‘Voice of boycott’ was heard in Montgomery and South Africa, why not Israel? Roger Waters writes in ‘NYT’

US Politics
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The New York Times is letting a little light shine on the boycott Israel campaign with an op-ed it published by Roger Waters two days ago, titled, “Congress Shouldn’t Silence Human Rights Advocates,” just ahead of his concerts in Brooklyn.

The piece is an open endorsement of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) aimed at Israel. Waters makes the argument we have frequently sought to make here, that progressives routinely use the boycott tool, including against North Carolina over the so-called bathroom bill.

Criminalizing boycotts is un-American and anti-democratic. Boycotts have always been accepted as a legitimate form of nonviolent protest in the United States. In 1955 and 1956, a bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., incited by the protest of Rosa Parks and others, became one of the foremost civil rights struggles against segregation in the South.

More recently, the National Collegiate Athletic Association refused to hold championship events in North Carolina after state legislators there passed a law that curbed legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and set discriminatory rules regarding transgender bathroom use in public buildings. Numerous artists, including Bruce Springsteen, refused to perform in the state; major corporations canceled investments in North Carolina. The voice of boycott in support of civil rights was heard and the bill was repealed, albeit as part of a problematic compromise.

In these cases, progressives lauded these boycotters as champions of equality.

Waters says that the pro-Israel forces are mustering against his 64-city tour.

Audiences of tens of thousands are coming together at our “Us + Them” shows, which embrace love, compassion, cooperation and coexistence and encourage resistance to authoritarianism and proto-fascism. These appearances have been greeted by a few sporadic protests by right-wing supporters of Israel.

These protests would be of no consequence, if they did not occasionally have truly negative consequences. For instance, the city of Miami Beach prevented a group of school children from appearing onstage with me after pressure from the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. I understand that city officials have a democratic right to disagree with my opinions, but I was shocked that they were willing to take it out on kids.

Some local legislators are trying to shut down two shows Waters is having on Long Island later this week.

Officials in Nassau County in Long Island are threatening to take legal action to shut down two shows I have scheduled there next week, using a local anti-B.D.S. law passed in 2016. If the Nassau County attorney proceeds against the operators of the Nassau Coliseum, we will have our day in court and argue on behalf of all those who believe in universal human rights and the First Amendment.

Artist-led boycott, he reminds us, was crucial in the South Africa struggle.

Those who are attempting to silence me understand the power of art and culture. They know the role artists played in the civil rights struggle in the United States and against apartheid in South Africa.

Here’s a report on Waters’s show in Newark last Thursday night, stressing how much of his show is aimed at Donald Trump. (“When they performed the Pink Floyd hit ‘Another Brick in the Wall’… Roger Waters and his band were joined by 10 children in prison jumpsuits. The children stood still at first, then sang and danced joyfully as the song’s message turned rebellious. At one point, they took off their jumpsuits to reveal T-shirts saying ‘Resist.’ That was just one of several swipes at the current U.S. president…”)

And by the way, his Times op-ed doesn’t even go into much detail about Palestinian conditions, though Waters has testified about the persecution at the Russell Tribunal. In the Times, he describes BDS as “nonviolent pressure to end [Israel’s] 50-year-old occupation of Palestinian territory and other abuses of Palestinian rights.”

Waters plays Brooklyn tomorrow night and Tuesday, then Nassau Coliseum on Friday and Saturday.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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51 Responses

  1. JosephA
    September 10, 2017, 3:43 pm

    This is great news! I personally hope that Nassau county takes their threatened legal action. Let them follow through, and what a wonderful court room trial would result. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  2. YoniFalic
    September 10, 2017, 5:51 pm

    Waters needs greater historical perspective.

    Abolition boycotts go back to the 18th century.

    Eva Illouz inspired me to learn more about US Southern slavery, the US ideology of slavery, the US Civil War, Reconstruction, Southern Redemption, the effective re-enslavement of black Americans, and Black Lives Matter.

    I consider her to be wrong. Zionism treats Palestinians worse than slavery treated black Americans.

    Black Americans were valuable property under slavery while we Israelis treat Palestinians like vermin.

    For this reason, I am adamant that Israel must be dismantled, Zio invaders must be removed, the Zionist leadership must be tried in Nuremberg-like international tribunals, and the Zionist leadership must receive Nuremberg-like punishments (for the most part seizure of assets, long prison sentences, or execution via hanging).

    Overall I find Jewish historiography of the history of European Jews almost exactly comparable the Dunning School of Reconstruction and Redemption history, which was effectively part of a program to romanticize slavery and to deny black Americans civil rights.

    • JWalters
      September 10, 2017, 7:26 pm

      Thanks for that extra historical perspective, and its logical implications.

      If we accept the Zionist rationale for its predatory actions, then in the future any group could use religious supremacism as a justification to wipe out any other group. Israel itself would be vulnerable under this logic.

      The human race has been making progress toward universal human rights. I agree that for the good of the planet as a whole, impediments to that progress need to be completely eliminated.

      I salute Roger Waters for taking the significant helpful actions he is in a position to take.

    • mcohen..
      September 11, 2017, 8:15 am

      yoni

      absolutely and every single Israeli should be forced to ask the 4 questions everyday 5 times a day.

    • Misterioso
      September 11, 2017, 10:40 am

      @Yoni

      Zionism is fascism and its spawn, Israel, is an anachronism en route to history’s dustbin.

    • The JillyBeans
      September 11, 2017, 11:18 am

      I think it’s very inappropriate to compare American slavery to Israeli treatment of Palestinians. It’s a gross apples to grapes comparison.

      Africans were transported across an ocean then reproduced as livestock, for starters. They never had ownership or stake. Palestinians are being uprooted and terrorized by an occupier in their own historical existence. Palestinians have more power than victims of the Atlantic Truangle Trade slavery.

      The other main difference is that the fight is one fought for equality in an existing state, the other is fighting for their property back and statehood.

    • hophmi
      September 11, 2017, 11:33 am

      Amazing that you continue to allow YoniFalic to post here. Now he thinks supporters of Israel should be executed. #callforgenocide.

      • Mooser
        September 11, 2017, 12:01 pm

        “Amazing that you continue to allow YoniFalic to post here. “

        Amazing that you continue to add “hits” and UPVs” to a site “Yoni Falic” posts at.

      • echinococcus
        September 11, 2017, 3:51 pm

        Orright, Hopfmi.

        Or, better said, zum Befehl!
        Did you Zionist riffraff just militarily occupy Mondoweiss, too?

      • Eva Smagacz
        September 13, 2017, 7:30 am

        YoniFalic (…) thinks supporters of Israel should be executed. #callforgenocide.

        Yes Hopmi.
        In your logic, Nuremberg Trials were a call for genocide of German people.

        #Hopmilogic
        28/33

      • Talkback
        September 13, 2017, 9:10 am

        hophmi: “Now he thinks supporters of Israel should be executed.”

        hophmi thinks than Nonjews should be raped and murdered.

      • Emory Riddle
        September 15, 2017, 6:45 pm

        “The Zionist leadership must be tried in Nuremberg-like international tribunals, and the Zionist leadership must receive Nuremberg-like punishments.”

        Hophmi claims, on the basis of this statement, that he (YoniFalic) thinks supporters of Israel should be executed. I am pretty sure that even hophmi understands the difference between leadership and supporters. No?

    • Mooser
      September 11, 2017, 11:56 am

      “Overall I find Jewish historiography of the history of European Jews almost exactly comparable the Dunning School of Reconstruction and Redemption history, which was effectively part of a program to romanticize slavery and to deny black Americans civil rights.”

      Wait a minute “Yoni”! Bear in mind that the Dunning School was white people writing about the emancipated slaves, and their supposed ‘incapacity’.
      Jewish historiography is the one we write for ourselves. Big, big difference.

      • The JillyBeans
        September 11, 2017, 1:42 pm

        Commonality, both are written in the writers favour.

      • Mooser
        September 14, 2017, 6:45 pm

        “Commonality, both are written in the writers favour.”

        Yes. And the writers of Hasbara history posited an ‘Arab incapacity’, one might say. So there are a lot of parallels.

  3. Citizen
    September 11, 2017, 5:19 am

    Go Roger!

  4. genesto
    September 11, 2017, 12:17 pm

    I happen to be a Pink Floyd/Roger Waters aficionado from the 60’s, and a huge admirer of Roger since he took on the issue of Palestinian justice some years ago. To my knowledge, he’s the only celebrity that has not backed off one inch once attacked by the Israel lobby – in fact, he has come on even stronger! Of course, he’s a billionaire with a huge international following who can tell all the Zionists where to go and not be concerned about having his career destroyed. However, I still think of him as one of the heroes of our movement , as well as a great artist, who deservers all of our support.

    Along with that, I encourage any rock fans reading this to go and see his “Us + Them” performance. I saw it in Oakland a few months ago and was truly blown away – particularly by the performance of Oakland school children that performed in the supposedly controversial ‘Resist’ piece. I promise you, you’ll NEVER see a show of this magnitude again – and you’ll put more money in Roger’s coffers to fight the Zionists who fear him and will go to any lengths to try to destroy him.

  5. Emet
    September 13, 2017, 2:18 am

    “Why not?”Plenty reasons why not. First and foremost is that there is no room for comparison between them. The extreme violence and the actual moves to wipe Israel off the map and kill Jews, just because they are Jews, should be enough for Rodger Walters to pack his bags,go home,and never spend another second on the cause for the Palestinian Arabs who are so not deserving of the type of support they get from what is supposed to be rational thinkers. You insult the Black South Africans by associating them with Palestinians. There is no book which is followed by Black South Africans that calls for ones head to be chopped off if you just happen to be a “little” different. How about the “convert or die” part?
    Can someone please explain to me why the likes of Rodgers, Weiss and others are so willing to simply ignore the violent reality of the Arab world?

    • oldgeezer
      September 14, 2017, 9:55 am

      There is something so knee slapping funny about a zionist complaining about the Arab world being violent. Such a statement requires a complete absence of self awareness. Bizarre.

      • Mooser
        September 14, 2017, 6:42 pm

        “Such a statement requires a complete absence of self awareness.”

        I have come to the conclusion that our Zionists have never, ever before coming here, talked to anybody except other Zionists about Zionism.
        They are accustomed to arguing vociferously about whether it was God’s favor, or Jewish genius, which made Israel so successful.

      • oldgeezer
        September 14, 2017, 9:29 pm

        @Mooser

        And I struggle to come to a conclusion. Are zionists so totally ignorant of what it takes to constitute the crimes of apartheid and genocide? Are they ignorant of what international law states in terms of the settlements? Are they mendacious enough that they know full well but attempt to obfuscate with meaningless references to South Africa or the current population count of Palestinians? Are they vile enough that they do so with glee? Are they actually victims who have been indoctrinated to totally ignore these things as well as ignore basic humanity?

        I have difficulty figuring out which it is and fluctuate in my opinion. Regardless of which it is, zionism is not a force for good in any measure of the word and it is certainly not a light unto nations. It needs to be stopped before it drags us back 2,000 years in human development

      • Mooser
        September 16, 2017, 5:02 pm

        “And I struggle to come to a conclusion”

        I never had that problem. I was raised Jewish, but we didn’t have a lot of money, so we couldn’t afford Zionism.

    • eljay
      September 14, 2017, 10:23 am

      || Emet: … Rodger Walters … ||

      Who’s he?

      || … Rodgers … ||

      Who’s he?

      || … Can someone please explain to me why the likes of Rodgers, Weiss and others are so willing to simply ignore the violent reality of the Arab world? ||

      Who knows? Maybe they see Israel ignoring the violent reality of the Arab world and cozying up to Saudi Arabia so they figure it can’t be all that bad.

      IMO neither the violent reality of the Arab world nor the oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist reality of the “Jewish State” should be ignored.

    • Talkback
      September 14, 2017, 12:17 pm

      Emet: “Can someone please explain to me why the likes of Rodgers, Weiss and others are so willing to simply ignore the violent reality of the Arab world?”

      ROFL. 10 years of Jewish terrorism before 1948. A full scale war to set up a state through war and expulsion. Using violence to preventing Palestinians from returning. Disposessing them and Nonjewish Israelis and keeping the latter under martial law until 1966. Then one year later in 1867 another full scale war by Israel. More expulsions. Putting Palestinians in the Westbank and Gaza under martial law. More dispossessions. Illegal annexations, illegal settlements. More than half a century of occupying a whole people, collective punishment and many other war crimes and crimes against humanity.

      And you are talking about the extreme violence of the “Arab” world? Who’s ignoring whose extreme violence, Sheqer?

      • RoHa
        September 14, 2017, 8:20 pm

        More than ten, surely. When Zionists bought land from Syrian landlords, they didn’t get rid of the tenant farmers by friendly persuasion.

        And don’t forget the border raids, the terrorist attacks in Egypt, the 1956 war, shooting down a Libyan airliner, the invasions of Lebanon, the bombing of the nuclear plant in Iraq, the attacks on Gaza relief convoys, and the current bombing of Syria. There is probably more that I don’t remember.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 14, 2017, 12:59 pm

      First and foremost is that there is no room for comparison between them. The extreme violence and the actual moves to wipe Israel off the map and kill Jews, just because they are Jews, should be enough

      declaring palestine resistance is motivated by “kill Jews, just because they are Jews” is a lie (propaganda) no one believes, not even you.

      Palestinian Arabs .. are so not deserving of the type of support they get from what is supposed to be rational thinkers.

      watch out, your racism is showing again. every person is deserving of human rights — even palestinians!

      You insult the Black South Africans by associating them with Palestinians.

      it’s not your place to speak for south africans. they can speak for themselves:

      hot off the press https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/south-africas-anc-israel-established-basis-apartheid/

      Ruling party in Pretoria says Israel was established ‘on basis of apartheid.’
      South Africa’s ruling party condemned Israel as a nation founded on the basis of apartheid, and branded the establishment of the state a crime against humanity.

      The allegation was made in a statement issued over the weekend, as South Africa’s anti-Israel lobby planned to protest a conference Sunday held by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) in Johannesburg.

      “As the Alliance we are now heightening our campaign aimed at boycotting and isolating Israel as a state founded on the basis of apartheid, which according to international law and several UN conventions is a crime against humanity,” read the statement, which was co-signed by African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe.

      The members of the Alliance — the ANC, the Communist Party, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African National Civics Organization — pledged “ongoing solidarity with the people of Palestine” and endorsed the movement calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

      try telling the ANC they don’t speak for south africa!

      Can someone please explain to me why the likes of Rodgers, Weiss and others are so willing to simply ignore the violent reality of the Arab world?

      speaking only for myself, because it’s irrelevant and a diversion in terms of activism for palestine. the argument could even (easily) be made the west’s (neocon) investment in nurturing violence/wreaking havoc in the ME is for the purpose of excusing and sustaining israel’s expansion.

      • oldgeezer
        September 14, 2017, 7:58 pm

        @annie

        Emet would no doubt take great affront at being referred to as a racist supremacist. Yet displays that exact attribute multiple times in one small post.

      • Emet
        September 15, 2017, 6:45 am

        Wants some truth. Here’s a truth sandwich for you to digest and choke on. How come the Mondoweiss faithful and the likes of what’s his face from Pink Floyd have not turned out for the Muslims of Myanmar, where actual ethnic cleansing is going on? How come none of the Mondoweiss faithful have not created websites and have their incomes bases on fighting for the rights of the Rohingya Muslims? What, some Muslims deserve support and others not? The answer is in the hate of Jews and of course, money. Follow the money. Plenty of money in the anti-Israeli camp. Fashionable to be anti Israel. Not fashionable to be anti-Buddhist.

      • eljay
        September 15, 2017, 9:16 am

        || Emet @ September 15, 2017, 6:45 am ||

        That’s not a “truth sandwich” – that’s a pure whataboutism sandwich. The problem of North Korea isn’t solved by deflecting attention to Israel. The problem of Israel isn’t solved by deflecting attention to Myanmar.

        You Zionists need to stop blaming everyone and everything other than yourselves for the past and on-going acts of injustice and immorality you chose and continue to choose to commit.

        Bon appétit.

      • Mooser
        September 15, 2017, 12:59 pm

        “Wants some truth. Here’s a truth sandwich for you to digest and choke on.”

        You have well and truly earned an “i” and “c” added to your name.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 15, 2017, 1:28 pm

        especially amusing since emitic has no idea what any of us think of genocide in myanmar or what we do with our activism when we are not posting on this site, which is not about global warming, health care, china, india or the wests interests in formenting strife in myanmar for their own imperial goals. but anyone who reads my twitter feed knows i have a lot of concern for plight rohinyga. the hypocrisy and whataboutery of the pro genocide pro apartheid pro ethnic cleansers crowd occasionally astounds me — but less and less all the time. i’ve come to expect it.

        and mooser, did you notice the placement of this emitic comment? right below the current statement of ANC? whereas he posts his bs about so called and completely unsourced black south african support for israels apartheid down thread. can’t hasbrat central send us better trolls? if there is such a thing as a ‘better’ troll.

      • Mooser
        September 15, 2017, 2:15 pm

        .” can’t hasbrat central send us better trolls?”

        I am sticking with my theory- when they get dumped from all the English-language Zionist sites and blogs, they come to Mondo, where there’s no bottom on the Zionist barrel.
        Hasbara would make better use of its money by establishing a “hush fund” for them.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 15, 2017, 2:27 pm

        no bottom on the Zionist barrel.

        LOL!

      • Mooser
        September 15, 2017, 2:47 pm

        LOL”

        On the third attempt.

      • Emet
        September 16, 2017, 2:32 pm

        Annie, I am sure the Rohingya Muslims appreciate your “Twitter activism”. Were you not embarrassed to actually write that?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 16, 2017, 3:24 pm

        at least as much as they appreciate your whataboutery emet!

      • eljay
        September 16, 2017, 3:53 pm

        || Emet: Annie, I am sure the Rohingya Muslims appreciate your “Twitter activism”. … ||

        And I have no doubt that they love the way you:
        – deflect attention away from the unjust and immoral actions of the Myanmarian government (Sure, Myanmar is bad…but let’s not forget North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Israel!); and
        – insist that Myanmar, the world’s only Myanmarian state, shouldn’t be singled out for criticism.

      • RoHa
        September 16, 2017, 8:18 pm

        Of course, this whataboutery isn’t just a diversion. It is to be followed by “So why do you spend all your time criticizing Israel? It’s because you’re …”

  6. Kay24
    September 13, 2017, 9:16 am

    Amnesty Int. slams Israeli threats and punishment over call for settlements boycotts.

    “Palestinian human rights defenders have faced death threats and harassment that a veteran analyst has suggested are linked to an Israeli government-directed campaign of “black ops.”

    Last year, Amnesty International expressed its fears for the “safety and liberty of Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti, and other boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists, following calls alluding to threats, including of physical harm and deprivation of basic rights, made by Israeli ministers.”

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/amnesty-slams-israeli-threats-punish-it-over-settlement-boycott-call

    Death threats? Punishment? Can you call this thuggish? nazi-like? Undemocratic?
    All of the above? Israel keeps breaking international laws, and violently threatens anyone, and any international agency, that wants them held responsible, and face the consequences. We let them.

  7. Ossinev
    September 14, 2017, 7:18 am

    @Emet
    “Can someone please explain to me why the likes of Rodgers, Weiss and others are so willing to simply ignore the violent reality of the Arab world?”

    What about ? What about ? What about ? What about ? What about ? What about ?

    What about ? What about ? What about ? What about ? What about ? What about ?

  8. Emet
    September 15, 2017, 4:25 am

    Be careful who you listen to from South Africa. The narrative has been hijacked by hothead radicals of the type that will continue to blame the Whites and Jews in 500 years time when the country is firmly, and I mean firmly, in the 3rd world camp.
    You can find plenty of material out there of Black South Africans who support Israel, Zionism and all. Of course the Mondoweiss clan will call them Uncle Toms.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 15, 2017, 10:29 am

      uh huh. according to emit, the ANC, the Communist Party, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African National Civics Organization are “hot head radical types” who have highjacked south africa!

      You can find plenty of material out there of Black South Africans who support Israel

      sure, plenty of material about all 3 of them. i recommend “South African student bodies declare, ‘We recognise apartheid when we see it'”http://mondoweiss.net/2011/08/south-african-student-bodies-declare-we-recognise-apartheid-when-we-see-it/

      the South African Union of Students, the South African Student Congress, and the Young Communist League of South Africa issued the following statement at a joint press conference yesterday at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The groups included South Africa’s oldest and most representative student bodies.


      JOINT STUDENT STATEMENT

      There is no doubt, Israel is an Apartheid state; There is only one word, boycott!

      full text at link.

      mandela: “we identify with the plo”

      • Emet
        September 16, 2017, 2:33 pm

        I tried to post links showing different points of view. Of course they were not published. I’ll try with one this time.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 16, 2017, 3:21 pm

        ah, the notorious Kenneth Meshoe. there’s a turncoat in every crowd. reminds me of arab likud MP Ayoob Kara

        A staunch supporter of Jewish settlement in the West Bank, Kara spoke at a ceremony marking the end of the settlement freeze. He criticizing it as not helpful to Israel or the PA[51] and said that the killings of four Israelis near Kiryat Arba shows that the freeze only serves as “appeasement” and is not working.[52] At an event marking the construction of a new building in the West bank, Kara stated: “The expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif brought zero results, the expulsion of the Israeli army from Lebanon has brought zero results, and the construction freeze brought zero results.”[53] Kara attended an Israeli version of the American tea party protests with other Likud MKs and members. Speakers at the event called on Obama to stop pressuring Netanyahu and for the prime minister to stand his ground and uphold Jewish rights and values.[54] In 2010, Kara attended a rally marking the end of the construction slow down in Revava, that was also attended by hundreds of Christian supporters of Israel. He welcomed the tourists saying: “I say to all the non-Jews who are here, I too am not a Jew, but in spirit I am most Jewish, I am most Zionist, and so are you! Good for you that you are here to support Israel.“[55]

        what an embarrassment!

    • John O
      September 15, 2017, 1:34 pm

      I listen to Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu – one of those all too rare people who give religion a good name. He said what Israel does to the Palestinians is worse than apartheid. That’s good enough for me.

    • Talkback
      September 17, 2017, 7:34 am

      Emet: “I tried to post links showing different points of view.”

      Nope, you are only trying to post ‘testimonials’ that refer to South Africa’s PETTY Apartheid to deny Israel’s GRAND Apartheid and its Crime of Apartheid as defined in international law. You are playing this game for weeks now while ingnoring any legal or acadamic explanation why Israel practices Apartheid, because then you have to ARGUE, which you can’t.

      Continue to make a Zionist fool of yourself. I will strongly support you. As does Kenneth Meshoe in your video, the founder of “Defend Embrace Invest & Support Israel” who strongly believes in Genesis 12,3. ROFL.

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