Few entertainers are as openly critical of the Israeli government as Roger Waters, a stance that has caused some of the country’s defenders to label him an anti-Semite. In a soon-to-be-published interview with the Pink Floyd co-founder about his upcoming Wall tour CD and DVD/Blu-ray, Waters defends himself and his call for a cultural boycott of Israel.
“The analogy is with the civil rights struggle in the south[ern] states of the United States of America,” he says. “And pre-Mandela South Africa. We all know how important the cultural and sports boycott of South Africa became in the organizing of global civil society to express the generally heartfelt horror of the way the white supremacist South African government was oppressing the black population of that country.”
Waters says he wants it known that his barbs are aimed solely at the current Israeli government. “It’s not the Israeli people, not Jews and not Judaism,” he says. “I would never dream of attacking them. In fact, a lot of the Israelis are the people who are putting the most into fighting the hardest because they believe it is the most effective tool for changing policies of their own government.”
Waters says he sees many articles on his Facebook feed and across the Internet containing what he sees as distorted information about the ongoing struggle in the region. “It’s this hugely organized thing,” he says. “It takes no account of history, never looks at the facts and just tells the big lie that ‘this is our land and it belongs to us and God gave it to us and there were never any Palestinian people and they were always trying to murder us and don’t we have a right to protect ourselves?’ That’s basically the platform.”
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His most vocal recent critic was Howard Stern, one of his neighbors in the Hamptons who had him on his radio show in 2012 for a friendly interview. “Israel has a tiny little country and it bugs the shit out of Roger Waters,” said Stern. “Where do you want the Jews to go, Roger? Where do you want them to go? You want them to just go back to the concentration camp? What is it you want, fuckhead.”
The mere mention of Stern’s name causes Waters to laugh, and he’s only willing to say a few brief words. “I wouldn’t waste a single one of my precious breaths on that asshole, and I just did. That was a waste of breath. Let’s move on.”
In the upcoming interview, Waters discusses his thoughts on Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and reveals why he’s sick and tired of being asked about a Pink Floyd reunion.