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Roger Waters calls on musicians to boycott Israel

on March 20, 2013, 12:53pm

Roger Waters Wall

If you recall, back in December former Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters spoke at the United Nations and accused the State of Israel of international crimes against the people of Palestine.

Now, he’s encouraging fellow musicians to boycott the country. Waters told Electronic Intifada (via The Daily Swarm): “I am about to publish an open letter written to all my colleagues in the music industry, asking them to join me in the BDS movement. This is not just to colleagues in the UK or US but around the world.”

Waters noted that he’s already convinced Stevie Wonder to cancel a performance in the country. “What caused me to write this public letter was an affair where Stevie Wonder was hired to play a gala dinner for the Israeli Defense Forces on 6 December last year,” Waters explained. “I wrote a letter to him saying that this would be like playing a police ball in Johannesburg the day after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. It wouldn’t be a great thing to do, particularly as he was meant to be a UN ambassador for peace. It wasn’t just me. Desmond Tutu also wrote a letter.”

He continued: “To his eternal credit, Stevie Wonder called them [the gala’s organizers] up and said “I didn’t quite get it” [and canceled the performance]. This happened one week after I made a speech to the UN. Neither of these events were reported anywhere in the mainstream media in the United States of America.”

According Electronic Intifada, Waters is also exploring the idea of releasing a single urging musicians not to perform in Israel, and plans to discuss the project with Steven Van Zandt, the guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Van Zandt previously assembled well-known musicians to record a protest song against apartheid in South Africa during the 1980s.