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Roger Waters Calls for Cultural Boycott of Israel

Roger Waters
Brian Killian, Getty Images

Thirty years after the release of Pink Floyd‘s ‘The Final Cut,’ which focused on the early-1980s conflict over the Falkland Islands, Roger Waters is still involved with world politics. These days, he’s calling for a South African apartheid-style musical boycott of Israel.

Speaking to the Electronic Intifada, Waters decried to the Israelis’ occupation of West Bank and Gaza areas. “They are running riot,” the Pink Floyd co-founder says. “And it seems unlikely that running over there and playing the violin will have any lasting effect.”

In perhaps the most successful movement of its kind, the United Nations drafted a 1980 resolution establishing a cultural boycott of South Africa, citing its practice of government-sanctioned racial segregation — and, ultimately, the apartheid system was abolished in 1994.

Waters started lobbying for a similar boycott against Israel after a trip to the West Bank in 2006, and even spray painted the lyric “we don’t need no thought control” from Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” on the occupied area’s barrier. He also serves as a juror on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which asserts that Western governments are violating international law in assisting Israel while this occupation continues.

Waters’ campaign has already led to at least one cancellation. He wrote a letter to Stevie Wonder before a performance for the Israeli Defense Forces scheduled for last December, and Wonder pulled out.

Next: Top 10 Pink Floyd Songs of the 70s

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