed on U.N. ‘messengers of peace.’

However, Roger Waters recently bragged that he played a critical role in convincing Wonder not to perform at the L.A. FIDF benefit. Despite the Wonder no-show, that FIDF benefit raised more than $14 million.

There are also reports that the aging rock musician intends to convince others to join with him in a musical venture to promote his anti-Israel efforts.

Waters recently issued a statement, filled with inaccuracies, comparing Israel to Apartheid South Africa, and explaining why he believed Israel should suffer the same fate.  He said, according to a JTA report,

I think that the kind of boycott that was implemented against the apartheid regime in South Africa back in the day is probably the most effective way to go because the situation is that the Israeli government runs an apartheid regime in Israel, the occupied territories and everywhere else it decides. Let us not forget that they laid waste most of Lebanon around the time I started getting involved in this issue. They destroyed airports, hospitals, any public buildings they could.

The event featuring Waters at the 92nd Street Y is called, “A conversation with Roger Waters.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/roger-waters-bds-advocate-against-israel-at-92nd-st-y-in-april/2013/03/25/

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