FILE PHOTO: British rock star Roger Waters of Pink Floyd walks along the controversial Israeli barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, June 21, 2006. REUTERS/Ahmad Mezhir/File Photo

Boycotting the Israel Boycotter in Germany


“It’s hopeless.”

“Petitions are so stupid.”

“He won’t even read your email.”

These were some comments Malca Goldstein-Wolf received when she told people she was going to start a movement to get the director of Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), the Cologne-based affiliate of Germany’s consortium of public broadcasters known as ARD, to pull out of sponsoring an upcoming June concert by Israel’s most famous boycott advocate, Roger Waters. The ex-Pink Floyd front man regularly makes headlines these days as the leader of the cultural wing of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Goldstein-Wolf proved the skeptics wrong. When she reached out to WDR Director Tom Buhrow, sending him a Change.org petition with more than 1,500 signatures, Buhrow decided to end WDR’s sponsorship of the Waters concert. After Germany’s popular tabloid Bild broke the story, four other ARD regional affiliates followed Buhrow’s lead.

“I’m so sick of this growing anti-Semitism, so I decided to do something about it.” — Malca Goldstein-Wolf

While Waters’ summer concert tour in Germany will still go on, Goldstein-Wolf, 48, is pleased that it will do so without help from the German taxpayer.

“I’m just an amateur activist,” she said via Skype from her home in Cologne. “I don’t do things like this normally but I’m so sick of this growing anti-Semitism, so I decided to do something about it. I heard the promotion on WDR, and I couldn’t believe they wanted to support Waters. I thought: ‘Oh, my God. This is impossible.’ So I just sat down and wrote to Buhrow, and I did this petition.”

One columnist for Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper said ARD should thank Goldstein-Wolf for saving the broadcasters from embarrassment. Waters’ concerts sometimes feature politically controversial antics, such as releasing a pig-shaped balloon — based on an image from Pink Floyd’s 1977 album, “Animals” — emblazoned with dozens of illustrations, including a Star of David and corporate logos. Waters has pressured well-known artists scheduled to perform in Israel to cancel shows.

Goldstein-Wolf, who comes from the world of fashion, was born in Frankfurt. Her Jewish father journeyed to Israel from Romania, while her mother converted to Judaism when Goldstein-Wolf was a child. Her husband is the biological grandson of a Nazi whose widow married an Auschwitz survivor and then raised him as his own grandson. Goldstein-Wolf, who visited Israel regularly in her youth, said she considers the Jewish state as the “life insurance for all Jews in the world.”

But according to Goldstein-Wolf, Germany’s true hero in the story is Buhrow for taking a stand.

“I was really kind of desperate when I wrote,” Goldstein-Wolf said. “The answer he gave me was absolutely touching. I would have never even thought about getting such an answer. He has my deep respect for it.”

Buhrow’s email response to her was brief and to the point. “I sense that not many words or arguments will convince you, rather clear action,” he wrote. “I’m notifying you, because it’s important for me that you believe how important your feelings are to me, that I’m responding to your request: the collaboration with the concert has ended.”

The Central Council of Jews in Germany praised ARD’s decision, with its president Joseph Schuster stating: “The swift and decisive reaction of the broadcasters to massive public criticism is an important sign that rampant Israel-related anti-Semitism has no place in Germany.”

Waters’ German promoter, Marek Lieberberg, a son of Holocaust survivors, called ARD’s decision “ridiculous.”

“Two things have to be separated here: private opinion and artistic work” the 71-year-old CEO of Live Nation Germany told a German newspaper. “The canon of Roger Waters and Pink Floyd is and remains brilliant. On the other hand, he has a questionable private opinion about Israel and is quite an open member of boycott movement, which I completely reject. But I cannot and will not deny him his right to freedom of expression.”

While Goldstein-Wolf is proud of this particular victory, she foresees more battles ahead. Most recently, German courts backed Kuwait Airways’ rejection of Israeli passengers. Israel also had to pull out of an exhibition at the Frankfurt Bible Museum showcasing the Dead Sea Scrolls because the German government couldn’t guarantee their return should Palestinian or Jordanian authorities claim them.

For now, though, Goldstein-Wolf will focus her efforts on BDS and artists involved in the movement.

“There’s no option to give up,” she said. “You always have to fight. If you’re really authentic, if you touch people, there’s always a chance to change things.”

The "Wish You Weren't Here" documentary focusing on anti-Israel activist Roger Waters will be screened on December 5.

What’s Happening in Jewish L.A. Dec. 2-7: Holiday Music Mashup, Theater Classic With a Twist


SAT DEC 2
“A NEW HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS”

The Angel City Chorale (ACC) performs its 24th annual holiday concert and singalong. The concert will feature the world premiere of “Hanukkah Lullaby,” an original piece by ACC founder and artistic director Sue Fink and ACC choir member and songwriter Denny Wynbrandt. The work explores what it means to remain resilient during difficult times. Enjoy seasonal compositions and fully orchestrated holiday classics set to contemporary pop, R&B and a cappella music. 7 p.m. Also Dec. 3. at 7 p.m. $35 (adults), $32 (seniors 60 and older), $27 (children 5–12). Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 943-9231. angelcitychorale.org.

HADAG NAHASH

Funky hip-hop grooves combined with flavors of rock, reggae and Middle Eastern music  separate  Hadag Nahash from the crowded Israeli music scene. The group features a full electric band, turntables, samples and lyrics about ending corruption and racism in Israeli society. It performs at American Jewish University with Mizrahi artist Hanan Ben Ari. 8 p.m. $45-$75. American Jewish University, Gindi Auditorium, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (818) 483-8818. teevtix.com.

“THE MUSIC MAN”

The Jewish Women’s Repertory Company, musical theater performed exclusively by women and for women, presents Meredith Willson’s Tony-winning musical, “The Music Man.”   ,   For women only. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles’ Family Violence Project. 8 p.m. Also Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Presale: $25 (mezzanine), $30 (orchestra), $35 (center orchestra). Door: $30 (mezzanine), $35 (orchestra), $40 (center orchestra). Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 997-0598. jewishwomenstheater.com.

SUN DEC 3
LEARN LA

Rabbi Hershel Schachter

Rabbi Shay Schachter

Join Rabbis Hershel Schachter, Shay Schachter, Moshe Hauer, Zev Wiener, David Fohrman, Steven Pruzansky and Shlomo Einhorn as they discuss the role that Torah plays in our lives at the Orthodox Union’s West Coast Torah Convention. Also scheduled to speak at the conference are Michal Horowitz, Lou Shapiro, Charlie Harary, Geri Wiener and Racheli Luftglass. Free. 8:45 a.m. breakfast; Sessions run from 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Baby-sitting available for children ages 1-4. Sponsored by Orthodox Union West Coast. Beth Jacob Congregation, 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 229-9000, ext. 201. ou.org.

“THE GRADUATE” SCREENING AND DISCUSSION  WITH AUTHOR

American Jewish University celebrates 50 years since the release of Mike Nichols’ groundbreaking 1967 comedy, starring Dustin Hoffman as a disillusioned college graduate who is seduced by Mrs. Robinson and falls for her daughter, all to the sounds of Simon & Garfunkel. Beverly Gray, author of “Seduced by Mrs. Robinson: How ‘The Graduate’ Became the Touchstone of a Generation,” participates in a post-screening discussion. Gray’s book places the movie in a historical context, offers a look into the making of the iconic film and explains why it has had an impact on popular culture. 3 p.m. $12 (reserved), $18 (premium). American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 476-9777. wcce.aju.edu.

“1917: A TURNING POINT IN AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY”

Hasia Diner, a professor of American-Jewish history at New York University, discusses the impact America’s entry into World War I had on American Jews, most of whom rallied to the nation’s cause. Organized by the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County. 1:30 p.m. Free. Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. (805) 497-7101. adatelohim.org.

“A NIGHT OF MIRACLES”

The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony performs a musical mashup of old and new Hanukkah music at Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Koreatown campus. Actors Philip Casnoff and Roxanne Hart deliver readings of stories of modern Jewish miracles. Artist Karen Hart performs her acclaimed “Judah and His Maccabees: A Hanukkah Gospel Story.” A jelly doughnut reception follows. Suitable for all ages. 4 p.m. Free (RSVP appreciated). Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Glazer Campus, 3663 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 388-2401. wbtla.org/miracles

WORLD KINDERTRANSPORT DAY

The event marks the anniversary of the first Kindertransport arrival in England carrying children fleeing the Holocaust. Speakers will honor those who worked to make the Kindertransport possible, including Holocaust rescuer Varian Fry, as well ats volunteers who work today in refugee camps in Turkey and Greece. Light refreshments will be served. 7 p.m. Free. Colony Theater, 555 . Third St., Burbank. kindertransport.org/events.aspx.

MON DEC 4
AUTHOR LAURA ROSENZWEIG

Laura Rosenzweig will talk at Stephen Wise Temple about her book, “Hollywood’s Spies: The Undercover Surveillance of Nazis in Los Angeles,” which tells the long-untold story of American-Jewish resistance to Nazism during the 1930s and the role that Jewish Hollywood played in combatting this threat to democracy. From 1934 to 1941, Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner and the other Jewish executives of Hollywood secretly paid private investigators to infiltrate Nazi groups operating in Los Angeles. For seven years, Hollywood’s spies infiltrated the German-American Bund and its nativist, Nazi-influenced allies, reporting on seditious plots and collusion with the German government. 7:30 p.m. $15 for Stephen Wise members, $20 nonmembers. Stephen Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. (888) 380-9473. wisela.org.

YIDDISH ZING ALONG

Yiddish folksinger Cindy Paley turns Encino into the old country as she performs old and new Yiddish folk songs at Valley Beth Shalom. Clarinetist Zinovy Soro, violinist Miamon Miller, accordionist Isaac Sadigursky and guitarist and vocalist Menachem Mirski accompany Paley. Song sheets and refreshments provided.  7 p.m. $18. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (213) 389-8880. cindy-vbs.brownpapertickets.com.

TUE DEC 5
“WISH YOU WEREN’T HERE”

In a new documentary, investigative journalist Ian Halperin examines former Pink Floyd member and anti-Israel activist Roger Waters, a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Waters has called on artists from Radiohead to Nick Cave to participate in a cultural boycott against Israel. Borrowing its title from the Pink Floyd classic “Wish You Were Here,” the film places Waters’ actions in the context of the rise of global anti-Semitism. The filmmaker participates in a post-screening discussion and Q-and-A with entertainment industry community members, including Spirit Music Group CEO and Creative Community for Peace co-founder David Renzer, Electronic Arts Music Group executive Steve Schnur and attorney David Lande. Film producer Richard Trank moderates the panel. 7 p.m. $10. Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. creativecommunityforpeace.com/wish-you-werent-here.

WED DEC 6
DIPLOMAT RON PROSOR

Ron Prosor, one of Israel’s most distinguished diplomats, talks with Rabbi David Woznica on a wide range of topics of interest to Israel and Jewish people outside of Israel: the United States and the international community; the inner workings of the world of diplomacy; and some of his most memorable moments on the world stage. Prosor served as vice president of the United Nations’ General Assembly, chair of the U.N. Human Rights Committee, Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, and director-general  of Israel’s foreign ministry. Free. Registration required. 6:45 p.m. reception, 7:15 p.m. program. Stephen Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. (888) 380-9473. wisela.org.

“HOW DID BARACK OBAMA CREATE HIMSELF?”

Barack Obama was president of the United States for eight years, and the broad outlines of his story — his Hawaiian birth, his fatherless childhood, his education at elite institutions, his work as a community organizer and politician in Chicago — are now familiar elements of American history. David J. Garrow, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama,” discusses with Warren Olney how Obama retains a remarkable mystique and can seem unknowable. Free (RSVP required). 6:30 p.m. (check-in). 7:30 p.m. National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 111 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles. zocalopublicsquare.org.

THU DEC 7
“THE SUPREME COURT: WHAT’S NEXT? AN INSIDER’S VIEW”

George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and a regular commentator on National Public Radio, will discuss the U.S. Supreme Court, the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, then-President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, and the recent nomination and confirmation of Neil Gorsuch. Presented by One Day University. Registration required. $69. 7 p.m. Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 W. Eighth St., Los Angeles. (800) 300-3438. onedayu.com.

RITA RUDNER AT PEPPERDINE

Rita Rudner. Photo courtesy of Jeff Abraham

Stand-up comedian and best-selling author Rita Rudner often alludes to her Jewish upbringing in her act. Don’t miss an evening with the funny lady who claims to have the longest-running solo comedy show in Las Vegas history. 8 p.m. $40-$75. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (310) 506-4522. arts.pepperdine.edu/events/rita-rudner.htm.

Roger Waters performing at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 6, 2012. Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

German Broadcasting Station Ends Sponsorship of Roger Waters Concert Due to Waters’ Criticism of Israel


A German broadcasting station is revoking their sponsorship from a Roger Waters concert due to Waters’ frequent criticism of Israel.

Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), a public broadcasting station in Germany, was set to broadcast Waters’ concert in the city of Cologne in June until they received an email from Malca Goldstein-Wolf, who had garnered 1,500 signatures on a petition for WDR to pull their sponsorship.

In her email to WDR, Goldstein-Wolf accused the station of using taxpayer dollars to provide a platform to “a hater of Jews.” Tom Buhrow, the director of WDR, responded to Goldstein-Wolf that her petition convinced him to end the station’s sponsorship of Waters.

“Our cooperation for that concert is finished,” wrote Buhrow.

Buhrow added that the move is “a personal message of trust and understanding” between the station and the Jewish community.

Waters has come under fire with his vehement criticisms of Israel and embrace of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The former Pink Floyd bassist has featured the Star of David along with dollar signs on a floating pig at his concerts, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned as a “grotesque display of Jew hatred.” Waters has also attempted to pressure artists like Radiohead and Bon Jovi from performing in Israel.

In a 2013 interview with Counterpunch magazine, Waters compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews.

“There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on,” said Waters “From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except that this time it’s the Palestinian people being murdered.”

He also claimed that “the Jewish lobby is extraordinary powerful here” in the United States.

Waters’ remarks prompted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to criticize him for perpetuating “conspiratorial anti-Semitism.”

The musician is also planning on putting on a concert in Bethlehem in December to show solidarity with the Palestinians.

Roger Waters performing at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 6, 2012. Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

A Video Message to Roger Waters


Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, one of the most prominent anti-Israel musicians in the United States, is due to perform in Washington, D.C. this Friday and Saturday (Aug. 4 and 5).

In response, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) is sending him a message in a five-figure media campaign in the form of a social media video.

According to its producers, the video is an effort to educate local Washingtonians on the ways Waters “uses music to divide people, rather than bring them together.”

For years the aging rock star has been an outspoken member of the BDS movement, which seeks to boycott the country, and sanction and divest from companies who do business there.

Waters doesn’t just refuse to perform in Israel, he criticizes and trolls other musicians who chose to perform on tour there.  On a recent Facebook Q & A, Waters has compared Israel to Nazi Germany.  

You can watch the video here:

Pro-BDS musician, Roger Waters, is performing in DC this weekend. Join the JCRC of Greater Washington to send a message to him to stop isolating Israel! Stop using music to divide! The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement will not bring peace. BDS is not the answer. More dialog, more respect, more music is the answer. Share to demand that Roger Waters stop advocating for BDS!#BDSFail #Israel

Posted by JCRC of Greater Washington on Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Roger Waters performing at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 6, 2012. Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Roger Waters concert on Long Island violates anti-BDS law, lawmaker says


Allowing BDS proponent Roger Waters to perform at a Long Island arena violates a local law against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a Nassau County lawmaker said.

Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman, is scheduled to appear at the Nassau Coliseum on Sept. 15 and 16.

The lawmaker, Howard Kopel, asked the county attorney last week to determine whether the Nassau Coliseum lease requires compliance with the county law adopted in May 2016 that prevents the county from doing business with any company that participates in the economic boycott of Israel.

Kopel, an Orthodox Jewish legislator who represents a district with a large Jewish population, said in a Facebook post that the Waters concert violates the anti-BDS law while calling the musician a “notorious front-man for the BDS movement and virulent anti-semite.”

On May 22, 2016 I was proud that Nassau County signed into Law a piece of Legislation that I sponsored, taking a stand…

Posted by Legislator Howard J. Kopel on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

In a Facebook Live chat Saturday with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Waters said he would play his shows in Nassau, saying an artist’s rights should not be attacked over his stand on an issue.

“I think they’re gonna fail,” Waters said of attempts to prevent him from playing in Nassau County. “I don’t think, I know they are, because you would have to tear up the Constitution of the United States of America, particularly the First Amendment, and throw it into the Hudson River, or the East River if that’s closer, in order for that to happen.”

Waters also noted an incident in Miami last week in which a dozen teens from a Miami Beach Parks summer program who were to perform on stage with him backed out amid accusations of anti-Semitism.

Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier told the Miami Herald on Thursday, hours before the scheduled concert, that the teens would not be participating, saying in a statement, “Miami Beach is a culturally diverse community and does not tolerate any form of hate.”

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation in an online ad on the Miami Herald website posted a link to a statement on its website reading, “Mr. Waters, your vile messages of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and hatred are not welcome in this community.”

Waters is embroiled in a controversy with Radiohead after he publicly called on the band to cancel its Wednesday concert in Tel Aviv.

Roger Waters has been a leader of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign within the cultural arena. He has lobbied countless artists to refuse to perform in Israel, while publicly criticizing others for doing so.

Wish You Weren’t Here Roger Waters


Boycott of Waters Launched With Petition, Website and Film

A group calling itself “We Don’t Need no Roger Waters” are calling for a boycott of musician Roger Waters. The Change.org petition wants a worldwide boycott of Waters until he renounces antisemitism and the unjust boycott of the State of Israel. The group has launched a website and Facebook page, and will be releasing a movie this summer.

The former frontman for Pink Floyd has increasingly used his rock-star status to defame and call for the boycott of Israel. He infamously flew a pig drone painted with swastikas and Stars of David at his concerts in 2013. Waters screens anti-Israel film clips during his live shows and viciously attacks any artist that chooses to perform in Israel.

Waters isn’t just anti-Israel, say his detractors, he’s actually a Jew-hater. They are firing back against his supporters by countering that Waters is not just anti-Israel, but actually a racist who espouses bigotry and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories.

According to the filmmakers, “Wish You Weren’t Here is a shocking, explosive and compelling film by award winning filmmaker/No.1 NY Times bestselling author Ian Halperin.” The film sets out to answer such questions as is Roger Waters an anti-Semite?

Halperin, who is the son of a Holocaust survivor, traveled for two years researching his story, and the film includes interviews with leading figures such as including Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, Pope Francis, Haras Rafiq, Palestinian and Israeli leaders, U.S., British and French government officials, The Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, Alan Dershowitz and Dr. Charles Small.

Instead of using music to build bridges and foster peace, it seems that Waters is actually another brick in the wall.

 

Roger Waters performing at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 6, 2012. Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Roger Waters: ‘I have made every effort to engage’ with Radiohead on BDS


Roger Waters said he personally reached out to Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke requesting that the band cancel its upcoming show in Israel.

Waters, the Pink Floyd bassist who is a leading proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, responded Monday to an interview Yorke gave to Rolling Stone last week in which he objected to an open letter, co-written by Waters, urging the band to cancel the July show.

“The kind of dialogue that they want to engage in is one that’s black or white,” Yorke said. “I have a problem with that. It’s deeply distressing that they choose to, rather than engage with us personally, throw shit at us in public.”

Waters says that isn’t what happened. In a statement to Rolling Stone, Rogers says he sent three emails to Yorke before publishing the open letter. Waters’ statement says Yorke responded to the first email, but not the second. Whether he replied to the third is unclear.

“On February 12th, hoping to start a dialogue, I sent an email expressing my concern about Radiohead crossing the BDS picket line to perform in Israel,” Waters said. “A few hours later, Thom replied. He was angry. He had misinterpreted my attempt to start a conversation as a threat. So I tried again … I didn’t hear back. So silence prevailed for three weeks until March 4th when I sent a long heartfelt entreaty to Thom asking him again to talk.”

In his interview, Yorke said Radiohead will perform because the band doesn’t agree with BDS and the effort to cut off cultural contact with Israel. “It’s offensive and I just can’t understand why going to play a rock show or going to lecture at a university [is a problem to them],” Yorke said.

Waters didn’t directly address Yorke’s objections in his statement, saying that BDS “exists to shine a light on the predicament of the occupied people of Palestine, both in Palestine and those displaced abroad, and to promote equal civil rights for all the people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea no matter what their nationality, race or religion.”

Thom Yorke performing with Radiohead in Sydney, Australia, Nov. 1. Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

BDS petition calls on Radiohead to cancel scheduled Tel Aviv concert


Anti-Israel activists are urging British rock band Radiohead to cancel its July 19 concert in Tel Aviv. For now, however, its performance at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv remains listed on the group’s official website, wasteheadquarters.com.

“We applaud Radiohead for joining their peers and using their art as a way to bring people together,” Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) said in an April 25 statement, issued in response to the publication of an April 24 petition urging Israel to cancel the performance.

Signatories to the open letter include Roger Waters, former member of Pink Floyd, who has a history of criticizing Israel, Tunde Adibimpe of New York band TV on the Radio and nearly 50 others.

Artists for Palestine UK, a network of artists that support a cultural boycott of Israel, addresses Radiohead members Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Ed O’Brien and Philip Selway in its letter calling for the cancellation.

Radiohead, which this month headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in support of its latest album, “A Moon Shaped Pool,” has had ties to Israel ever since its 1993 song, “Creep,” became popular on Israeli army radio, according to Tablet Magazine. The article includes an audio recording of the band’s performance in Israel. Crowd members discuss the set list in Hebrew in-between songs. It’s a cool little historical pop culture artifact.

The band’s ties to Israel don’t end there. It recently completed a U.S. tour featuring Israel-based cross-cultural Jewish-Arabic project Dudu Tassa and the Kuwaitis as its opening act.

Nevertheless, those who signed the letter calling for the quintet to “think again” before playing Israel dismissed the band’s collaboration with Jewish-Arabic musicians as irrelevant, which reminds one of the controversy surrounding Paul Simon when he visited South Africa to brainstorm ideas for the album that eventually became “Graceland.”

“You may think that sharing the bill with Israeli musicians Dudu Tassa & the Kuwaitis, who play Jewish-Arabic music, will make everything OK.  It won’t, any more than ‘mixed’ performances in South Africa brought closer the end of the apartheid regime,” the letter says. “Please do what artists did in South Africa’s era of oppression: stay away, until apartheid is over.”

CCFP says the letter’s claims against Israel are “inaccurate.”

“Unfortunately, their letter is filled with inaccurate accusations against Israel, including false claims of ‘apartheid’ and ‘genocide.’ Trying to appeal to artists’ natural empathy for the downtrodden, the boycott movement falsely characterizes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as a movement seeking peace and justice, and drives the prospect of peace further away,” the CCFP statement says.

Radiohead ascended to cultural prominence in the 1990s. Its albums “The Bends,” “OK Computer” and, a personal favorite, “Kid A,” released in 2000, underscore the band’s intelligent, if impenetrable, lyrics and innovative soundscapes. Ironically, the band has drawn comparisons to Waters’ Pink Floyd.

CCFP has previously weighed in on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel targeting bands slated to play there. Rod Stewart, scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on June 14, and Aerosmith, scheduled to perform May 17, were recently targeted by activists who support boycotting Israel, CCFP says.

A March 28 Jerusalem Post article says that the BDS influence on rock and pop acts booked in Israel is “waning.” The proof is Israel concert promoters are currently preparing for Israel’s “busiest concert season in history,” CCFP says. Radiohead, Stewart, Aerosmith and even pop queen Britney Spears are booked at Hayarkon Park. Spears is scheduled to perform there July 3.

 

 

 

 

 

Roger Waters takes stage at UCLA before controversial film screening


Roger Waters, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, had been scheduled to answer questions after last week’s screening of the documentary “The Occupation of the American Mind” at UCLA. The subject of the film, which he narrated, is media manipulation by pro-Israel forces — a topic on which the rock star has been outspoken.

Instead, Waters limited himself to a few short remarks before the film was shown. Members of the campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which sponsored the Nov. 30 screening at the James Bridges Theater, said they had gotten wind of protests planned to disrupt his appearance.

“To get this movie shown at all is a monumental struggle. … They don’t want you to see it,” said Waters, a frequent critic of Israel. “Nobody wants you to see this film.”

After his brief remarks, Waters slipped out of the theater through a side door and the opening credits rolled. Yet, disruptions largely failed to materialize, despite fliers calling for a protest that were posted on Facebook by an anonymous group calling itself the Yad Yamin, Hebrew for “the right hand.” 

Signs outside the event warned that disruptions would not be tolerated, and student speakers implored audience members to stay respectfully quiet — which, for the most part, they did.

The film asserts that Israel benefits from “the most successful public relations campaign in U.S. history,” said Sut Jhally, the film’s executive producer and a communication professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who spoke with the Journal before attending the showing.

Jhally said he conceived of the UCLA screening as an “act of solidarity” after he heard that a group led by right-wing activist David Horowitz in May had hung posters around the university’s campus, naming and shaming students and faculty involved in pro-Palestinian activism. 

Jhally said he phoned a friend, history professor Robin Kelley — a UCLA faculty member named on the posters — and arranged for the screening, one week after the film opened in Brussels.

“This is kind of ground zero for attacks on Palestinian activists,” Jhally said of UCLA.

In the film, journalists, academics and pro-Palestinian advocates suggest Israel was founded on the dispossession of Arabs from their land, that the country benefits from a top-down propaganda campaign, and that Hamas — the Palestinian Islamic political party that governs the Gaza Strip — is not a terrorist organization. The documentary names pro-Israel groups such as Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, The David Project and The Israel Project as agents of a media spin machine.

At various points, scenes of Israeli security forces manhandling Palestinian Arabs are shown as eerie background music plays.

A few audience members clapped awkwardly when pro-Israel video clips screened — although for the purpose of setting up the filmmakers’ rebuttals (before the screening, this reporter heard Hebrew conversation coming from that section of the audience). But otherwise, protests largely failed to take place.

“Someone, we aren’t sure who, had tipped off the police in an effort to stop it,” a person professing to be a Yad Yamin organizer wrote in an email to the Journal on Dec. 1, the day after the screening. The writer declined to provide a name (and claimed not to be a UCLA student), saying the group adheres to a “policy of anonymity.”

“With police having been informed, many got cold feet,” the email writer said. “There was no support for [the protest] from Jewish student groups on campus and sadly galvanizing young Jews to do so seems to be a tall order.”

However, he added, “We are viewing this as a victory after all if it stopped Roger Waters from partaking in the Q-and-A.”

In a Dec. 1 email, Yacoub Kureh, UCLA board chair of SJP, wrote that it was unclear to the organizers why Waters left early.

Before the event, a group of pro-Israel student organizations, including Bruins for Israel (BFI), agreed not to protest the screening to avoid another contentious incident in an already tense campus climate, BFI President Arielle Mokhtarzadeh said at the screening. Any protest, she said, would come from non-students or students unaffiliated with the organized Jewish community.

But in an op-ed published the day after the screening in the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper, a group of some of the same pro-Israel organizations expressed disapproval of the film.

“The film is an intellectualization of the centuries-old, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that a group of powerful, manipulative and domination-obsessed Jews have gained control of politics and media through a combination of wealth, power, influence and deceit,” they wrote in a statement signed by BFI, Students Supporting Israel, the Bruin-Israel Public Affairs Committee and Hillel at UCLA.

“Our disappointment, however, is directed not only toward the creators of this film, but at the students who have pushed to screen it,” the op-ed continued. “In doing so, they have provided a platform for the legitimization of identity-based hatred.”

After the screening, Jhally took Waters’ place in an onstage Q-and-A session. But questions were posed via Twitter and written on scraps of paper, forestalling pointed questions or arguments from the audience.

Kureh, the moderator, chose a number of critical questions, including one from Mokhtarzadeh, the BFI president. But some presumably pro-Israel audience members were unsatisfied.

“Why not have an open Q-and-A?” a person yelled from the back half of the room, prompting some of the event’s student organizers to begin moving toward that part of the theater.

“This is not a forum for truth!” another shouted.

The organizers converged on the outspoken audience members, but after a moment of heated conversation the audience members were allowed to stay.

On second Israel visit, Kevin Costner dismisses BDS champion Roger Waters


At the Israel premiere of a film starring Kevin Costner, the Hollywood actor said he does not care whether anti-Israel activists, including Roger Waters, disapprove of his visit to the Jewish state.

“I don’t ask anyone’s permission to travel,” Costner said in an interview Tuesday a press conference earlier this week at the Cinema City multiplex near the Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya. Asked by a reporter whether Roger Waters, a British musician known for his role as  former Pink Floyd frontman and for promoting boycotts on Israel, Costner said: “Who? I haven’t heard of it,” adding: “ I’ve received lots of love here. I wouldn’t have missed that.”

Costner, who in 1991 won two Academy Awards for directing and acting in the box-office hit “Dances with Wolves,” was in Israel for a screening of the upcoming action film “Criminal,” in which he stars alongside Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman and Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

But he told reporter at the cinema Tuesday that he came to support the film’s Israeli director, Ariel Vromen. “This is his country, his parents are here, and I’m very proud of him. He’s a young man who is truly doing well,” Costner said. Speaking of Gadot, Costner said she was “lovely” to work with and “a wonderful partner.”

He also said that he met Gadot for the first time ahead of a scene in which his character assaulted hers in a bedroom. “I shook her hand, said: ‘Hi, Gal, I’m Kevin, and we immediately started acting out the scene.”

“Criminal” tells the story of Jericho Stewart (Costner), a death-row inmate working to complete a deceased CIA agent’s last mission to save many lives. In addition to having an Israeli director and a co-star, the film has an Israeli producer: Avi Lerner.

Costner, 61, said he had visited Israel once before, approximately four decades ago.

Jew in Progress


The left, the right and Roger Waters.

Most of us know Roger Waters, the brilliant musician behind some of Pink Floyd’s greatest music. He is also one of the most ardent supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a group hostile toward the State of Israel.

So imagine my shock last month when I watched Waters and his entourage enter the HaaretzQ Conference in New York, a conference sponsored by two pro-Israel entities, Haaretz and New Israel Fund (NIF).

My first thought was, “What the hell is this guy doing here?”

Despite much misinformation, NIF does not support the BDS movement. Waters’ presence, I figured, would only give NIF detractors more reason not to listen to us. But what could I do? In a free country, he has as much right to attend as anyone else.

Waters and his entourage were whisked past security — and I followed him. I wanted to see which sessions he would attend. Most of the day’s panels were already over. Not surprisingly, Waters headed straight for the session with Haaretz’s left-of-left columnist, Gideon Levy — who had recently interviewed Waters for Haaretz. Waters sat in the front row. After interviewing a leader of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Levy acknowledged Waters as his personal hero. After posing for a few photos with the panelists, Waters promptly left.

It was then I was hit by a very uncomfortable epiphany.

I have often personally grappled with what makes a person politically left or right. When I try to articulate it, it comes out something like this: Those on the right are more linear regarding cause and effect. They attacked us because their religion teaches them to hate. End of story. 

The left prefers complexity; that is, yes, they attacked us — and they do hate us — but do we fully understand why, and is there something we can do to change it? My working assumption was that the left was more open to differing points of view and valued inquiry over certainty. After watching Waters leave the conference as quickly as he came in, I realized that this model was completely wrong.

Waters had no interest in complexity or empathy toward Israel — just simple slogans. That’s why he didn’t bother to check out any of the other sessions at the conference. This kind of “blinders-on” ideology of isolated righteousness was something I thought was practiced only by the right — but it’s clear it can be just as bad on the left, as well.

But the truth is, it’s everywhere. The more I thought about it, this phenomenon seems to be happening throughout our culture. Whether on the right or left, we tend to immediately dismiss facts and opinions that contradict our own narratives and prejudices. Think about the debates in our Jewish community: Israel (you are either unconditionally for or against the state); settlements are either securing or destroying Israel’s safety; Breaking the Silence is either saving or betraying Israel). These examples mirror the debates that are dividing this country — health care, immigration reform, gun control. It’s all or nothing for the people who care about these issues.

No wonder we manage to accomplish so very little.

So, back to the uncomfortable epiphany: If Roger Waters represents the new normal for the left, and Pamela Geller and groups such as Im Tirtzu are the new normal for the right, then where does that leave me?

The obvious answer is: the center.

Honestly, a centrist is not how I want to be perceived, and it certainly feels like I am in some way betraying myself. How am I going to accomplish important things in this life without an unwavering set of beliefs and uncompromising goals? Unfortunately, based on what I am observing in the public sphere, I am not sure that approach is accomplishing much of anything. 

We need a new approach. So, here is my proposal to the left and right: Join me in the center.

I’m not sure what “the center” even looks like anymore. But that’s what we need to rebuild. A community made up of diverse views that can freely come together with a willingness to listen as well as talk — regardless of their left or right or whatever orientation. A place where we agree it’s not acceptable to walk away from the table without trying to do something constructive and positive for the betterment of Israel, Jews and, hopefully, the rest of humanity.

Be a centrist. Trust me, I am just as uncomfortable with this designation as you are, but as I look at the polarizing alternatives out there, this is looking more like our best and only chance to effect real change. Who knows, we may realize we have more in common than we thought. We might even accomplish things together that we could not do on our own.

And who would have thought that could have been inspired by the front man for Pink Floyd?

Joshua Greer is an inventor and patent-holder, and has co-founded a number of technology companies including Digital Planet, Walden Media and RealD 3D. He now spends his time working in the medical industry and various Jewish initiatives.

New York theater offers refunds for Roger Waters concert over his BDS views


A theater in Sag Harbor, New York has offered to refund tickets to a sold-out performance by Roger Waters over his support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel.

Waters, the former frontman of rock band Pink Floyd, has been vocal in his criticism of artists who perform in Israel. He is scheduled to perform Friday at the Bay Street Theater. Page Six reported Wednesday that the performance may face picketers in a protest organized by pro-Israel groups.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in a statement issued on Tuesday called on New Yorkers “to give Roger Waters the reception he deserves: an empty hall. We urge people who may have been unaware of his hate-filled boycott campaign and bought tickets for his performance, to vote with their feet and instead stand in solidarity — outside of the theater — with the innocent victims of terrorism in The Holy Land.”

The theater’s executive director, Tracy Mitchell, on Wednesday told local news website 27East.com that no one has requested a refund, and that the theater has people “begging for tickets.”

Earlier this month, in a much-publicized rant, radio personality Howard Stern ripped Waters for his support of the movement to boycott Israel.

Waters in an open letter to rocker Jon Bon Jovi ahead of his concert earlier this month in Israel, accused the artist of “standing shoulder to shoulder” with right-wing Israeli extremists.

In response, Bon Jovi said at his concert: “I’ll come here any time you want.”

Waters has published open letters calling on fellow musicians to join a boycott of Israel. He has also come under fire for using at in his concerts a huge inflated balloon in the shape of a wild boar with a prominently visible Star of David among other symbols, including a dollar sign and a hammer and sickle. He had used the gimmick for several years.

Pink Floyd founder: Bon Jovi stands with ‘settler who burned the baby’


Roger Waters, a founding member of the rock band Pink Floyd and an activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, published an open letter criticizing rocker Jon Bon Jovi for performing in Tel Aviv on Oct. 3.

Waters, a frequent critic of Israel, published the letter in Salon on Friday, responding to Bon Jovi telling Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot last week that he is “excited to come” to Israel despite Waters’ efforts to deter musicians from performing there.

Waters has published similar open letters in Salon to other performers with Israel gigs, including Dionne Warwick, the Rolling Stones and Robbie Williams.

In the letter to Bon Jovi, Waters accuses the singer of standing “shoulder to shoulder” with “the settler who burned the baby,” referring to the arsonists, thought to be Jewish extremists, who firebombed a Palestinian home in August, killing a toddler and several family members, an act condemned by Israel’s leaders.

Waters then lists seven other Israelis who perpetrated attacks on Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists. He says Bon Jovi has forfeited the opportunity to stand “on the side of justice,” listing various pro-Palestinian activists and Palestinians whom Waters regards as heroes or victims.

The open letter makes no mention of any Palestinian terrorist attacks or Israeli terror victims, including the two parents killed in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank Thursday.

In a four-page magazine feature in the weekend edition of a Hebrew-language newspaper last Friday, Bon Jovi said he “always heard what a wonderful place Israel is – the birthplace of all religions.

“I have been everywhere and Israel was a place that I’ve always wanted to visit, but it never worked out. This time I insisted that Israel must be on our list and it happened!”

Bon Jovi said in the article that he will spend a few days sightseeing in Israel after his concert.

Pink Floyd founders urge Rolling Stones to cancel Israel concert


Two founding members of the Pink Floyd rock band called on their colleagues from The Rolling Stones to cancel a concert in Israel.

Roger Waters and Nick Mason made the call in an op-ed that was published Thursday on Salon.com.

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

The op-ed says it was written 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 the Star of David at his concerts.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said the pig 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.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center’s top 10 anti-Semitic, anti-Israel slurs of 2013


1. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Supreme Leader of Iran

“Rabid dog … its leaders … cannot be called human”

Even as the world’s top diplomats celebrated a tentative nuclear/sanctions deal that many believe will not stop Iran’s capacity to go nuclear, few leaders condemned Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei for his unabated public slurs and genocidal threats against the Jewish State.
 
Referring to Israel as the, “rabid dog in the region,” he added, “Its leaders look like beasts and cannot be called human.”
 
Throughout 2013, as the US conducted secret talks with Tehran, the Ayatollah’s anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hate flowed unabated. On the eve of Iranian elections, Khamenei declared, “Zionists” were the real power in the United States, updating the old canard of a global Jewish conspiracy. 

2. Recip Tayyip Erdogan Prime Minister of Turkey

The “Interest rate lobby” is to blame

Recip Erdogan’s tenure as Turkish Prime Minister has been marked by extreme animus toward Israel, historically Ankara’s strategic friend and trading partner. His mindset was on full display during two pivotal political crises in 2013. First, in response to anti-government demonstrations earlier in the year in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, PM Erdogan, blamed the public’s expressions of dissent on the so-called “interest rate lobby” — a term defined by his deputy as “The Jewish Diaspora.” Later, Erdogan also intimated that the Egyptian military’s ouster of Mohammed Morsi was instigated by Israel. Then in December, Erdogan and his media allies who blamed a conspiracy by “foreign powers” for a burgeoning corruption scandal, again deployed charges that the “interest rate lobby” had instigated the latest crisis as well. The New York Times reported that the alleged culprits named in the media were, the US and Israel …


3. Richard Falk UN Special Rapporteur

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird rebuked Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, for his recent statement accusing Israel of “genocidal” intentions. Falk told Russian RT television, “When you target a group, an ethnic group and inflict this kind of punishment upon them, you are in effect nurturing a kind of criminal intention that is genocidal.” Falk has a long and sordid history of Israel-bashing and anti-Semitism. He alleged Israel may be planning a Nazi-like Holocaust. He justified Palestinian terrorism in terms of “the right of resistance”, adding that suicide bombings were the only way to inflict sufficient harm on Israel so that “the struggle could go on.”
 
Falk denies that Hamas is a terrorist organization, alleging Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip brought Gaza to “the brink of collective starvation, imposing a “sub-human existence on a people,” and that Israeli policies were “indeed genocidal.”
 
In 2011, Falk posted a cartoon on his blog regarding the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Muammar Gaddafi, with an image of a dog with yarmulke and a USA sweater, urinating on Lady Justice while devouring bloody human bones. Falk later acknowledged the cartoon was anti-Semitic and “apologized” saying, “…we must also make peace with nature, and treat animals with as much respect as possible.”
 
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also condemned Falk for suggesting there had been a cover-up of the 9/11 attacks.

4. BDS Boycott The tipping point of global demonization of Israel

ASA American Studies Association

The whole Arab world is going up in flames and the American Studies Association (ASA) has voted to malign the only true, free society left on the map of the Middle East. This is an act of infamy; not only attacking Israeli academic institutions – but Jews everywhere. 
 
Asked why the Jewish state (not Cuba, north Korea or China), was singled out for a boycott, ASA President, Professor Curtis Marez, responded, “We have to start somewhere.” 
 
In fact, the ASA vote reeks of bigotry and a dangerous double standard. It exposes a willful refusal to condemn the real architects of the wall of separation– the terrorists and their supporters who cannot accept the existence of a small Jewish State among the 23 Arab states.

Roger Waters Co-founder of the band Pink Floyd

Among Israel's harshet critics and a leading BDS activist, Waters serially slanders Israel as an apartheid state, compares it to Nazi Germany and denies that the Iranian regime poses any threat to the Jewish State. At a time of resurgent anti-Semitic hate crimes in Europe, Waters used his status as a musician to denigrate Judaism when he affixed a Jewish star on a floating pig during his summer concert tour across the continent. Depicting Jews as pigs dates back to deeply-rooted medieval anti-Semitic canards. The Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, denounces Waters for his display of, “…unrestrained anti-Semitism.”
 
The United Church of Canada Poisoning interfaith relations
 
As Christians suffer in Syria, ethnic cleansed in Iraq, and threatened in Egypt, The United Church of Canada endorsed the boycott of Israel – the only Middle East state that guarantees full religious freedom and protection to all faiths. Such blatantly unfair moves hinder hopes for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land and have the potential to poison interfaith relations in Canada.
 

5. Jobbik Hungarian Anti-Semitic exteme right party

The extreme far-right Jobbik party continues to promote its hatred of Jews. Marton Gyongyosi, the deputy leader of the group, called for a registry of all Jews in Hungary as a security measure last year. Now he has added Holocaust revisionism to his political agenda. “It has become fantastic business to jiggle around with the numbers,” Gyongyosi charged. He also alleges that Israel, “…runs a Nazi system based on race,” and that “Jews are trying to build outside Israel. There’s a kind of expansionism in their behavior.” Turning to the Middle East, Gyongyosi announced a series of upcoming lectures on the “Zionist threat to Peace.”

Refaeli takes on Waters over boycott letter


Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli tweeted in Hebrew that she no longer wants to be associated with British rocker Roger Waters after his open letter calling for a boycott of Israel.

“Roger Waters, you better take my picture off of the video art at your shows. If you’re boycotting — go all the way,” Refaeli said Wednesday on Twitter.

Her image is among dozens beamed on the wall during Waters’ concerts.

A day before Refaeli expressed her anger on Twitter, reports of the Aug. 18 boycott letter by Waters became public.

“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,” the former Pink Floyd frontman wrote.

Waters also accused Israel of practicing apartheid and noted Stevie Wonder’s cancellation of a performance for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces as a recent success story.

Recently he came under fire for using in his concerts 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. Waters has used the gimmick for several years.

Open letter from Roger Waters calls on musicians to boycott Israel


British rocker Roger Waters published an open letter calling on fellow musicians to join a boycott of Israel.

The letter, which condemns Israel for apartheid and ethnic cleansing, has been expected for several months, according to the Electronic Intifada, which first reported on its existence.

“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 Aug. 18. The letter was previously drafted in July.

The former Pink Floyd front man said he was inspired to release the letter after British violinist Nigel Kennedy at a recent promenade concert at the Albert Hall in London called Israel an apartheid state. The BBC said it would remove his remarks in rebroadcasts of the concert.

Waters had told Electronic Intifada in March that he was drafting the letter.

Waters, who has been active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement for at least seven years, referred to the boycott of apartheid South Africa, saying that first a trickle of artists refused to play there, leading to a “flood.”

He singled out Stevie Wonder’s canceling 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.

“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 wrote.

Waters recently came under fire for using at in his concerts 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. It is a gimmick he has used for several years.

Roger Waters still ‘considering’ call to boycott Israel


Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Waters said he was still considering whether to call on musicians to boycott Israel.

“I am considering my position,” Waters said in a taped interview published online Monday by The Huffington Post. “The letter asking my fellow musicians to boycott Israel has never appeared. I'm thinking it all through extremely carefully … because I care more about the outcome, because I care about the people involved, than I do about the moment.”

Waters last month likened Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza to South Africa's apartheid policy segregating blacks and whites, which was the target of an international boycott.

Waters said he wants to avoid “some kind of dramatic moment that could very easily blow up and mean that I would, in the long term, have less effect on the outcome.”

“Assuming that you're rational and that you care about other human beings, the goal strategically should be a solution of the Palestinian refugee problem, an end to the occupation, security and the right to lead a decent life for all the citizens of Israel,” Waters said.

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters pulls out of New York Y event


Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, who supports a boycott of Israel, pulled out of a speaking engagement at the 92nd Street Y in New York.

“We heard from Roger Waters that he is unable to appear at the event scheduled for April 30,” a statement from the Jewish cultural institution on the Upper East Side of Manhattan said Thursday. “We will be issuing refunds to all ticket-holders.”

A Y spokeswoman told JTA that she had no other information on why Waters would not appear as scheduled.

Waters, the creative force behind the iconic band, is a vocal supporter of the Palestinians and has endorsed the boycott, sanctions and divestment campaign against Israel.

In an interview last month with Electronic Intifada, a pro-Palestinian outlet, Waters speculated that the U.S. media was “under instructions from somewhere not to report [criticism of Israel] to the American public, on what grounds I cannot guess.”

Pink Floyd’s Waters takes some credit for Wonder’s decision to skip FIDF event


Pink Floyd's Roger Waters took partial credit for Stevie Wonder's decision to pull out of performing at a Friends of Israel Defense Forces event.

In an interview with Electronic Intifada, a pro-Palestinian media outlet, Floyd said he was one of several dignitaries who wrote to Wonder in an effort to dissuade him from playing at the Los Angeles gala in December.

“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,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a great thing to do, particularly as he was meant to be a U.N. ambassador for peace.”

He said South African leader Bishop Desmund Tutu also sent Wonder a similar message.

During the interview, Waters compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians with the treatment of blacks in South Africa under the apartheid regime and argued sanctions against the Jewish state were the most “effective way to go.” Waters has endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

“I think that the kind of boycott that was implemented against the apartheid regime in South Africa back in the day is probably the most effective way to go because the situation is that the Israeli government runs an apartheid regime in Israel, the occupied territories and everywhere else it decides,” Waters said. “Let us not forget that they laid waste most of Lebanon around the time I started getting involved in this issue. They destroyed airports, hospitals, any public buildings they could.”

Waters, the creative force behind the progressive rock band, complained that the media in the U.S. had intentionally ignored covering his protests against Israel in recent years, speculating it was “under instructions from somewhere not to report these things to the American public, on what grounds I cannot guess.”

Opinion: A call to boycott former Pink Floyd front man, Roger Waters


As many of you know, Israel is under assault. However, the perpetrators are not only Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, but rather artists and musicians who are engaged in a Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. Popular musicians—including Elvis Costello, The Pixies, Carlos Santana, The Gorillaz and Roger Waters—are refusing to perform in Israel, in order to punish the tiny Jewish state.

Roger Waters, former lead singer of the popular rock band Pink Floyd, wrote at length about his decision to boycott the state of Israel.

Here is part of what he said:

“In my view, the abhorrent and draconian control that Israel wields over the besieged Palestinians in Gaza, and the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem), 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…For me it means declaring my intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine, but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their governments racist and colonial policies, by joining a campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it satisfies three basic human rights demanded in international law.

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands [occupied since 1967] and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

So basically, Waters is calling for a boycott of Israel, until all the “Palestinian refugees” are allowed back in, effectively destroying it as the homeland of the Jewish people.

That Roger Waters, and so many other artists, would boycott the only true democracy in the Middle East—the only country that upholds the progressive values and human rights he supposedly lauds—shows how far anti-Semitism has pervaded our culture.

Many musicians boycott Israel because of peer-pressure, and because of pressure from anti-Israel hate groups. They succumb to this pressure because there does not seem to be any repercussions for boycotting Israel.

Well, I believe this is the perfect opportunity for Israel supporters to take a stand, and say “enough is enough!” If Roger Waters wishes to starve Israel economically then we should do the same back to him.

Roger Waters is scheduled to perform at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, May 19th of this year. This event will most certainly be attended by many Jews, as Roger Waters is extremely popular, and Los Angeles comprises one of the largest Jewish communities in the world. But maybe we can change that, and send a message to Roger Waters, and any other musician who is considering a boycott of Israel.

Please inform all your friends about Roger Waters’ boycott of Israel, and urge them to not attend his concert. Call up his management, write on his Facebook page, and do whatever else you can to let Roger know that boycotting Israel comes with consequences.

This is the perfect opportunity for Jewish liberals and conservatives, AIPAC and J-Street, to unite under a common cause, and make it clear that trying to economically destroy the only Jewish State will not go unnoticed.

We are not saying that people cannot criticize Israel. Of course they can. But there is a stark difference between criticism and a boycott. Let’s be clear—to single out the only Jewish state for hateful and economically harmful boycotts, is simply anti-Semitic.

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters joins boycott movement


Former Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters has officially joined the the campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel, and is urging fellow artists to do the same.

In a letter posted on the website of the Alternative information Center, Waters said he would continue to wage a boycott campaign against Israel until it ends its occupation of the West Bank and dismantles the security fence, grants full equality to Arab citizens of Israel and allows all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel.

“Where governments refuse to act, people must, with whatever peaceful means are at their disposal,” Waters, a co-founder of the Pink Floyd rock band, wrote in the letter dated Feb. 25. “For me it means declaring my intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine, but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their governments racist and colonial policies, by joining a campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

“My conviction is born in the idea that all people deserve basic human rights. My position is not anti-Semitic. This is not an attack on the people of Israel. This is, however, a plea to my colleagues in the music industry, and also to artists in other disciplines, to join this cultural boycott.”

Waters last performed in Israel in 2006. After visiting Jerusalem and Bethlehem and viewing the security fence—on which he spray-painted “we don’t need no thought control,” a lyric from the Pink Floyd song “Another Brick in the Wall”—he canceled his concert at a sports stadium in Tel Aviv and moved it to Neve Shalom, a village in which Jews and Arabs live together in a planned community.

Waters’ announcement comes on the heels of reports that folk music icon Pete Seeger had officially joined the boycott movement, though in an interview last week with JTA Seeger said he is still learning about the issue and his opinion changes as he continues to acquire new information.

Artists including Elvis Costello and the Pixies have canceled concerts in Israel in recent months, citing political reasons.

ADL rips Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters on ‘anti-Semitic’ imagery


The Anti-Defamation League slammed Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters for using what the organization says is anti-Semitic imagery.

Waters during performances of “Goodbye Blue Sky” on his 2010-11 “The Wall Live” tour, which targets Israel’s West Bank security fence, is using imagery long associated with stereotypes about Jews and money, the ADL said.

An animated scene projects images of planes dropping bombs in the shape of Jewish Stars of David followed by dollar signs, the organization said.

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman in a statement called the juxtaposition “outrageous.”

“While [Rogers] insists that his intent was to criticize Israel’s West Bank security fence, the use of such imagery in a concert setting seems to leave the message open to interpretation, and the meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money,” Foxman said in the statement.

“Of course Waters has every right to express his political views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through his music and stagecraft. However, the images he has chosen, when put together in the same sequence, cross a line into anti-Semitism.”

Foxman added that “We wish that Waters had chosen some other way to convey his political views without playing into and dredging up the worst age-old anti-Semitic stereotype about Jews and their supposed obsession with making money.”

Pink Floyd’s Waters Caught Red-Handed


“No thought control.”

The famed lyrics from rock band Pink Floyd’s much beloved “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2” make for a powerful statement regardless of context. Scrawled last week in red paint on a concrete segment of Israel’s security fence in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters himself, though, the poignancy of the verse is undeniable.

Waters visited Israel to play a concert June 22 at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam (literally Oasis of Peace), a cooperative Jewish-Palestinian Arab village between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Originally scheduled to perform at the much more mainstream Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, Rogers moved the concert to the fields of Neve Shalom in response to pressure from pro-Palestinian musicians.

“I moved the concert to Neve Shalom as a gesture of solidarity with the voices of reason — Israelis and Palestinians seeking a non-violent path to a just peace between the peoples,” Waters said in a press release.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the concert in its makeshift venue drew more than 50,000 attendees and became the cause of one of Israel’s worst traffic jams to date. Waters performed the album “Dark Side of the Moon” in its entirety, along with many of Pink Floyd’s greatest hits, including “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” “Wish You Were Here” and the especially iconic “Another Brick in the Wall.”

“We need this generation of Israelis to tear down walls and make peace,” Waters told the audience before his post-midnight encore.

Waters’ performance received much acclaim in Israel, but it is his spray-painting stint at the security fence in the West Bank the day before the showcase that is making lasting waves there and abroad. The artist’s paint and pen additions to the already graffiti-laden wall marked Waters’ first stop after arriving in Israel. According to reporters present at the Palestinian town of Bethlehem when he made the markings, Waters likened the barrier to the Berlin Wall, adding that “it may be a lot harder to get this one down, but eventually it has to happen, otherwise there’s no point to being human beings.”

The musician’s deliberately provocative gesture prompted right-wing activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir to call for the artist’s detainment.

The pair submitted an accusation to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court June 23 alleging that Waters destroyed Israel Defense Forces property, according to Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Israeli authorities have not yet issued a response to the singer’s graffiti or to Marzel and Ben-Gvir’s retaliatory petition.

The fence that Waters dubbed “a horrible edifice” is being constructed in the hopes of preventing Palestinian suicide bombers and other attackers, who have killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis in the last six years, from entering Israel proper.

Additional information courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency, The Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz.

 

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