Roger Waters has been a supporter of the Palestinian cause for a long time, and in his latest interview in Counterpunch magazine, Waters has upset some Jewish religious leaders by comparing the Israeli state to Nazi Germany.
When speaking about the Israeli state’s treatment of the Palestinian people Waters said “The parallels with what went on in the 30’s in Germany are so crushingly obvious that it doesn’t surprise me that the movement that both you and I are involved in is growing every day.”
Waters has openly supported a cultural boycott of Israel, and has personally written to many artists calling for them to cancel performances in the Zionist state. Rogers continues “I have a confession to make to you. I did actually write to Cindy Lauper a couple of weeks ago. I did not make the letter public but I wrote her a letter because I know her a bit, she worked with me on the Wall in Berlin which is why I found it super difficult to understand that she is doing a gig in Tel Aviv on January the 4th apparently, quite extraordinary, reprehensible in my view, but I don’t know her personal story and people have to make up their own mind about these things. One can’t get to personal about it.”
“The situation in Israel/ Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable. So for an artist to go and play in a country that occupies other people’s land and oppresses them the way Israel does, is plain wrong.”
He goes on to criticise the American media for being influenced by the Israeli lobby and spreading Zionist propaganda. “Well, where I live, in the USA, I think, A: they are frightened and B: I think the propaganda machine that starts in Israeli schools and that continues through all the Netanyahu’s bluster is poured all over the United States, not just Fox but also CNN and in fact in all the mainstream media. It’s like a huge bucket of crap that they are pouring into the mouth of a gullible public in my view, when they say “we are afraid of Iran, it is going to get nuclear weapons…” It’s a diversionary tactic.”
Roger’s is quite clear that his views concern the oppression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state, and yet he has been accused of anti-Semitism by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in the New York Observer.
In the New York Observer article the Rabbi has obviously misrepresented what Waters has said and turned it into something anti-Semitic. According to the Rabbi Waters said that Jews were ‘pouring a huge bucket of crap…” which as you can see from the statement Waters actually made is totally untrue.
Either the Rabbi didn’t read the interview with Waters properly – which is on plain view for all to see – or he has such a twisted nasty little mind that he has to misrepresent the truth for his own sick agenda.
The Rabbi rants on ad-nauseam about the plight of Jews in Israel, never referring to the wrongs of the fascist Zionist regime he is so keen to support and promote.
He epitomises everything that is wrong about the hypocritical propaganda spread by religious fanatics around the world – and because they purport to be de-facto religious leaders their followers believe them regardless of the truth – regardless of the facts.
This is the problem Waters was talking about. Control of the American media by lobby groups and fanatics who constantly push their own agenda and downright lies regardless of the facts.
Rogers responded to the Rabbi’s article saying “I do not know Rabbi Boteach, and am not prepared to get into a slanging match with him. I will say this: I have nothing against Jews or Israelis, and I am not anti-Semitic. I deplore the policies of the Israeli government in the occupied territories and Gaza. They are immoral, inhuman and illegal. I will continue my non-violent protests as long as the government of Israel continues with these policies.
“If Rabbi Boteach can make a case for the Israel government’s policies, I look forward to hearing it. It is difficult to make arguments to defend the Israeli government’s policies, so would-be defenders often use a diversionary tactic, they routinely drag the critic into a public arena and accuse them of being an anti-Semite.”
As we can always expect when someone criticises the Israeli state, others come out of the woodwork shouting ‘anti-Semite’. In an article in the Guardian newspaper various and sundry Jewish and Israeli groups are quick to express their views that criticism of the Israeli state is anti-Semitic.
However, we see no comment from Israeli and Jewish groups who are anti-Zionist, such as the Jewish Voice for Peace, or Neturei Karta International (both of which we fully support in their agenda to bring peace and expose the Zionist atrocities in Israel). Would those same accusers in the Guardian article accuse their own people of anti-Semitism? Of course we will never know because it would not suit their propaganda agenda.