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Israeli-Arab Singer Calls on Musician Roger Waters to Visit Israel, Engage in Dialogue

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June 9, 2020
MOSCOW – MAY 15: Singers Achinoam Nini and Mira Awad representing Israel, performs during the first dress rehearsal of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 15, 2009 in Moscow, Russia. The Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest will be held on May 16. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images)

Israeli-Arab singer Mira Awad called on former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters to visit Israel and engage in a dialogue with her and other Israelis instead of boycotting the country.

The Algemeiner reported that Awad, who identifies as both an Israeli and a Palestinian, was being interviewed on the Creative Community for Peace’s (CCFP) June 6 podcast; she said that while she admires Waters’ work as a musician, she doesn’t support his efforts for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

“Don’t sit your ass there [in London] and tell me what to do with my Palestinianism and my Israeli-ism, OK?” Awad said. “Don’t tell me how to act in this complex situation. You do not teach me what to do and how to act.”

She added: “I am trying to build bridges in order to build a future and you just want to talk from there. Big talk. It doesn’t help me.”

Awad then turned her attention to the BDS movement in general, arguing that she doesn’t like how the movement doesn’t allow for dialogue.

“You’re deciding for me that I shouldn’t have a conversation? That’s rude,” the Israeli-Arab singer said. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just don’t like when that opinion means that the other opinion cannot exist.”

Israellycool blogger David Lange wrote, “No doubt Waters will just ignore [Awad’s] advice and continue doing what he does.”

Awad participated in the 2009 Miss Eurovision contest with Israeli singer Achinoam Nini, known as Noa. According to The New York Times, the Israeli left and Arab community criticized the duo performing together “as an effort to prettify an ugly situation.”

Awad said at the time, “I am so worried by the drift to the extremes on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. That is not my vision of a Palestinian state, an extreme religious state where people they don’t like are shot in the legs. And then the Israeli election went to the right.”

Waters has been a vocal proponent of the BDS movement for years; in May, he participated in a Palestine Solidary Campaign virtual event and sang the following lyrics: “We’ll walk hand-in-hand and we’ll take back the land, from the Jordan River to the sea.” He also put a Star of David on an inflatable pig during one of his concerts in 2013. Waters has defended himself from accusations of being anti-Semitic, arguing that he is criticizing only the Israeli government that his daughter-in-law is Jewish.

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