Well known anti-Israeli and pro-BDS Roger Waters, co-founder and former bassist of the iconic British progressive rock band Pink Floyd, called on music star Stevie Wonder to refuse the Wolf Prize award because it comes from Israel, the Jewish Journal reported on Tuesday.
Last month, President Reuven Rivlin announced that both Wonder and Australian composer Olga Neuworth would be receiving the award, a prize given to those who have made outstanding contributions to the arts and sciences.
In his video, Waters pointed out that Wonder canceled a 2013 scheduled performance at a fundraising gala for the Friends of Israel Defense Forces and that he expects him to do the same with the award, stressing that Wonder cancelled his concert because of the “very delicate situation in the Middle East.”
In an interview with The Electronic Intifada in 2013, at the time of the concert, Waters accused Israel of being an “apartheid regime,” adding that 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,” Waters said.
On Tuesday, Waters reiterated his call, calling Israel as “an apartheid regime.”“This is Israel. You will be whitewashing them beyond all belief,” he said.
After Waters posted this video online, Jewish and pro-Israel activists reacted to his call.
“Where is Roger’s condemnation of Muslims being tortured in modern-day camps in China? The famine happening in Yemen?” Liora Rez, director of Stop Antisemitism.org, asked in a statement to the Jewish Journal.
“This man’s obsessive condemnations are reserved only for Jews. Waters is an embarrassment to the entertainment community – and for anyone to take him seriously in 2021 is laughable.”