BDS supporting rock star Roger Waters hits back against vicious smears

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
on 81 Comments
Roger Waters spray paints Israel's separation barrier. (Imaga via WagingNonViolence.org)

Roger Waters spray paints Israel’s separation barrier. (Image via WagingNonViolence.org)

Since becoming one of the most prominent faces in favor of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, rock star Roger Waters has come under vicious attack. Now, he’s fighting back.

In an Op-Ed piece published by Salon, Waters, who made his name with Pink Floyd, hits back against supporters of Israel calling him a bigot and anti-Semite.  He writes that given his upbringing–raised by a single mom because his father died fighting the Nazis–he had “no choice” but to speak out for Palestinian rights, given that “the vulnerable Palestinian population still lives under occupation, while…more Palestinians are imprisoned, injured or killed struggling for the right to live in dignity and peace.”

Waters made waves in December when he told activist Frank Barat that Israel engaged in “ethnic cleansing and…systematic racist apartheid.” Citing journalist Max Blumenthal’s book Goliath, he also said that the “right-wing rabbinate” believes “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.”

Those comments sparked a furor. Right-wing Israel advocates have since engaged in a concerted campaign of character assassination to smear him as an anti-Semite. In one of the most unhinged attacks, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach said Waters engages in “blood libels” because he allegedly compares “the Jews of being the Gestapo, the SS, Hitler himself.” Waters has done no such thing. (And Boteach has been silent when prominent Israelis, like Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin or Yosef Lapid, have compared Israeli policies to that of Nazi Germany. In addition, Boteach sat silently as casino magnate Sheldon Adelson called for nuking Iran.)

The Pink Floyd member specifically addresses the furor in the Salon piece:

I do not claim to speak on behalf of the BDS movement, yet, as a vocal supporter, and because of my visibility in the music industry, I have become a natural target for those who wish to attack BDS, not by addressing the merits of its claims but, instead, by assigning hateful and racist motivations to BDS supporters like me. It has even been said, cruelly and wrongly, that I am a Nazi and an anti-Semite.

When I remarked in a recent interview on historical parallels, stating that I would not have played Vichy France or Berlin in World War II, it was not my intention to compare the Israelis to Nazis or the Holocaust to the decades-long oppression of the Palestinians. There is no comparison to the Holocaust.  Nor did I intend or ever wish to compare the suffering of Jews then with the suffering of Palestinians now.  Comparing suffering is a painful, grotesque and diminishing exercise that dishonors the specific memory of all our fallen loved ones.

Waters’ Op-Ed comes a week after he issued an open letter in response to Gerald Ronson, a British tycoon who recently mocked Waters in front of an audience filled with dignitaries and implied he was an anti-Semite for featuring an inflatable pig with a Star of David painted on it during concerts.

And in the U.S., another push to tar Waters with the brush of bigotry came last month, when the New York Post published a nasty swipe at him.

The author of that Post article was Craig Balsam, an indie music label co-owner and a board member of the group Creative Community for Peace (CCFP).  CCFP is the Israel lobby’s answer to grassroots activists calling on entertainment stars to boycott appearing in Israel.  The Post didn’t see fit to disclose that CCFP is, as Phan Nguyen reported for us, “a front for StandWithUs, the notorious right-wing pro-settler organization that works closely with the Israeli Foreign Ministry.”

Balsam’s argument targeting Waters is chock full of holes.  He accuses Waters of “trading in classic anti-Semitic stereotypes,” ignoring Waters’ statement that he has “nothing against Jews or Israelis” and that the “the Holocaust was brutal and disgusting beyond our imagination.”

Balsam’s dismissal of Israel’s record of ethnic cleansing, which he called “false,” is the worst aspect of his attack.  The 1948 Nakba, or catastrophe, is well-documented, and involved the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland–the very definition of ethnic cleansing. And Balsam also claims that Waters was “incorrect” in saying “that some rabbis in Israel believe that Arabs are ‘subhuman’ and exist to serve the Jews.” But in September 2010, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, then the spiritual leader of the Shas party (who recently died), said: “Goyim [non- Jews] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the People of Israel.”  There’s plenty more examples of state-funded Israeli rabbis making racist statements.

Balsam ends his Op-Ed with a call for Waters to face “consequences,” a veiled threat that delivers a message to other music industry stars: don’t criticize Israel.

It’s clear that Waters’ marquee name is an asset to the movement for Palestinian rights, and that pro-Israel attack dogs want to silence Waters to make an example out of him. They’re using every trick in the book to discredit and smear the BDS supporting rock star.

81 Responses

  1. Krauss
    March 18, 2014, 9:33 am

    Waters is too much of an English gentleman in these disputes. He is constantly on the defensive, which is precisely why these tactics persist.

    The problem, of course, is that if he goes on the offensive, as he did late last year, they attack him even more. So it’s a double punishment; no matter what he does they will go after him. Nevertheless, being reckless is a mistake.

    There are shades of this debate to that of the debate over the “Israel lobby” term. Mearsheimer, in particular, was subjected to frenzied smear campaigns for years on end. After 5 years, he endorsed the notorious anti-Semitic book “The Wandering Jew”. I’ve stated repeatedly that I don’t think Mearsheimer is an anti-Semite, but when you are constantly attacked like that you’d have to be a masochist to just lie down and take it. Neither Mearsheimer nor Waters are one.

    But we shouldn’t forget that Mearsheimer won the debate, and so is Waters.
    Today the Israel lobby thesis is mainstream and support for BDS is not quite yet mainstream but it is quickly gaining ground.

    We live in a sick cultural environment where Scarlett Johansson’s embrace of Apartheid is celebrated and rewarded while Waters’ oppositition to systematic racism is attacked and denigrated.

    But what is life worth living for, if not to improve the world, bit by bit, step by step?
    It won’t heal itself, and nobody said it was an easy task.
    Yet it must be done.

    • UpSIDEdown
      March 18, 2014, 3:05 pm

      Perhaps you meant the book ” The Wondering Who” I’ve never heard of the Wondering Jew.

    • thankgodimatheist
      March 19, 2014, 12:45 am

      “he endorsed the notorious anti-Semitic book “The Wandering Jew”.”
      Did you read it, Krauss, or you’re just relying on “notoriety”? BTW, you didn’t even write the title right. And no, personally I didn’t but I find this bit in your comment to be quite indicative of what’s wrong, quite often, with the anti-Semite slander. All you need to do is rely on what other people are saying.

    • kalithea
      March 19, 2014, 12:51 am

      Nevertheless, being reckless is a mistake.

      And Waters was reckless how?

      After 5 years, he endorsed the notorious anti-Semitic book “The Wandering Jew”. I’ve stated repeatedly that I don’t think Mearsheimer is an anti-Semite,

      Oh really? So why’d you mention that he endorsed that book , cause you’ve done this on another thread, you repeated that he endorsed that book. Seems to me you’re accusing him in one sentence and then pretending to absolve him in another. Maybe if you didn’t keep harping on the fact that he endorsed that book you might not have to state repeatedly that you absolve him, cause I for one, don’t believe you.

    • Ecru
      March 20, 2014, 3:12 am

      @ Krauss

      Waters is indeed too much the gentleman here but just OT for a sec, may I remind you that it was English “Gentlemen” who invented the concentration camp, and it was that very famous English “Gentleman” Winston Churchill who said:-

      I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes.

      Waters is fine and a true gent, just lets not forget that sometimes an “English Gentleman” is somebody who’s learned to commit massacres with their pinky sticking out.

      OK sorry to go OT it’s just that phrase bugs me sometimes.

  2. puppies
    March 18, 2014, 9:55 am

    @Krauss – “the notorious anti-Semitic book “The Wandering Jew””
    Solid proof, please.
    You’re quite free with wildly imaginative smears.

    • Keith
      March 18, 2014, 8:22 pm

      PUPPIES- “You’re quite free with wildly imaginative smears.”

      Yes he is, and frankly it bothers me the way some folks feel free to libel others as anti-Semites in so casual a manner. I read “The Wandering Who?” (not “Jew”), and I didn’t find it anti-Semitic at all. I come from the old school where anti-Semite refers to someone who hates Jews because they are Jews, a serious allegation in my opinion. The casual disregard for either definitive evidence or adverse consequences to the allegation indicates a total lack of respect for the person being libeled. A perceived power differential where the accuser behaves as the Lord of the Manner accusing a stable boy of misbehavior, and can’t even conceive that he is acting inappropriately. Perhaps this is a consequence of the cultivated sense of eternal victim-hood justifying entitlement which motivates some folks.

      • thankgodimatheist
        March 19, 2014, 12:49 am

        Thank you, Keith and well said.
        So sick and tired of this BS.

      • puppies
        March 19, 2014, 2:40 am

        @Keith – By the way, this is not the first time. He also attacked a critic of “Holocaust(TM) marketing as “Holocaust denier”, all posts inviting him to present rigid evidence were promptly disappeared. This time I’m afraid we’ll have to insist.

      • puppies
        March 21, 2014, 11:26 pm

        @Keith – Looks once more like a hit-and-run by now.

      • Citizen
        March 19, 2014, 6:46 am

        @ Keith
        I agree with you. I’ve also read The Wandering Who? and do not find it notoriously anti-Semitic. I find it cavalier to blithely slur it as such.

  3. eljay
    March 18, 2014, 10:00 am

    Hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists advocate for and/or defend:
    – Jewish supremacism;
    – Jewish colonialism (including theft of land and resources);
    – Jewish terrorism;
    – Jewish ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population of Palestine from their homes and lands;
    – the establishment of a supremacist “Jewish State”; and
    – abrogation of the “Jewish State’s” obligations under international law.

    Waters advocates for justice, equality and accountability.

    And hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists attack him for it, and hate him for it.

  4. amigo
    March 18, 2014, 10:05 am

    Might I suggest a new version of “Do they know it,s Christmas time at all” and Free the World”

    Ie, “Free the Palestinians or Do they know it,s Apartheid, at all.

    So Roger , call your fellow musicians and cut a CD. Bono and co made millions for their efforts.

    BDS could use the money and Israel will hate the publicity.

  5. Woody Tanaka
    March 18, 2014, 10:36 am

    I think that the only misstep in Waters remarks is the line, “There is no comparison to the Holocaust.” This is a false concession. There IS a comparison to the Holocaust. There may be no equivalence made with the Holocaust, but there are many comparisons to the Holocaust. Most importantly the core one: both the Holocaust and the Nakba prove that only evil results when a government permits one ethnic, racial or religious group to prosper at the expense of another and that only evil results when a state or people are permitted to decide that certain individuals have no rights which that state or people need to respect.

    • Citizen
      March 19, 2014, 6:59 am

      @ Woody Tanaka
      I agree, it’s a false concession. Waters misstep is similar to the analogy of Israel to apartheid S Africa. This is an either/or framing trick to stifle analytical debate. True, Israel is not just like Nazi Germany, and true, Israel is not just like apartheid S Africa. And true, the Nakba is not just like Holocaust. There are no historical analogies that are “on all fours” as the adage goes. OTOH, in all these comparisons, to use another adage, “Sometimes the shoe fits.”

  6. American
    March 18, 2014, 10:42 am

    All anyone should say to the I-Scum is …’you’re the occupiers, you’re the liars, you’re the cowardly assassins, you’re afraid me because I tell the truth, so bring it on cause I’m not stopping”.
    Enough of this defensive reaction to this scum.

  7. pabelmont
    March 18, 2014, 11:16 am

    Shall Israeli rabbis be protected when they make vicious anti-gentile statements, but others (as Waters) be attacked when they point to those vicious anti-gentile statements?

    Is it to be the new rule that it will be called antisemitic (by the self-appointed antisemite police) to publicize unpleasant (or inconvenient) truths about notable Israeli Jews which are well known in Israel? But not antisemitic to be the speaker who spoke the horrid anti-gentile statements in Israel?

    In other words, gentiles gotta watch their mouths but notable Israelis can mouth off to their heart’s content? And when gentiles attack or defame Jews, we are to be reminded that no-one listened when Hitler said * * *) but when Israeli rabbis attack or defame gentiles, we are NOT to be reminded about no-one listening? (And this at a time when Israelis are killing and foot-shooting Palestinians daily?)

    • JeffB
      March 18, 2014, 11:59 am

      @pabelmont

      In other words, gentiles gotta watch their mouths but notable Israelis can mouth off to their heart’s content?

      Yes. I work right now for an Indian company. I can freely make Jewish jokes. I can freely say unabashedly critical things about American politics or culture. I can make negative comments about the West. Because in the end they know where my loyalties lie. If I want to be critical about anything Indian or Hindu I have to be guarded, charitable and respectful. I have to and should always err on the side of being understanding of their positions. Insiders have different status that outsiders do with these sorts of issues.

      Waters isn’t Jewish. His deciding to become a spokesperson for an anti-Jewish cause is problematic in a way that it isn’t for Phil or Adam or Hostage. Water’s completely unbalanced attacks on European leaders including Margaret Thatcher in decades past were not subject to special scrutiny because of his insider status. When he goes after Israel / Jews every comment he makes is going to subject to factual scrutiny. Its going to be subject to scrutiny on balance and completeness. And when he fails those tests and refuses to retract he’s going to face social pressure. He’s going to be held to a very high bar.

      And he should be held to that high bar. I’m thrilled that in today’s House of Representatives that no Congressmen would get up and freely profess how disgusting he finds the idea of “using a toilette that a nigger had just used”. I’m glad this sort of dialogue is unthinkable. I’m thrilled that no Senator would talk about how you can’t possibly ask white soldiers to shower with negros. I’m thrilled that its been decades since an MP has freely talked about the wogs and their disgusting personal habits on the floor of parliament. I’m thrilled that students at colleges today can’t even believe that most of the better colleges had quotas to keep the number of Jewish students down during their grandparent’s days at college.

      Those are huge accomplishment. And they took the application of social pressure. And heck yeah, I don’t think Roger Waters should be allowed to undermine those accomplishment because he disagrees with Israeli policy. That’s not to say he can’t disagree with Israeli policy but just like when I disagree with Indian policy the correct approach is respectful, charitable and guarded.

      • Talkback
        March 18, 2014, 2:53 pm

        His deciding to become a spokesperson for an anti-Jewish cause …

        Supporting the rights of Nonjews is by default anti-Jewish, right? Oh, how I just love your deep rooted supremacist attitude.

      • justicewillprevail
        March 18, 2014, 3:06 pm

        Yes, what a stupid remark. Almost as bad as the attempt to hide behind American social progress, as if that was not an explicit contrast to Israeli segregation and apartheid. Shame that Israel doesn’t adopt the same values. And it is obvious Jeffy doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about when he refers to ‘unbalanced’ attacks on Thatcher. good grief, he really doesn’t know anything about Europe, or indeed Roger Waters. But never mind, he can write at length about irrelevant and misleading analogies.

      • Citizen
        March 19, 2014, 7:10 am

        @ Talkback
        Yep. Slips right into the equation of criticism of the nuclear state of Israel’s policies and conduct is ipso facto anti-Jewish. But JeffB’s take here is pretty puny compared to reading The Full-On Dersh: link to jpost.com

      • Ellen
        March 18, 2014, 5:01 pm

        JefffB, can you verify with reliable sources that “…that most of the better colleges had quotas to keep the number of Jewish students down during their grandparent’s days at college. ”

        Not repeated hearsay, but real supportive verification?

      • JeffB
        March 18, 2014, 7:33 pm

        @Ellen —

        The Half-Opened Door: Discrimination and Admissions at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, 1900-1970
        Marcia Graham Synnott

        Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution, Volume 1 edited by Richard S. Levy
        Numurus Clausus entry

        The Jewish Problem in U.S. Medical Education, 1920-1955
        Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
        Volume 56, Number 2, April 2001 pp. 140-167 |

        etc…

      • Citizen
        March 19, 2014, 7:14 am

        @ Ellen
        These days in ivy league colleges, the heavy disproportion of Jewish students compared to US student demographics suggests a reverse de facto quota.

      • Citizen
        March 19, 2014, 7:29 am

        Considering the US Jewish population is, what–2-3%? This article has some numbers on the percentage of Jewish students in some ivy league schools: link to dailyprincetonian.com

        Most of the articles that come up on google talk about the notion oriental Americans are the “new Jews” facing de facto discrimination in top US colleges. Other studies point out that the most underrepresented in the student body of current high ranked colleges in terms of their numbers in the US population are white kids with low to moderate income family backgrounds, especially males.

      • David Samel
        March 18, 2014, 5:26 pm

        What a whole lot of horseshit, JeffB. Your feelings about ethnic jokes in your workplace don’t even rise to normal levels of irrelevance. Roger Waters has as much right to criticize Israel as I do, and we both have the same right to criticize apartheid South Africa or Nazi Germany, even though neither of us is an SA or German citizen. Or black.

        Wait. I’m Jewish and Waters is not, so in your view, do I get more license to criticize Nazi Germany? What about Palestinians? Can they go further than Waters or myself in criticizing Israel? Or are they equal to me, a Jew, but both of us are ahead of Waters? For that matter, who the hell are any of us non-Ukrainians and non-Russians to criticize Putin or the current Ukrainian interim government? Anyone critical of the way Malaysia is handling the missing plane mystery? Better make sure you’re Malaysian!

        Jeff, you write in complete sentences and comply with the rules of grammar, but do you think about what you write before you post it?

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 18, 2014, 5:34 pm

        “And heck yeah, I don’t think Roger Waters should be allowed to undermine those accomplishment because he disagrees with Israeli policy.”

        You’re out of your mind. Nothing Roger Waters says about the crimes of the zionists can undermine the reduction in bigotry in the West. For love of Pete, he’s trying to extend that reduction in bigotry to the anti-Palestinian bigotry that exists RIGHT NOW in israel.

        Don’t forget, less than six months ago, the israelis threw the largest funeral in its history when that bigot, Ovadia Yosef, dropped dead. Yet Yosef made comments as disgusting or more disgusting than the statements about African Americans that you are “thrilled” aren’t said by the Congresscritters. And they gave him the largest funeral in the state’s history. That’s the kind of racist nonsense Roger Waters is fighting against.

        “That’s not to say he can’t disagree with Israeli policy but just like when I disagree with Indian policy the correct approach is respectful, charitable and guarded.”

        LMAO. So when Hitler arose, the Jews should have been “respectful, charitable and guarded”?? Because, you know, they were non-German outsiders.

        “That’s not to say he can’t disagree with Israeli policy but just like when I disagree with Indian policy the correct approach is respectful, charitable and guarded.”

        This makes no sense. You said yourself that your employers are Indians. Do you think that the israelis are Roger Waters’ employer?

      • Ecru
        March 18, 2014, 6:04 pm

        @ Jeff B is for Barmy Bigot.

        Waters isn’t Jewish. His deciding to become a spokesperson for an anti-Jewish cause

        Not even a nice try because it’s obvious to EVERYONE (including his fundamentally dishonest detractors) that he is doing no such thing. He’s only a spokesman for himself in an anti-Zionist cause. Anti-Zionist does not equate to anti-Jewish no matter how attractive that smear may be to morally bankrupt “people” such as yourself.

        And as for the “logic” of what you’ve stated about who can criticise and how :-

        “That’s not to say he can’t disagree with Nazi German policy but just like when I disagree with Indian policy the correct approach is respectful, charitable and guarded.”

        Yeah. Not really.

      • thankgodimatheist
        March 19, 2014, 1:04 am

        “an anti-Jewish cause”
        Yesterday it was the grotesque Mayhem and today grotesque you! Keep playing this card trick no one has noticed the sleight of hand..As hophmi says, LOL..What a bunch of vomit inducing small men.

      • kalithea
        March 19, 2014, 1:11 am

        “And heck yeah, I don’t think Roger Waters should be allowed to undermine those accomplishment because he disagrees with Israeli policy.”

        What a liar. He never undermined any of that, and I for one will never be guarded about the TRUTH that you happen to find so inconvenient! Tough, suck it up. Hey you know what? I’m not Palestinian or Indian; and I don’t have to walk on eggshells to please you Zionists! What you’re comrades are doing in Israel to the Palestinians is pure evil.

      • Qualtrough
        March 19, 2014, 4:21 am

        How in the world does your analogy apply to Waters? I am pretty sure he doesn’t work for an Israeli company, and he sure as heck isn’t Israeli, so how is his right to speak out constrained in the same way yours is at the Indian company you work for?? “Respectful, charitable and guarded” is transparent code for “No serious criticism if you are not Jewish!” Doesn’t work that way anymore, if it ever did.

      • JeffB
        March 20, 2014, 1:49 pm

        @Qualtrough

        How in the world does your analogy apply to Waters? I am pretty sure he doesn’t work for an Israeli company, and he sure as heck isn’t Israeli, so how is his right to speak out constrained in the same way yours is at the Indian company you work for??

        If you read the context Waters was concerned about beginning to be publicly seen in a negative light. In political terms high disapproval numbers. People disapprove of racial hate speech. Water’s is being critical of Israel in a way that is unnecessarily rude.

        “No serious criticism if you are not Jewish!” Doesn’t work that way anymore, if it ever did.

        I didn’t say that. A better version would be “no unbalanced unhinged counter factual criticism mixed with an obvious emotional distaste unless you are Jewish”. And we’ll see how well it works or doesn’t work. France and Norway last decade had an anti-israeli movement which was quite strident. Those populations have become substantially more pro-Israel as has their foreign and economic policy towards Israel. So as far as I’m concerned it does still work that way.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 22, 2014, 6:30 pm

        Water’s is being critical of Israel in a way that is …. rude.

        lol, as if israeli apartheid deserve…. politeness.

      • eljay
        March 22, 2014, 7:14 pm

        >> Water’s [sic] is being critical of Israel in a way that is unnecessarily rude.

        And Israel is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”:
        – a state born of terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands;
        – a state engaged in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
        – a state that refuses to honour its obligations under international law; and
        – a state that refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

        But to a Zio-supremacist, decades worth of unjust and immoral actions committed by their supremacist state pale by comparison to one man’s “unnecessary rudeness”. Amazing.

  8. Kathleen
    March 18, 2014, 11:48 am

    Thanks Alex. Used to go to Salon all of the time. After Glenn Greenwald left not so much. Having a hard time getting a comment up over there. Waters going for the long haul

  9. Jake
    March 18, 2014, 12:08 pm

    Seems to me a 70 year old super rich rock star has a very powerful position. I think they will have a hard time discrediting him with any more than their own core group. He has nothing to lose and a lot of well-earned respect from many many people young and old. So like Vanessa Redgrave, he’s a great spokesperson for BDS and the Palestinian cause.

    • JeffB
      March 19, 2014, 10:30 am

      @Jake

      Ask Mel Gibson if he can’t be discredited. Artists are not natural politicians. Subjected to the scrutiny and pressure of politics for years they don’t hold up well.

      Most causes that artists get involved in are one sided. There is no pro hunger lobby, there is no-one opposed to providing resources for schools, there are no pro-cancer supporters. Even when artists get involved in causes with two sides they rarely pick issues where is passionate popular opposition. So for example they might attack drilling and the oil company is on the other side, but the oil companies don’t have widespread popular influence they have financial influence.

      Israel / Palestine is not like most causes that artists get involved in. The really are two sides. People like to talk about the Israel lobby as if it were astroturf rather than a typically lobby reflecting a large genuine base of support. But that’s not true and once people get involved they soon find that they support for Israel is large, widely dispersed and quite passionate. Roger Waters for the first time in his life is going to experience what having millions of people actively dislike him is like. He’s not a politician he’s not used to having a non-trivial disapproval number. Having editorials written against him. Being used in a negative way in a fund raising letter. Having an anti-Rogers speech made at a dinner. Those are things that politicians are used to, but rock stars are not used to. That’s already happened and it is likely new for him. I’ve never been on the receiving end of that sort of widespread public criticism but I can’t imagine it is anything but miserable.

      Alexander Alekhine many consider the best chess player who ever lived. In addition to a world championship he accomplished amazing feats of mental prowess like playing 100 blindfolded simultaneous games of chess and winning all but a few. My Best Games of Chess 1908–1937 is still read today and was consider far and away the best expert’s chess learning book in his lifetime. Yet he certainly was crushed by the public criticism that came after the war for his Pariser Zeitung letters about the inferiority of the Jewish mind as demonstrated by their chess.

      Martin Heidegger could arguably be the best philosopher of the 20th century. No one ever questioned his genius or influence. Yet the criticism of his support for National Socialism hurt deeply and he spent well over a decade trying to fix his reputation.

      A kay part of the argument for BDS is that delegitimization is an effective means to change behavior even in the absence of force. Either you believe that or you don’t. The fact that Roger Waters was upset by Gerald Ronson means that he isn’t a narcissist immune to criticism.

  10. seafoid
    March 18, 2014, 12:40 pm

    I think it’s dangerous for the bots to go heavy on the anti-Semitism slur these days.
    Israel is deeply wrong and backing up its actions with a defence that has nothing to do with ethnocratic nonsense and that will be needed to protect Jews in the future is really skating on thin ice.

    I wouldn’t have Boteach managing paperclips in my company. He is so out of his depth with this trope- it’s not funny.

    • JeffB
      March 18, 2014, 2:13 pm

      @seafold

      think it’s dangerous for the bots to go heavy on the anti-Semitism slur these days. Israel is deeply wrong and backing up its actions with a defence that has nothing to do with ethnocratic nonsense and that will be needed to protect Jews in the future

      Jews made their choice after 1967. They are all-in on Israel, Israel is Judaism’s last stand. Jews aren’t holding anything back for a plan-B. They have collectively as a people decided there is nothing else to protect more important than Israel. If Israel dies, Judaism dies. Jews know this, they understand this.

      I can’t for the life of me think of what would be worth protecting in Judaism if Israel were to fall. Why have a religion based on a failed god who betrayed his people so often?

      • Talkback
        March 18, 2014, 2:55 pm

        If Israel dies, Judaism dies.

        Because before Israel became alive, Judaism wasn’t alive, right?

        Your pseudo arguments are insane.

      • Ecru
        March 20, 2014, 3:20 am

        @ Talkback

        You wrote in response to JeffB

        Your pseudo arguments are insane.

        May I offer a small refinement to that response, still aimed at JeffB?

        You’re insane

      • seafoid
        March 18, 2014, 3:03 pm

        ” They are all-in on Israel, Israel is Judaism’s last stand.”

        And on the following Monday ?

        “I can’t for the life of me think of what would be worth protecting in Judaism if Israel were to fall”

        link to haaretz.com

        “How will the Jews of the world react once it becomes clear to them beyond any shadow of a doubt that Israel is on a collision course with their very existential interests? The various expressions of fanaticism in Israel, such as the exclusion of women in the military and, in a short while, in institutions of higher learning; the denial of equal rights to its non-Jewish citizens and the division of the population according to ethnic origin can all ultimately be considered as subversive actions undermining the status of Diaspora Jews in their various countries of residence.”

        link to ft.com

        “I am not a religious Jew, my family were not religious Jews. But I feel that I am a representation of the Jewish spirit, whatever that might be. To me, it is honesty, rectitude, intellectual achievement.”

      • eljay
        March 18, 2014, 3:39 pm

        >> JeffB @ March 18, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        Wow, with that post you’ve careened from hateful to just plain nuts!

      • thankgodimatheist
        March 19, 2014, 1:16 am

        “Wow, with that post you’ve careened from hateful to just plain nuts!”
        My hunch is that he’s very close to be out of the door pretty soon. A threshold for insanity has been reached.

      • talknic
        March 18, 2014, 4:48 pm

        JeffB “Israel is Judaism’s last stand. …. If Israel dies, Judaism dies. Jews know this, they understand this”

        My guess is you’re not Jewish and haven’t a clue what you’re babbling about

      • seafoid
        March 18, 2014, 5:34 pm

        Jeff is probably from Gaza . Or Giza.
        Has to be a parody.

      • chuckcarlos
        March 18, 2014, 9:25 pm

        got the G right…but more probably the
        Ginza District as a window dresser…or more likely a Geisha House…

        boy this place is good for a few laughs now and again

      • chuckcarlos
        March 18, 2014, 4:50 pm

        take it you also believe in the tooth fairy and easter bunny?

        if this is not a joke, then where in the blue blazes do you find cases like this?

        Thought people here had read some, like Shlomo Sand

        but then again, maybe I was wrong

      • Ecru
        March 18, 2014, 6:08 pm

        @ Jeff B is for Barmy Bigot

        Israel is Judaism’s last stand.

        If that’s the case (and increasingly it isn’t) then they’re doomed.

        Why have a religion based on a failed god who betrayed his people so often?

        Are you even Jewish? Because even a cursory reading shows that Yahweh didn’t “betray his people” he “punished” them for repeated infractions.

      • talknic
        March 18, 2014, 9:48 pm

        Ecru
        Figments of the imagination neither betray or punish or reward or give big chunks of land. Nor do they show up for things like the Holocaust

      • Ecru
        March 19, 2014, 12:49 am

        @ talknic

        True and thanks for pointing that out but, just so you know, I was only trying to keep to the mythology.

      • kalithea
        March 19, 2014, 2:14 am

        He’s already admitted on another thread that he’s atheist and that it’s better to hang on to what Zionism has to offer (regardless of the people it hurts, he doesn’t seem to give a shet about them!).

      • kalithea
        March 19, 2014, 1:39 am

        If Israel dies, Judaism dies. [...] Why have a religion based on a failed god who betrayed his people so often?

        Wo a minute! How can you say the survival of Judaism is dependent on Israel when later you imply it’s already dead because a failed god betrayed his people so often? So then you’re using Judaism even though you’re an atheist to justify the existance of Israel? But then again you’re really saying that Israel, i.e. Zionism, is all Jews have left because God has betrayed them so often. So once again you’re saying that Zionism is the only religion Jews can have faith in?

        I know you believe this because you’ve already admitted this before and stated you’re an atheist. Do you believe then in calling Israel, the Jewish State? Of course you do, but only because it’s so convenient to Zionism, right? You’re bitter because God betrayed the Jews, so why not let them have their Apartheid as consolation for God’s repeated betrayal.

        Israel, or should I say Zionism, is going to betray the Jews who embrace it, and personally, I can’t wait! Whether you’re an atheist or not, you admit that “god” betrayed the Jews, so you more than anyone should know- God always wins; Zionism was the trap and it’s not God’s doing; it’s the evil that Zionism creates that will undo the Jews.

      • Qualtrough
        March 19, 2014, 4:28 am

        You might want to rethink that, as ‘Last Stands’ seldom work out well for those making the last stand. Not that you would ever do that, because I suspect in your mind a last stand would be the fulfillment of some prophecy, i.e. not a bug but a feature. Your doomsday schtick is quite frightening to normal people.

      • puppies
        March 19, 2014, 7:17 am

        @Jeff G- “Jews made their choice after 1967. They are all-in on Israel, Israel is Judaism’s last stand. Jews aren’t holding anything back for a plan-B. They have collectively as a people decided there is nothing else to protect more important than Israel.”

        Now this is some heavy antisemitism, Ladies and Gentlemen.
        It’s not on a statistical basis. The whole biologic group of Jews, no matter the religious observance and individual stand, stands convicted of unspeakable crimes against humanity. No camouflage, as usual with Jeff G.
        Giving the whole shop away, as usual (and, as usual, giving the lie to Phil’s “moderating” policies.)

  11. chuckcarlos
    March 18, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Waters has stated somewhere, and paraphrased…he can not be in the art scene and do the stuff he does and not be criticized, condemned and all the other stuff…

    he’s a big boy and can take on just about anybody…because he can get all the big boys and girls to play and sing with him he scares the shit out of the rabid fascist racists zionists…and he’s basically untouchable…got his money, got his fame, got his art, got his place in music…

    just keep publishing photos of Palestine and printing the News…things are working out…

    The Israelis have just dug their own graves for the what they have sown they shall indeed reap…

    Do not go near Israel for all the Tea in China…

  12. Rusty Pipes
    March 18, 2014, 2:05 pm

    “I’m old, I’m rich and they can’t touch me” was Paul O’Neill’s reply about neocon intimidation tactics when he left the Bush administration. Younger Republicans or civil servants who looked forward to a career in Washington could not afford to speak out. Jimmy Carter, old and rich, has been able to write about Israel and Apartheid, where younger politicians would have had their careers abruptly ended. Roger Waters, old and rich, supports the PACBI boycott of Israel , where younger performers are afraid to support Palestinian rights or make the slightest criticism of Israel. The more rich, retired or tenured people who risk being personally smeared to support human rights, the more possible it becomes for others to speak out without losing their jobs.

  13. Erasmus
    March 18, 2014, 3:04 pm

    Another Quote by Mahatma Ghandi from 1938

    Article written in his own journal, Harijan, of 26 November 1938 which labeled the situation in Palestine “A crime against Humanity”:

    It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct … Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home

    — See Homer A Jack (editor), The Gandhi Reader: a source book of his life and writings, By Mahatma Gandhi, Grove Press, 1994, page 218

    Acknowledgement: This quote has been first mentioned here by “Hostage”, March 2013

  14. broadside
    March 18, 2014, 5:03 pm

    Would love to hear from Mr. Gilmour over this. Something along the lines of, “God knows Rog and I have had our differences over the years, but on this I support him one hundred percent absolutely.”

  15. giladg
    March 18, 2014, 6:03 pm

    One needs to have lived in Britain, gone to school, played sports and frequented the pubs to understand just how institutionalized antisemitism is in British society. A visit to Hyde Park Speakers Corner on a regular Sunday can be a wake up call for all those who believe that the world is somehow partial in its approach to the Israel/Palestine conflict. It is astounding how the likes of Waters, and many others, who is so willing to separate the Palestinians from their Arab brothers and from a history in the region that does not show up the Arabs in a positive light. The reality is that it is a Muslim/Israeli conflict and the Palestinians are as guilty as anyone else. Water and Co. are not interested in ever expecting the Palestinians to take any responsibility for their own predicament.

    • justicewillprevail
      March 18, 2014, 9:26 pm

      This is unmitigated rubbish. Speakers Corner? No doubt you go to Buckingham Palace for tea too, where you will be able to form another astonishing insight into the people of the UK. PS, it is not a Muslim/Israeli conflict, this is utter nonsense. Did a bobby in a red telephone box tell you that?

      • giladg
        March 19, 2014, 1:35 am

        I guess you are English “justicewillprevail” and by your level of passion, it sounds like the system did the job on you. I hope my comments brought some discomfort to you as you realize who and what you are. Been to Speaker Corner recently/ever? Do you get as passionate about any other cause in other places of the world? If not, then find the closest mirror and take a hard, hard look as the Palestinians, with all they have done, are not deserving of the type of support you show them. The Palestinians enjoy support from the liberal secular left around the world and it does not suit the agenda when religion is discussed. Strange bedfellows the left and the Islamic front against Israel make.

    • thankgodimatheist
      March 19, 2014, 1:53 am

      “The reality is that it is a Muslim/Israeli conflict ”
      The nutters and the insane are out in force today. What do you make of the Palestinian Christians resistance then, giladg?

      • thankgodimatheist
        March 19, 2014, 6:02 am

        If indeed it was a “Muslim/Israeli” conflict then how do you explain the fact that most of the historical Palestinian leaders are Christians? You surely have heard of George Habash, Nayef Hawatmeh, Wadie Haddad, Kamal Nasser (assassinated), Monseigeur Capucci, Archbishop Attallah, Emile Habibi, A’zmi Bishara and others from the Christian community in historic Palestine. Not to forget those who are/were part and parcel of the struggle and resistance inside and outside of their homeland. Hanan Ashrawi, the late Edward Said, Rim Banna, Huwaida Arraf, the whole of the Makhoul family and Raymonda Tawil . This is but the tip of the iceberg.
        You keep talking through the wrong orifice and pushing fecal matter as facts when the reality on the ground totally contradicts your quasi-autistic approach to this issue. The clueless that you are reminds me of those other once clueless British officials who upon receiving mandate over Palestine from the League of Nations “were surprised to discover so many Christian leaders in the Palestinian Arab political movements. The British authorities in the Mandate of Palestine had difficulty understanding the commitment of the Palestinian Christians to Palestinian nationalism.” But at least they changed views upon seeing evidence something you’re incapable of.
        link to en.wikipedia.org
        What, also, do you make of Sabeel, The Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, a Christian organisation? Of Kairos Palestine, another prominent Christian resistance organisation? What of the HCEF (The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation)?
        Look, dunce! Whatever happened to you at birth, start looking for help you’d be surprised what they can cure nowadays.

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 19, 2014, 9:49 am

      Yawn. Yet another example of the false “antisemitism” slander. Yawn. Yet another racist depiction of Arabs because the zionist can’t own up to his crimes. Yawn.

    • libra
      March 21, 2014, 5:25 pm

      giladg: One needs to have lived in Britain, gone to school, played sports…

      So that’s where your inferiority complex comes from. Good thing you can take it out on the Palestinians to gain a little self-respect. Though, of course, even they would beat you at sport.

  16. Justpassingby
    March 18, 2014, 6:25 pm

    Rogers is great but beginning every defensive article with “iam no antisemite” etc is just to give credit to the lobby/the accusers. Why? Because Rogers isnt, so why even drag the topic up?!

    • kalithea
      March 19, 2014, 1:45 am

      That’s why I can’t stand EXCEPTIONALISM; it’s a threat to freedom.

    • Qualtrough
      March 19, 2014, 4:35 am

      The answer to that charge should always be along the lines of, “If supporting the Palestinians against Israeli repression (or any formulation along those lines) is anti-semitic, then yes, I am an anti-semite. What of it?

  17. chuckcarlos
    March 18, 2014, 9:33 pm

    the zionist bozos really picked on the wrong guy this time…

    it’s like denigrating Ike, FDR or General Marshall…
    this guy had some big talent surrounded by Gilmour and Wright

    this guy is an epitome of a whole space in time…

    it’s like when that idiot coward DeMille wanted to black list a writer/director who was also Jewish…John Ford (LT Commander at Battle of Midway) stood up and told that phony coward DeMille to shove it where the sun don’t shine…and they all walked out on Demille

    • Annie Robbins
      March 18, 2014, 11:51 pm

      chuckcarlos, rand paul quoted waters/pink floyd lyrics (7:58) during his (awesome riff on habeas corpus) speech at the CPAC, crowd loved it! lots of chatter about it on twitter.

      “Did They Get You To Trade Your Heroes For Ghosts?”

      hot, very hot

  18. DICKERSON3870
    March 18, 2014, 11:25 pm

    RE: “Since becoming one of the most prominent faces in favor of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, rock star Roger Waters has come under vicious attack.” ~ Kane

    MY COMMENT: Supporters of Likudnik Israel will do virtually anything to ward off cognitive dissonance!

  19. DaBakr
    March 18, 2014, 11:41 pm

    finally starting to understand the notion of ‘cult’ ascribed by some to the supporters of bds. they attack like a cult. they ascribe everything that is lodged against them right back at their critics (sort of like Pee-wee Herman did when he would cry “your glue and I’m rubber…..yeah, that is the emotional level of discourse) so what else to do but post yet another intellectuals observation about what the bds movement is all about but rarely discussed on American campus:
    from the LARB (LA Review of Books):
    The goal of the boycott movement is not peace: it is the elimination of the State of Israel. This is the logical implication of all its arguments. Its supporters refrain from spelling out this endgame in order to avoid scaring off moderates who would reject the eliminationist agenda, but the end of Israeli sovereignty altogether is the clear purpose of the movement. It will fail in this pursuit, and Israel will survive, but the radicalism of the boycott movement is succeeding in poisoning debate on the Middle East.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 19, 2014, 12:24 am

      you wanna read about logical implication of all its arguments. from LARB (LA Review of Books):

      suck on this, March 16th, 2014: link to lareviewofbooks.org

      Structural Violence on Trial: BDS and the Movement to Resist Erasure by Noura Erakat

      In this video of the takeover, Umm Al Kurd musters all the energy her aged body and spirit have to scream for the men to “get out!” She tugs on the shirts of the settler men who see her as an insignificant obstruction, a puddle to step over in order to reach her door’s front steps, where they will plant themselves and expand Israel’s exclusionary jurisdiction. Umm Al Kurd’s male relatives hold her to make sure she does not fall as she commands the settlers to leave with futility. The Palestinian men dare not intervene themselves because should they do so much as touch the settlers, the Israeli state — which deems them as trespassers in their own homes — will criminally prosecute them. There is no police force to protect Umm Al Kurd; there is no state that recognizes her claims; there is no law on which to depend, or morality that will prevail.

      In all of the uproar since the American Studies Association’s (ASA) endorsement of the academic boycott, not a single article has been written about the thousands of Palestinians like Umm Al Kurd. Mainstream media outlets, since long before the boycott resolution, have failed to record this grotesque condition of displacement and dispossession — endemic features of Palestinian life. Western audiences only hear about or see Palestinians during intermittent episodes of kinetic violence, while on a daily basis Palestinians endure structural violence that threatens their lives, families, and livelihoods. The erasure of this violence, and of Palestinian subjectivity more broadly, has had a profound and devastating impact.

      i highly recommend the entire article, because what you got is twisted hasbrat “implication” and what we got is FACTS and TRUTHS. lots and lots of truths. you got hella nerve whining about the elimination of the State when you’re actively supporting a state which is eliminating palestine inch by inch.

      hypocrite! : they ascribe everything that is lodged against them right back at their critics

      you mean like claiming jews were going to get pushed into the sea while jewish militias were pushing palestinians, fleeing by boat from acre, haifa, yaffa? you represent the de jure of narrative theft, or have you not encountered the pathetic claim jewish settlers living on stolen palestinian land will be ‘ethnically cleansed’ from the west bank? everything that is lodged against you, you shove right back, that’s the hasbara specialty! you don’t think we know that? we’ve already heard it time and again like the ‘land with no people’ lie.

      you represent the queens of subterfuge. massive massive #HasbaraFAIL.

      • ritzl
        March 19, 2014, 1:14 am

        Thanks Annie. Erekat’s contrast between unreported structural violence v. hyped kinetic violence is particularly compelling, and useful. The Hasbara[ts] ALWAYS leaves out the structural violence precursor.

      • ritzl
        March 19, 2014, 8:10 am

        Oops, shb Erakat.

      • kalithea
        March 19, 2014, 2:02 am

        bravo!bravo! I’m speechless-well done!

    • Ecru
      March 19, 2014, 12:55 am

      @ DeBakr

      “…they attack like a cult. they ascribe everything that is lodged against them right back at their critics…”

      It would appear that whilst Americans have learned to do irony Zionists have yet to master it because that gave me such a laugh.

      In attempting to smear advocates of BDS you have alas (and hilariously btw) only proved your statement true………but in regards not to your target but to the philosophy you defend.

      Well done.

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 19, 2014, 10:04 am

      “yet another intellectuals observation ”

      Russell Berman?? An “intellectual”??? LMAO.

  20. kalithea
    March 19, 2014, 2:24 am

    Here’s my advice to Roger Waters: Quit apologizing; you’re the good guy! Zionists are cheering at your defensiveness; they revel in knowing their poor-us-poor-we-everyone-hates-us pity card is working! Do what I do – don’t give them even one iota of pity or satisfaction. When Zionists smell a hint of weakness they attack like vultures. They’re not satisfied unless you grovel at their feet.

    He’s just too nice. Luv this guy.

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