ROGER WATERS performs at Staples Center in Los Angeles in June..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The world’s most famous BDS activist, Roger Waters, is planning on putting his money where his mouth is.
The former Pink Floyd leader has announced that he will perform a closed-circuit pre-Christmas show to be broadcast in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on December 22.
Waters had intended to come to Bethlehem for the concert, upon the invitation of Mayor Anton Salmon.
“After weeks of silence from the Israeli authorities who control the border into Palestine, I have to sadly accept the reality that I’m banging my head against the brick wall of the occupation,” Waters said on Sunday.
Instead, he said he would perform in “another location and upon the biggest screen and with the loudest speakers we can find. We will be in Manger Square,” added Rogers.
“We will show our unending support and solidarity with the Palestinian people, as they so bravely struggle, decade after decade, to survive on their land and give their children a hopeful future in which they, too, can enjoy freedom and equality in the Holy Land.”
When asked last week by The Jerusalem Post
about a possible live or closed-circuit show by Waters, a spokesman in the Bethlehem Municipality said it had not been approached about any such performance.
Waters last appeared in the region in 2006 at an outdoor show at a “coexistence” concert near Neveh Shalom, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Since then, Waters’s views of Israel have veered off the charts, and he has become one of the most vocal proponents of boycotting Israel. Most recently, Waters criticized Australian singer Nick Cave for performing in Tel Aviv earlier this month.
The Bethlehem show was announced by the Institute for Middle East Understanding, a US-based NGO that provides journalists with quick access to information about Palestine and the Palestinians.
“This will be the 50th Christmas Palestinians spend under Israeli military rule – without any basic human rights, their people subject to arrest and imprisonment without trial, their children killed, their land and property stolen, their olive trees uprooted, and subjected to daily racist apartheid policies,” said Waters. “It is our moral duty, as human beings, to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Palestinian brothers and sisters as they peacefully resist the occupation, and so ‘the show must go on.’”
An official for the Strategic Affairs Ministry said that neither it nor the Foreign Ministry nor the Population and Immigration Authority had received a request from Waters to enter Israel to get to Bethlehem.
If a request had been made, the official said, it would have gone through the proper channels and been weighed according to the established criteria.
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan has spearheaded in recent months a new policy that prevents anti-Israel activists from entering the country.
“We will continue to work to prevent the entry of BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement] activists into the country. Their sole purpose is to harm the State of Israel by gathering information and presenting it in a distorted and false manner, in order to harm Israel in the world. These activists belong outside the borders of the country, and we will continue to work in every possible fashion to prevent them from entering our country,” Erdan said last year about the new policy.Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.