Roger Waters to Robbie Williams: Playing in Israel Is Endorsement of Its Racism

Pink Floyd star appeals to fellow artists to think of the kids in Gaza killed while playing soccer last summer and cancel his concert.

Reuters

Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters attacked singer Robbie Williams on Tuesday for planning to perform in Israel this Saturday.

He wrote his appeal to Williams on the Salon website under the headline, "Your decision to play in Tel Aviv gives succor to Netanyahu and his regime, and endorses their deadly racist policies."

Waters opened his letter by referring to the Israel Defense Force's killing of four Palestinian boys while playing soccer on a Gaza beach near the Al-Deira Hotel during Operation Protective Edge last summer.

"I bring up this gruesome scene because popular UK entertainer Robbie Williams, soon to play a May 2 concert in Tel Aviv, is known to be a huge soccer fan. He is also UNICEF’s UK ambassador and a declared supporter of its Children in Danger campaign," Waters wrote. "Yet, sadly, when it comes to Palestinian children, like those killed on that beach in Gaza that day, Williams is showing a chilling indifference to their well-being."

Waters himself appeared in Israel in 2006 before 55,000 fans at Neve Shalom, but since then he has spent most of his time and effort researching the topic. According to Waters, he reached the conclusion that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is the best way to end the suffering and move toward a better future for all residents of the Holy Land.

Waters consistently condemns artists who appear in or support Israel, among them Neil Young, Cindi Lauper, the Rolling Stones, Alan Parsons, Stevie Wonder and the actress Scarlett Johansson.

"Dear Robbie, playing this concert on May 2 would be giving your tacit support to the deaths of over 500 Palestinian children last summer in Gaza, including the four soccer players on the beach in Gaza, and condoning the arrest and abuse of hundreds of Palestinian children each year living under Israeli occupation, as has been documented by UNICEF itself," wrote Waters.

The Pink Floyd artist added: " I encourage you, Robbie, and all other artists, not to play in Israel until Israel complies with international law and recognizes the basic human rights of all the people of the region, including the Palestinian people, which, Robbie, includes Palestinian children playing soccer."