BDS advocate Roger Waters urges Robbie Williams to nix Israel concert

Pink Floyd front-man calls on fellow British rocker to cancel show in Tel Aviv in support of Palestinian children's rights.

April 28, 2015 19:51
2 minute read.
Roger Waters

British rock star Roger Waters of Pink Floyd walks along the controversial Israeli barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem June 21, 2006.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Outspoken Israel critic Roger Waters has called on fellow English entertainer Robbie Williams to nix his upcoming Tel Aviv performance in line with the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Williams, who rose to fame in the 1990s as an international pop sensation, is scheduled to hold his first concert in Israel at Tel Aviv's Park Hayarkon as part of his “Let Me Entertain You” world tour.

Pink Floyd front-man Waters, a proponent of the BDS movement against Israel, made the call in a piece addressed to Williams published Tuesday in the online news magazine Salon.

The 71-year-old English rocker wrote that if played, Williams' slated May 2 concert would signal his support of alleged Israeli abuses of Palestinian children.

Noting Williams love of soccer, Waters urged the "Millennium" singer to consider, among reasons not to play the gig in Tel Aviv, the July 16 incident during last summer's war between Israel and Hamas in which four Palestinian boys were killed in a strike on a Gaza City beach.

"Dear Robbie, playing this concert on May 2 would be giving your tacit support to the deaths of over 500 Palestinian children last summer in Gaza, including the four soccer players on the beach in Gaza, and condoning the arrest and abuse of hundreds of Palestinian children each year living under Israeli occupation, as has been documented by UNICEF itself," Waters penned Williams.

In September, Israel's military advocate general ordered a probe into the incident on the Gaza City beach, in which the four Palestinian boys were killed.

According to Waters, Williams' show in the White City would constitute his "chilling indifference" to the well-being of Palestinian children.

Noting Williams' position as a British goodwill ambassador to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), Waters accused the younger superstar of hypocrisy in his stated support of children's rights.

Indicating that performing in Israel is mutually exclusive to standing for other issues, Waters addressed Williams charging that: "If you cannot see yourself in the eyes of a Palestinian father, you should do the decent thing and resign from UNICEF, or failing that, UNICEF should let you go."

The Pink Floyd bassist, who has previously lobbied various artists and celebrities to join the BDS movement, urged Williams to join their ranks or subjugate himself to backing what Waters deemed the Israeli "regime" and its "deadly racist policies."

"To be clear, Robbie, whether intended or not, your decision to play in Tel Aviv gives succor to Netanyahu and his regime, and endorses their exceptionalist and deadly racist policies," Waters wrote in his piece that made no mention of Hamas atrocities in Gaza nor Israeli child casualties in Operation Protective Edge .

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