Roger Waters launches new blistering attack against Israel
Roger Waters, the co-founder and former front man of Pink Floyd, has again called on musicians to boycott Israel. In an open letter published on the 'Electronic Intifada' website he said Israel was an apartheid state and practiced ethnic cleansing. “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 18 August. The letter was reportedly drafted in July.
The 69-year-old, who founded Pink Floyd in 1965, said he was inspired to release the letter after British violinist Nigel Kennedy called Israel an apartheid state at a recent BBC Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Waters has been a leading member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for the past decade. In his letter, he referred to the boycott of apartheid South Africa, saying that first a trickle of artists had refused to play there, leading to a “flood”, and he singled out Stevie Wonder’s cancelation 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.
"Just recently the ANC, the ruling party of South Africa, has endorsed BDS. We are nearly there. 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 ended his open letter.
In recent years the musician has used 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, in his concerts.