Rock and Roll “artist” Roger Waters is set to perform this week in Philadelphia at the Wells-Fargo Center. Along with his usual repertoire, known from his days with the rock band Pink Floyd, he may offer his poisonous “human rights” catalog of bigoted and downright anti-Semitic rhetoric. Waters, 73, has singled out the Jewish state in his alleged concern for human rights, out of 196 nation-states. The only people he seems to be rallying for are the Palestinian-Arabs.
In a press release issued by StandWithUs (SWU), an International Israel educational organization, it states that “Roger Waters has a history of blaming only the State of Israel for the lack of peace. He supports the boycott campaign against Israel, which does not promote peace, does not create a better life for Palestinians, and whose agenda is the destruction of the State of Israel. He has even flown a helium pig with a Star of David on it during his concerts. Waters claims to be against all forms of injustice, but where is his outrage at the Palestinian Authority which incentivizes murder of Israeli civilians by paying subsidies to terrorists in Israeli jails and their families? StandWithUs is sending a clear message to Waters that his double standard, hatred and lies against Israel will not go unanswered.”
Waters addressed the United Nations General Assembly on November 29, 2012, on behalf of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, ironically on the same date (November 29), when 65-years earlier, the Palestinian-Arabs rejected the UN resolution that would have given them a state of their own. The Palestinian-Arabs preferred instead to join with the surrounding Arab states to annihilate the newborn state of Israel, and throw the Jews into the sea. This came two years after WWII ended, in which Six Million Jews were murdered in Europe, known as the Holocaust.
In his address, Waters accused Israel of Apartheid, claiming that “The UN’s International Covenant on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, defines that crime as inhuman acts by any government that are ‘committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial groups of persons and systematically oppressing them.’ As you all know, the prohibited acts include arbitrary arrest, legislative measures that discriminate in the political, social, economic and cultural fields; measures that divide the population along racial lines, and the persecution of those opposed to the system of apartheid.”
What has eluded Waters are the historical facts about Arab and Palestinian aggression, terrorism, intolerance and the rejection of Jewish rights anywhere in historical Palestine. Israel didn’t seek to “dominate” the Palestinian-Arabs. Israel fought defensive wars in both 1948 and 1967. In 1948, against huge odds, it defeated the armies of five Arab states and Palestinian-Arab irregulars. The Arab minority in Israel, though largely disloyal to the Jewish state, enjoys the same freedoms as Israeli Jews, including religious freedom, human and civil rights, and the Rule-of-Law.
As a result of King Hussein’s decision to attack Israel in June, 1967, despite pleas by Israel to stay out of the conflict, Israel was able to defeat the Jordanian army and capture Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter and Judea and Samaria (West Bank). Jordan annexed the West Bank illegally following the 1948 war. The Palestinian-Arabs were living under Jordanian Arab dominion, but they never sought self-determination and an independent Palestinian state. Israel agreed to UNSC resolution 242, which didn’t mention the Palestinians, but arrived at the formula of territory for peace. In other words, if the Arab states made peace with Israel, Israel would return ‘territories,’ albeit not ‘all’ the territories. When Egypt made peace with Israel, it received back all of the Sinai. Likewise, Jordan, received its claims after signing the peace agreement.
Arafat signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn on behalf of the Palestinians, only to initiate the bloody second intifada immediately after the July, 2000 summit with President Clinton and Prime Minister Barak. Arafat could have brought peace and Palestinian statehood then, had he agreed to end all claims, after the US and Israel promised to provide the Palestinians with 95% of the West Bank and Gaza. Arafat wouldn’t accept the deal, not because it was unfair, but because of religious reasons having to do with recognizing Jewish sovereignty in any part of historic Palestine. He also feared that peace with Israel would end his life by an assassin’s bullet as it did Anwar Sadat’s.
When Roger Waters speaks about arbitrary arrests and apartheid, he should first examine Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Intolerance of Jews, and laws that proscribe Jews from living in Jordan, Saudi Arabia or the Palestinian controlled territories are indeed Apartheid laws. Conversely, Israel is an open, democratic society, which at great expense and governed by moral ideals, brought tens of thousands of black Ethiopians to Israel. Unlike the persecuting Egyptian authorities, Israel received Black Africans from Sudan and Eritrea, providing them with humanitarian aid and sustenance.
If Waters cared for universal human rights as he claims, why has he not demanded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) on the Iranian regime that hangs teenagers, suppresses religious freedom, persecutes minorities, and kills opponents of the regime? How about Turkey’s Erdogan, and his killing of Kurds, his imprisoning 50,000 fellow Turks on trumped up charges, and his general autocratic rule. One can go on and on, wondering why of all the global oppressive regimes, such as China, Cuba, Sudan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and the Arab states, Waters would single out the only democracy in the Middle East.
He accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “collective punishment,” pointing out the eviction of Palestinian-Arabs in 1947-48 was ethnic cleansing. If that is the case, how come Israel’s population is over 20% Arab? Yet, the native Jewish population in the Arab states is at zero percent, because the Arabs have indeed practiced ethnic cleansing of Jewish populations. Palestinians, as well, do not accept Jews living in their midst as equal citizens, nor is there a single Jew living in Gaza or Ramallah. Waters’ native Britain employed the so-called “collective punishment” that he mentioned. It did so to punish murderous terrorists during the Arab Revolt of 1936-39. Israel punishes murderous terrorists by blowing up the home of the terrorist families as a deterrent. Israel, in its Gaza operations, responding to Hamas’ rocket attacks, targeted only combatants, not civilians, as Hamas did. Israel sacrificed its soldiers in order to avoid civilian casualties. It spread fliers to warn civilians of an impending attack, something that no other army but the Israel Defense Forces has done, as testified by British army Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan.
Waters’ father died as a British soldier fighting the Nazis in Italy. Yet, the Palestinians, on whose behalf Waters advocates, were allied with the Nazis. The Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini, was Hitler’s guest in Berlin and advocated a more expedited “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.” Waters’ father would be ashamed of his son’s ignorance of history, his hypocrisy and anti-Israeli (the Jewish Brigade comprised of Palestinian Jews, also fought alongside the British and died in Italy during WWII) bigotry.
Nathan Sharansky, former prisoner of conscience in a Soviet gulag, and author of The Case for Democracy, devised a formula by which to distinguish honest critics of Israel from anti-Semites. He named it the 3D test for Demonization, Double standard, and Delegitimization of Israel. Under this test, Waters qualifies as an anti-Semite.