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Watch: Roger Waters speaks against boycott bill, endorses BDS

At the time of writing, it’s not clear yet whether the the boycott bill will go for a second and third vote in the Knesset today, or whether it will happen next week. In both cases, the proposed law, criminalizing any opposition to the occupation that would take the form of a boycott call, is expected to pass with a clear majority.

From the moment it’s published as a state law, even a call not to visit occupied Hebron might get someone prosecuted and heavily fined.

I will write more about this bill later this week but meanwhile, here is a call to oppose it and an endorsement of the BDS, that was made just now by legendary leader of the Pink Floyd, Roger Waters.

There is an interesting point to make here. Many people speaking against the boycott say that dialogue is always better than banning people or nations – so an artist who has an opinion on the conflict should come here and voice it. A few years ago, Waters did just that when he used his show in Israel to speak in opposition to the occupation. As expected, he was viciously attacked in the press, with even center-left journalists calling him not to interfere in the county’s business. There were many calls to boycott his concert as well. I guess that the reaction to Waters’ attempt to engage with Israelis back then helped lead him to the stand he is now taking.

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    1. Israeli

      Just correcting: MK Zehava Galon is a She.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech.

      I oppose the bill and oppose BDS.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Kobayashi

      Roger Walters is entitled to his view. As are the people whom advocate dialogue over sanctions, and still do.
      As an aside, do *you* support BDS? I think it’ll be much more useful for you to present your arguments in favour, rather than extrapolating from behind Mr Walters, whose views may or may not be representative.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Empress Trudy

      Like Barghouti screaming for an academic boycott of Israel while getting his doctorate at an Israeli university….

      Tell you what, Roger, throw your computers away.

      Reply to Comment
    5. RichardNYC

      The most disturbing feature of BDSers isn’t their anti-Israel bias, its their utter lack of pragmatism. No intelligent person can seriously think that BDS will ever achieve anything close to a moral consensus against Israel. Boycotting Jews really isn’t something that’s ever going to go over well again, at least with most intelligent, decent people.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Danny

      Very slippery slope for Israel with potentially catastrophic consequences to its democracy and standing in the world. I can’t see how it can continue to call itself “the only democracy in the Middle East”. This bill is a travesty and shows Israel’s democracy for what it is – a fraud. Time to start thinking about a serious boycott campaign the likes of which has not been seen since South Africa changed its stripes in the early 90’s.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Danny

      RichardNYC, if what you say is true (“boycotting Jews really isn’t something that’s ever going to go over well again, at least with most intelligent, decent people”) then why is Israel panicking??? Maybe it sees something you don’t? For what it’s worth, let me go on record as Jew that I wholeheartedly support BDS until Israel changes its ways, and I know many more Jews who have similar views.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Roger make music! in politics you better start with Fuckland.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Empress Trudy

      I wish they would boycott, 100%. The list of things eliminated from their lives would be astonishing. And we wouldn’t have to hear from them for very long since they’d all quickly die out. Like I’ve said for a very long time, each time there’s a ‘academic boycott’ I would instantly agree. Then I would jack the royalties that these academic institutions and their sponsors pay for Israeli patents and intellectual property by a factor of 20. The boycotters should he happy to unwind the technological clock a hundred years or so. It reminds me of Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of PETA who said, and I quote “I don’t care if animal testing cured AIDS and cancer, I would still be against it.” And we, Ingrid and fellow nutjobs would be cheering if you returned to the Dark Ages from which you came.

      Please, Roger, do it. Please, PLEASE throw out everything that’s ever touched Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    10. RichardNYC

      Israelis aren’t panicking. Its called political opportunism. Kind of like the war on terror. I’m not surprised that you know other misguided Jews. Fortunately, your faith in the idea that being Jewish gives you credibility on this subject only re-affirms my point that intelligent decent people will not boycott. Being Jewish or Black or Gay doesn’t give you an ad hominem defense against criticism of anti-Jewish or anti-Black or anti-Gay politics.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Danny

      the problem for Israel is that more and more people, including many Jews – increasingly view Israel as the extreme, militant side of Judaism and as a result, Israel is increasingly being associated with Judaism’s fringe elements like Kahana, Lieberman and other nauseating products of its political system. If Israel won’t change its ways, I predict that in less than 10 years time, most American and European Jews will dissociate themselves from Israel and world Jewry will no longer support this intransigent, archaic state. From that point, it will be a very slippery slope for Israel. The likes of Roger Waters will be mainstream and more and more people will recognize Israel for what it is: an occupier.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Andrew

      I very much favor the anti-boycott bill. Far from limiting free speech, it is a reasonable response to the destroy Israel through political means that is in vogue amongst some elements of the artistic and academic worlds.Often spoken, the phrase “democracy is not a suicide pact” pertains here. Israel is such a vibrant democracy that it bends over backwards to defend the rights of those who would destroy it. The right, on the other hand, is investigated and castigated by the ruling leftist elites in Israel’s courts and press. It is truly time for our beleaugured nation to reign in the treasonous, foul left wing as well. As for Mr. Walters, he is a pompous fool. If he were intellectually honest, he’d concern himself with Iran or Syria, or the tyranny and religious fascism of Hammas.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Mitchell Cohen

      Danny:For what it’s worth, let me go on record as Jew that I wholeheartedly support BDS until Israel changes its ways, and I know many more Jews who have similar views.[end of quote]

      Mitchell: Then you are in favor of collective punishment and should not complain about “collective punishment” due to the blockade in Gaza.

      Reply to Comment
    14. l kaye

      The government of Israel has become a criminal organization….the occupation of gaza and west bank must end…BOYCOTTING must increase…I am one of millions of Jews around the world who will not support an Israel that looks more and more fascist and less and less democratic.

      Reply to Comment
    15. I never thought I would see such mistreatment by a group that I used to have such compassion for……..WHY?

      Reply to Comment
    16. RichardNYC

      Polls of young American and European Jews contradict your speculative nonsense. If you’re just trying to write some kind of dystopian novel about the future, well done. It really doesn’t take a genius to see that the world is not moving toward a moral consensus against the existence of Israel, or in support of BDS. You will need a moral consensus. You will not get one. “Boycott the Jews!” is not something people are really going to stomach again in any kind of unanimous way.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Tactical Nuclear Housecat


      It doesn’t have to be unanimous. Israel WILL be starved out of existence.

      Reply to Comment
    18. RichardNYC

      If you really place your faith in BDS propaganda, then Israel has nothing to fear from you. Zionism thanks you for your lack of pragmatism.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Right Wing Zionist

      Psssssst Roger …… Check your facts before you make accusations. Israel’s new law does not, I repeat, does NOT make it a CRIMINAL offense to institute boycotts against the “settlements”. It just makes just boycotts financially risky for the boycotters because they can be sued for it.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Right Wing Zionist

      “If Israel won’t change its ways, I predict that in less than 10 years time, most American and European Jews will dissociate themselves from Israel and world Jewry will no longer support this intransigent, archaic state”(DANNY)
      No they won’t DANNY. You don’t speak for either American or world Jewry. Your ilk is very much in the minority don’t even try to pretend otherwise.

      Reply to Comment
    21. douglas

      Roger Waters had the guts to publicly state his views on Israel at great peril to his career while most entertainers remain silent. The music business is run by staunch supporters of Israel, so Rogers still remaining viable is a testament to the general public’s feelings concerning Israel’s military and political aggression. I’ve been boycotting Israel for years, and there are millions of people who are doing the same. And I have been part of a movement to keep Israeli goods out of a food co-op I participate in, a minor victory, but a victory nonetheless. Remember, Jews boycotted Germany in 1933, so Israel should have no ethical problem with it.

      Reply to Comment
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