Roger Waters, founding member of Pink Floyd, has joined the chorus of artists, activists and agitators calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
There is something to be said about the mind of the artist, sensitive, emotional, always searching for drama .
It is what fuels the creative process.
Waters, who hasn’t really written any new material since the late 80s, has embarked on a road which he first padded with the last Pink Floyd album he wrote, The Final Cut.
The album sealed the fate of his membership in the band as, by this time, he refused to accept the material his partner David Gilmour wrote for the project, opening the door for one of the nastiest break ups in the music industry. Law suits followed in which Waters attempted to prevent the rest of the group from using the name Pink Floyd. Fans were divided, and Waters was left on the sidelines writing two solo projects, both resembling old Pink Floyd records, while the rest of the group moved on with a series of big sellers and sold out tours.
In The Final Cut, Waters sings about the state of current affairs at the time, opening with the verses:
“Brezhnev took Afghanistan and Begin took Beirut, Galtieri took the Union Jack”
Those were 80s. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979; the Lebanese civil war has been raging on, aggravated by the the PLO’s destructive presence. Argentina just invaded the Falklands and Thatcher was just elected PM, taking the UK away from a long line of Left leaning Labour governments.
These events, I guess, marked Waters as the whole record was devoted to mocking Thatcher, the uselessness of the cold war and other mundane political topics which diverted Pink Floyd away from the psychedelic style they were known for, the symbolism which rendered the songs open to interpretation while, musically, it suffered from a lack of originality, a quality which previously defined Floyd.
Originality and innovation were out, political activism was in. It was painful to listen to. Instead of the magical sounds and poetic lyrics, fans were treated to monologues by a bitter self-indulgent man.
The Final Cut sounded like an attempt by a 70s band to fight on in the 80s where New Wave and Punk were taking the youth away into a more apolitical anti establishment direction. Waters sounded like a professor lecturing a group of students who no longer seemed to “need no thought control”.
Notice his reference to Israel “taking” Beirut, as if the PLO just entered the country with student visas. Nor did his artistic and political sensibility allow for burdensome nuance, such as the fact that Israel was defending itself against mounting PLO terrorist attacks (which upon expulsion from Jordan had nestled into Beirut) launched from Lebanon. Aside from killing Jews, the PLO was responsible for atrocities committed against the Lebanese: rapes, robberies, killings and kidnappings. This mounting violence and terror, committed by the Palestinians under Arafat, was so severe that at one time the three warring sides of Lebanon put their differences aside and came together in an effort to oust this terrorist entity from their country.
However in Waters’ fanciful imagination the PLO never “took Beirut”. Israel did.
Little has changed since. Israel is still besieged by rocket attacks. There were over 30 in this year alone and, despite withdrawals from S. Lebanon and Gaza, terrorism persists – as morbidly noted by the recent slaughter of a Jewish family sleeping in their beds in Itamar.
Israel’s enemies (and “critics”) haven’t changed either. Israel takes, attacks, conquers, occupies and oppresses while its enemies are granted impunity over their violence and fanaticism.
I watched Roger Waters recently on Al Jazeera and am glad he was frank in acknowledging that he gets his news from the BBC and Al Jazeera. No wonder he considers Israel the bad guys. And, it is only natural that his contribution as a reporter would appear on the pages of CiF.
The “Holy Trinity” of biased news and anti-Israel hate sits well in his head it seems.
Waters’ uses his masterpiece work, The Wall, to not so subtly advance his demonization of Israel.
He brings up the requisite South Africa Apartheid analogies, the hallmark of such efforts at delegitimizing the Jewish state.
Granted, “The Wall” was a masterpiece. It was based on Waters’ life story, one which begun in the early years of WWII and the wounds of losing his father (who died fighting the Nazis in Italy) as it festered through his private and creative life.
Today he is just a has been.
While its difficult to not appreciate the artistic genius which produced the Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, and Wish You Were Here, his politics lacks the edge his creative mind was able to express for four decades. The analytical part of his mind does indeed seem quite comfortably numb.
Waters, writing for CiF, March 11, calls for sanctions against Israel, accuses the Jewish state of practicing apartheid, and demands that their security fence be torn down – a barrier which has dramatically reduced terrorist attacks.
This barrier is what gave rise to the rockets which, though deadly and capable of instilling terror for residents within their menacing range, doesn’t compare to the carnage caused by suicide bombings before the “wall” was erected.
He calls the people of Gaza “besieged”.
To Waters the answer is easy: Israel, of course, and certainly not the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood which took power after Israel evacuated every last Jew from the territory – a regime which just the other day attacked Gazans who demonstrated peacefully for Palestinian Unity; A regime which forbids women from smoking and men from cutting their beards, and one which destroyed every bit of infrastructure left behind by the Israelis in order to build bunkers, tunnels and rockets.
Waters wants to lift the blockade so that ships like the Victoria could sail into the Gaza and equip its Iranian backed terrorist regime with more weapons, explosives, missiles and guns which will be used to kill more Israelis and kill and intimidate more Palestinians who dare speak out.
Waters’ doesn’t mention the Nazi ideology embedded into the Hamas charter, along with the Protocols and the Islamist dogma which, if left to its own devices, would turn Gaza (and all of Palestine if they had a chance ) into another Taliban-style polity.
Not once does the word “terrorism” grace his essay.
And it doesn’t even stop there. Waters demands that Israel allow the “refugees” to settle back to Israel proper. The code for the dismantling of the Jewish state.
This puts Waters solidly into the camp of those who want more from Israel than mere territorial compromise – those who want it to become the 51st majority Muslim state, where Jews would, yet again, become a minority vulnerable to the whims and wishes of a hostile majority.
What could possibly go wrong?
The wall (and lunatic) is in his head…