Activism

Bon Jovi’s Tel Aviv gig is upstaged by Roger Waters’s incantation of Israeli victims, including Dawabshe boy

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Bon Jovi will be playing Israel in a matter of hours. Forty thousand fans expected, in Tel Aviv. But the news is Roger Waters’s stirring letter to the group, posted at Salon, explaining their moral failure in playing Israel.

Rolling Stone is covering the interchange between the musicians. Very sympathetic coverage of Waters, and a great headline:

“You stand shoulder to shoulder/With the settler who burned the baby,” Pink Floyd co-founder writes

The politics of the issue are surely changing when Salon and Rolling Stone stand with Roger Waters. And notice that Waters invokes such victims of Israeli wanton violence as the four Bakr boys on the beach in Gaza, little Ali Dawabshe in Duma on the West Bank two months ago, and Salem Shamaly, killed by an Israeli sniper while looking for family members in Shejaiyeh. Waters is doing more to keep the Duma murders in American consciousness than anyone else.
Yediot reports that Jon Bon Jovi is thrilled to see Israel for the first time.

“I insisted that Israel must be on our list and it happened!”

Asked about former Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters and his controversial boycott campaign to get other singers to nix concerts in Israel, Bon Jovi says: “Yes, I heard about that but it doesn’t interest me. I told my managers to give one simple answer: That I’m coming to Israel and I’m excited to come.”
Here is Roger Waters’s letter, from Salon (links to news sources at the site):

Dear Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Tico Torres,

Often in the past I have written detailed, and sometimes even persuasive, letters to colleagues in the music business, encouraging them not to give succor to the Israeli government’s apartheid policies by performing in Israel. Having read Jon’s comments last week in Yedioth Ahronoth, I won’t waste my time drawing parallels with Apartheid South Africa and the moral stand that so many artists took then and that thousands are taking now in the face of decades of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.So the die is cast, you are determined to proceed with your gig in Tel Aviv on October 3. You are making your stand.

You stand shoulder to shoulder

With the settler who burned the baby

With the bulldozer driver who crushed Rachel Corrie

With the soldier who shot the soccer player’s feet to bits

With the sailor who shelled the boys on the beach

With the sniper who killed the kid in the green shirt

And the one who emptied his clip into the 13-year-old girl

And the Minister of Justice who called for genocide

You had a chance to stand

On the side of justice

With the pilot who refused to bomb refugee camps

With the teenager who chose eight prison terms over army service

With the prisoner who fasted for 266 days until freedom

With the doctor banned from entry for saving lives

With the farmer who was cut down marching to the wall

With the legless child growing up in the rubble

And the 550 others who won’t grow up at all

Because of the missiles and tank shells and bullets we sent

The dead can’t remind you of the crimes you’ve ignored. But, lest we forget, “To stand by silent and indifferent is the greatest crime of all.”

Roger Waters

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Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Phil. Masterful letter, Roger.

Yes, a wonderful letter. It would be improved (our “side” would find useful) the same or a longer list of horrors each with a URL to the story. NOTE: In SALON, there WERE URLs but they disappeared here, above. A cumulative list, with dates, brief comments, and URLs: 8/2015 Israeli PM says “no peace on my watch” URL(NYT): xxx etc. (often): Israelis complain that Palestinians teach their kids to hate; URL-List (often): Israelis give statements… Read more »

RE: “So the die is cast, you are determined to proceed with your gig in Tel Aviv on October 3. You are making your stand. You stand shoulder to shoulder With the settler who burned the baby With the bulldozer driver who crushed Rachel Corrie With the soldier who shot the soccer player’s feet to bits With the sailor who shelled the boys on the beach . . . ~ Waters’ letter to Bon Jovi… Read more »

Quoting Times of Israel, “Jon Bon Jovi dedicates song ‘We Don’t Run’ to Israel”.

Quoting Moon Zappa, “Barf out. Gag me with a spoon.”

Great, moving letter by Waters. Bon Jovi’s not interested. He’s just excited to go play in Israel. I wonder who his agent is….