March 7, 2011
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.