Pink Floyd co-founder Roger waters defended his cultural boycott of Israel in an interview published over the weekend, accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing and referring to the Jewish state as a racist apartheid regime.
"For an artist to go and play in a country that occupies other people’s land and oppresses them the way Israel does, is plain wrong. They should say no. I would not have played for the Vichy government in occupied France in the Second World War, I would not have played in Berlin either during this time," Waters said in the interview with online magazine Counterpunch.
Waters compared artists playing concerts in Israel to those who performed in Nazi Germany. "Many people did, back in the day. There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on. From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except that this time it’s the Palestinian People being murdered."
He said that there were parallels between Germany in the 1930s and Israel of today, citing the ideas of extremist rabbis an example.
"They believe some very weird stuff you know, they believe that everybody that is not a Jew is only on earth to serve them and they believe that the Indigenous people of the region that they kicked off the land in 1948 and have continued to kick off the land ever since are sub-human. The parallels with what went on in the 30’s in Germany are so crushingly obvious that it doesn’t surprise me that the movement that both you and I are involved in is growing every day."
Waters, the 69-year-old co-founder of the classic rock group Pink Floyd, has been widely criticized for his anti-Israel activities. At a concert in Brussels in July, Waters floated a giant pig balloon emblazoned with a Star of David, among other symbols. Waters has also called on musicians to boycott Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.