Pink Floyd Calls on Rolling Stones to Boycott Israel

'Playing Israel now is the moral equivalent of playing Sun City at the height of South African apartheid,' writes Roger Waters.

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JTA
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters perfoming "The Wall" in Canada, 2010.
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters perfoming "The Wall" in Canada, 2010. Credit: AP
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JTA

Two founding members of the Pink Floyd rock band have called on The Rolling Stones to cancel their planned concert in Israel this summer.

Roger Waters and Nick Mason made the call in an article published on Salon.com on Thursday.

“Playing Israel now is the moral equivalent of playing Sun City at the height of South African apartheid,” wrote the musicians, who described themselves as “the two surviving founders of Pink Floyd.”

The two said they wrote the article in light of “the recent news that the Rolling Stones will be playing their first-ever concert in Israel, and at what is a critical time in the global struggle for Palestinian freedom and equal rights.”

The Stones are scheduled to perform June 4 at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park.

Roger Waters is a longtime advocate of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Over the past year, he has come under criticism from several Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, which accused him of anti-Semitism – an accusation he has denied.

Waters has used a pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with, among other symbols, the Star of David. The Simon Wiesenthal Center said the display was a symbol of “Jew hatred” but the ADL said it was merely disquieting and not necessarily anti-Semitic.

Waters said the Star of David was meant to signify what he called Israeli oppression, not Judaism.

He later said: “The Jewish lobby is extraordinarily powerful here and particularly in the industry that I work in, the music industry and in rock ‘n’ roll, as they say.”

Following these statements, ADL National Director Abe Foxman said in December that “judging by his remarks, Roger Waters has absorbed classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and these have now seeped into the totality of his views.” Foxman added that “How sad that a creative genius could become so perverted by his own narrow-minded bigotry.”

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