Roger Waters Urges Musicians To Boycott Israel
Pink Floyd star Roger Waters has advised his music peers to join a new crusade aimed at boycotting concerts in Israel.
As Barack Obama makes his first visit to Israel as President, the rocker has launched a new drive to convince the world's top performers to stay away from the country as part of a protest about the nation's ongoing conflict with Palestine.
Waters has been a longtime supporter of the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and famously spray-painted the lyric "We don't need no thought control" from Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall on the Israeli West Bank barrier during a visit to the heart of the conflict in 2006.
In a new interview with the Electronic Intifada, the rock star suggests a boycott of Israel, similar to the one implemented against South Africa during apartheid, is the "way to go".
Taking aim at Israeli officials, he adds, "They are running riot, and it seems unlikely that running over there and playing the violin will have any lasting effect."
Waters currently serves as a juror on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which seeks to bring attention to how governments and leaders in the west assist Israeli officials in what many perceive to be violations of international law.
The singer is planning to publish an open letter to his peers in the music industry asking them to join him in publicly boycotting Israel, and he reveals he urged Stevie Wonder to reconsider performing at an Israeli Defense Forces benefit in December.
Waters says, "I wrote a letter to him saying that this would be like playing a police ball in Johannesburg the day after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. It wouldn't be a great thing to do, particularly as he was meant to be a UN ambassador for peace.
"To his eternal credit, Stevie Wonder called up (the organizers of the gala) and said, 'I didn't quite get it' (and cancelled)."