Outspoken Pink Floyd rocker Roger Waters has called for musicians to boycott Israel while the nation operates on a "two-tiered racist system".
The singer/bassist is planning to place an opinion piece about the ongoing problems in the Middle East in either the New York Times or Britain's The Guardian newspapers, but he has pre-empted that by speaking to TV news network Al Jazeera.
Waters reveals his op-ed piece will encourage his musical peers to join a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel.
Waters has specifically been criticised for an animation of aeroplanes dropping Star of David shaped bombs that turn into dollar signs shown on video screens during the track “Goodbye Blue Sky”.
While Waters maintains that the image was a criticism on Israel's West Bank security fence, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman believes that “[their] meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money” and that the sequence “[crosses] the line into anti-Semitism”. The video also depicts a number of other corporate and religious symbols alongside the Star of David.
The US leg of Waters’s Wall tour continues into December 2010. The European run is from March to June 2011. Waters has yet to comment on whether or not he will make changes to the “Goodbye Blue Sky” video in wake of the criticism.more
He says, "I'm against Israel for exactly the same reasons that I was against South Africa: it's a two-tiered racist system. They (Israelis) have pass books (and) they have to carry identity cards that say whether they're a Jew or an Arab. It's insane.
"(I'm) calling on my fellow musicians and artists to join the BDS campaign against Israel. I've finally decided to put my head above the parapet. Enough is enough.
"They (Israeli officials) pay lip service to the idea that they want to make peace with the Palestinians and there's lots of talk around the possibility of a two-state solution. But, in the meantime, they're throwing people out of their homes in the Negev and East Jerusalem and they're annexing huge parts of the West Bank... They're quietly getting on with taking over the whole of the land. And what happens then to the Palestinians?"
It's not the first time Waters has spoken out against Israel - last year, he upset Jewish groups with an offensive video, played on a big screen behind him during his The Wall concerts.
He explained the video segment, which juxtaposed the Star of David (on Israel's flag) and dollar signs, was his stance on the conflict between Palestinians and Jews but he insisted he wasn't trying to start trouble.more