Roger Waters: ‘On the Altar of Zionism, They Want to Tear Up the … – Sputnik International

Posted By on August 8, 2017


01:47 08.08.2017(updated 08:53 08.08.2017) Get short URL

Radio Sputniks Eugene Puryear of By Any Means Necessary spoke with Roger Waters, founding member of the legendary Pink Floyd, about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and exercising free speech even when it comes to the inflammatory Israel-Palestine conflict.

Pink Floyds Roger Waters stopped by Radio Sputniks Washington offices todiscuss the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement onMonday morning withBy Any Means Necessary, amidcharges fromthe Jewish Community Relations Council that Waters activism has "crossed the line intoanti-Semitism."

"Here we have a non-violent movement steeped deeply in [the methods pioneered by] Martin Luther King, Ghandi, so many people who are so revered worldwide. But when you put BDS and Israel together the vitriol towardit seems so outof whack withhow were taught toremember non-violent civil disobedience," By Any Means Necessary host Eugene Puryear said.

The backlash againstthe 12-year-old BDS movement stems from completely understandable bitterness that followed the way the Jewish people were treated innorthern Europe and western Europe inthe 1930s, 1940s and Second World War, Waters said. This justified sentiment, however, has been diverted intoan exceptionalistic extremism that knows no boundaries ofbehavior, the songwriter pointed out.

As it gains strength, BDS is emerging asone ofthe most divisive movements acrossthe global political landscape. In the pastseveral years, some US churches, students and teachers organizations and high-level academics have made pledges todivest fromIsraeli businesses and institutions; onSaturday, the fast-growing Democratic Socialists ofAmerica, a party associated withformer presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, passed a resolution endorsing the movement atits national convention inChicago.

Meanwhile, the bipartisan Israel Anti-Boycott Act introduced intothe US Senate inMarch, would make support forinternational boycotts againstIsrael a felony.

Proponents onboth sides ofthe issue are running forthe garrisons, preparing forpolitical war.

"On the altar ofZionism, they want totear upthe Constitution," Waters said, pointing toFirst Amendment free speech rights that would be "scratched out" if the Israel Anti-Boycott Act becomes law.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is terrified that public discourse will stray too far fromthe status quo ofsupporting Israel almost withoutquestion, Waters noted ofthe powerful Washington lobbyist group. Particularly, AIPAC and its kin are wary ofword getting aroundabout the oppression ofPalestinians inoccupied territories, the artist said. If somebody suggests there might be an alternative narrative, they want them silenced."

On June 5, Waters wrote an open letter toRadiohead toprotest that bands crossing the BDS picket line earlier inthe year toplay a show inTel Aviv. "Today is the 50th anniversary ofthe occupation ofPalestine byIsrael," the bassist and songwriter wrote. "Fifty years living undermilitary occupation, 50 years fora people withno civil rights, 50 years ofno recourse tothe law, 50 years ofapartheid."

The BDS picket line "exists toshine a light onthe predicament ofthe occupied people ofPalestine, both inPalestine and those displaced abroad, and topromote equal civil rights forall the people living betweenthe Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea no matter what their nationality, race or religion," Waters letter reads.

Another prominent pro-Israel lobby inWashington, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) ofGreater Washington, released a video ahead ofWaters shows inWashington overthe weekend, criticizing the musician for using music todivide people.

JCRC executive director Ron Halber called Waters "an embarrassment" duringan interview withthe Washington Post published ina Saturday column. "I advise him tostick tomusic and stop talking aboutthings he knows nothing about," Halber said.

Benjamin Balthaser, a Jew who joined DSA last year, told the Intercept the Israeli government says it represents all Jews inthe world I think its very important forthe Jewish community tosay, 'We dont feel represented byan apartheid government. We dont feel represented bya military occupation.'"

Regarding the intersection ofthe BDS movement and pending legislation that would criminalize the boycott, the legendary musician said, Were arriving ata fundamental crunch point where your civil liberties are being attacked bywhat is essentially an agent ofa foreign government.

Tel Aviv toWaters: Wish you were here.

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