Roger Waters performs The Wall Live in Barcelona, 2011.(Wikipedia)
“With 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, we, the two surviving founders of Pink Floyd, have united in support of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS), a growing, nonviolent global human rights movement initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005 to end Israel’s occupation, racial discrimination and denial of basic Palestinian rights,” the pair write in their message, published in Salon.
“Playing Israel now is the moral equivalent of playing Sun City at the height of South African apartheid; regardless of your intentions, crossing the picket line provides propaganda that the Israeli government will use in its attempts to whitewash the policies of its unjust and racist regime.”
“If you wouldn’t play Sun City, back in the day, as you, the Rolling Stones did not, then don’t play Tel Aviv until such time as freedom reigns for all and equal rights is the law of the land,” the pair conclude.
It has also been shared via social media thousands of times, and has garnered significant attention on Roger Waters’ Facebook page with almost 10,000 “likes” and 800 comments.
Yet a large number of the comments, apparently from users in Israel, are extremely abusive against Waters and Palestinians, and many are Islamophobic.
If anything, however, the backlash indicates how sensitive many Israelis are to calls that their state should suffer consequences over its systematic violations of the rights of millions of Palestinians.
Waters has become one of the most prominent voices calling for the cultural boycott of Israel, a position he explained in a widely circulated letter to his “family of Rock and Roll” last year.
Waters’ and Mason’s call on the Stones echoes a recent appeal by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee that the band should abandon its Tel Aviv show.