Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has asserted that the Boycott,
Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel is “the most effective
way to go.”
In an interview with The Electronic Intifada, he accused
Israel of being an “apartheid regime.”
Waters also said he would publish
an open letter to musicians worldwide, asking them to refuse to perform in
Israel and at Israeli events.
“What caused me to write this public letter
was an affair where Stevie Wonder was hired to play a gala dinner for the
Israeli Defense Forces on 6 December last year [after Operation Pillar of
Defense]. 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,”
Wonder cancelled his appearance at the Friends of the IDF
gala after several organizations asked him not to perform.
governments refuse to act, people must, with whatever peaceful means are at
their disposal,” Waters wrote in 2011. “For some that meant joining the Gaza
Freedom March, for others it meant joining the humanitarian flotilla... 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 against Israel.”
Waters said his
position was neither anti-Semitic nor an attack on Israelis.
dates to a 2006 visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem during which he saw the West
Bank security barrier.
“The Wall is an appalling edifice to behold. It is
policed by young Israeli soldiers who treated me, a casual observer from another
world, with disdainful aggression... imagine what it must be like for the
Palestinians.... I knew then that my conscience would not allow me to walk away
from that Wall, from the fate of the Palestinians I met, people whose lives are
crushed daily in a multitude of ways by Israel’s occupation,” Waters wrote in
the Alternative Information Center statement.
Michal Toiba contributed to