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Israel-boycotting rocker Roger Waters, others pressure prominent band to cancel Tel Aviv concert
Israel-boycotting rocker Roger Waters is among the signers of an open letter urging rock band Radiohead to cancel its Tel Aviv concert this summer. (Image source: YouTube screen cap)

Israel-boycotting rocker Roger Waters, others pressure prominent band to cancel Tel Aviv concert

Ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters in recent years has become about as well known for his dislike of Israel's government as for the music he's created.

Waters has made a practice not only of boycotting Israel in favor of Palestinians but also urging other artists to do the same — and not always with harmonious results.

Radio host Howard Stern — who is Jewish — blasted Waters for sending a scolding letter to rocker Jon Bon Jovi for performing in Israel in 2015. Earlier that year Waters wrote musician Alan Parsons — who engineered Pink Floyd's classic album "Dark Side of the Moon" — asking him to reconsider plans to play in Israel. Parsons' response? “Music knows no borders, and neither do I.” Israeli supermodel Bar Rafieli in 2013 ripped Waters for boycotting her country.

Now Waters is among a number of musicians who signed an open letter urging modern rock band Radiohead to cancel its Tel Aviv gig in July.

"We’d like to ask you to think again — because by playing in Israel you’ll be playing in a state where, UN rapporteurs say, 'a system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people,' " the letter states.

More from the letter:

We understand you’ve been approached already by Palestinian campaigners. They’ve asked you to respect their call for a cultural boycott of Israel, and you’ve turned them down. Since Radiohead campaigns for freedom for the Tibetans, we’re wondering why you’d turn down a request to stand up for another people under foreign occupation. And since Radiohead fronted a gig for the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we’re wondering why you’d ignore a call to stand against the denial of those rights when it comes to the Palestinians.

"Surely if making a stand against the politics of division, of discrimination and of hate means anything at all, it means standing against it everywhere — and that has to include what happens to Palestinians every day," the letter concludes. "Otherwise the rest is, to use your words, 'mere rhetoric.' "

Here's Stern's rant against Waters. (Content warning: Strong language):

(H/T: Consequence of Sound)

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