Roger Waters Voices Support for Israel Boycott

Former Pink Floyd frontman urges fellow artists to join ban until Israel to ends the occupation, grants full equality to Israeli Arabs, and allows all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

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Roger Waters, founding member, vocalist and bassist of the iconic rock band 'Pink Floyd' has voiced his support for a cultural boycott of Israel.

The British musician performed in Israel in 2005, ignoring calls from Palestinian rights advocates to cancel. While in Israel, Waters visited Jerusalem and Bethlehem. He was taken to the controversial separation fence in the West Bank, which he called "an appalling edifice to behold."

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters performs in Mexico City, December 18, 2010.Credit: Reuters

Waters said he was extremely affected by his tour of the West Bank, scrawling "We dont need no thought control", lyrics from one of Pink Floyd's most popular songs, on the wall, and cancelling his performance in Tel Aviv. Instead, the British star held the concert in Neve Shalom, a cooperative village founded by Jews and Arabs.

In the letter Waters wrote announcing his support of a cultural boycott of Israel, he said that in his "view, the abhorrent and draconian control that Israel wields over the besieged Palestinians in Gaza, and the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, coupled with its denial of the rights of refugees to return to their homes in Israel, demands that fair minded people around the world support the Palestinians in their civil, nonviolent resistance."

He concluded the letter, saying that he is joining the campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it satisfies three basic human rights he claims are demanded by international law.

He called on Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank and dismantle the separation fence, recognize the rights of Arab citizens of Israel and granting them full equality and allow all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

Waters stressed in his letter that he is not anti-Semitic, and his solidarity with the Palestinians stems from his belief that all people deserve basic human rights.

Last week, American folk music legend Pete Seeger officially joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign - an international movement to pressure and sanction Israel through economic means.

Seeger, 92, one of the fathers of American folk music, is a veteran political and peace activist. In the 1950s he was interrogated by the McCarthyist House Unamerican Activities Committee and two years ago performed for U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration concert.

Artists, academics and celebrities throughout the world have supported and participated in the cultural boycotting of Israel.

Earlier this year, French pop star Vanessa Paradis cancelled her concert in Israel only a month before she was supposed to arrive in the country with her partner, Hollywood actor Johnny Depp, leaving fans and pundits speculating as to the reasons for the cancellation.

Although Paradis' agent David Stern claimed that the cancellation was due to professional reasons, insiders who organized the concert claim that the singer acceded to calls to cancel the show made by Palestinian solidarity groups.

According to the same sources, it was apparently the planned visit of Paradis' partner Johnny Depp that drew the attention of the groups that advocate BDS.



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