A few questions the Independent could have asked Roger Waters

What’s the role of a journalist while conducting an interview about a charged political topic? In the UK, it seems that the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code likely demands that questionable claims be challenged, or some minimal context provided to readers.  

Yet, in an “exclusive” interview published at the Independent, Paul Gallagher allows famed rock star Roger Waters to level several misleading and inaccurate claims against Israel and its supporters without even suggesting that his views are in dispute.

Waters’ first claim unchallenged by Gallagher: His 2006 concert in Israel (at Neve Shalom, an Arab/Israeli peace village) was segregated, and attended by “Israeli Jews only”.

How Gallagher could have responded:

But, there is no racial or religious segregation in Israel.  Further, the country’s population is 25% non-Jewish. As 50,000 people attended that show, are you really claiming that the entire audience was Jewish? No Christians or Muslims attended? How did you arrive at this conclusion?

Waters’ second claim unchallenged by Gallagher: there are “40 to 50 discriminatory laws” against non-Jews in Israel.

How Gallagher could have responded:

Can you name some of these discriminatory laws? How do you respond to media critics who refuted this very allegation?

Waters’ third claim unchallenged by Gallagher:  people in the music business are terrified to take a stance against Israel out of fear they’ll be personally “destroyed” and their careers ruined. 

How Gallagher could have responded:

Can you name a few people in the music business whose careers have been ruined after supporting BDS? 

Waters fourth claim unchallenged by Gallagher: his critics smear him with the accusation that he’s similar to a Nazi.

How Gallagher could have responded:

But haven’t you yourself unfairly accused Israel of behaving like Nazi Germany? Aren’t you being hypocritical by complaining about the use of a smear that you have leveled at others?

Waters’ fifth claim unchallenged by Gallagher: his critics falsely accuse him of antisemitism.

Gallagher could have responded thusly:

But, your Israel-Nazi analogy – suggesting that Israel is treating the Palestinians today like the Nazis treated the Jews during the Holocaust – is considered antisemitic by the US State Department’s definition of antisemitism.  Also, you’ve accused the “Jewish lobby” of being “extraordinarily powerful”, thus stifling criticism of Israel. Don’t you feel this plays into classic historic antisemitic tropes about the dangers of Jewish power?

Not only did Gallagher fail to ask these questions, but clearly seemed sympathetic to Waters’ feeling of victimization at the hands of Israel’s defenders – and implicitly legitimized Waters’ toxic narrative suggesting that Jews cynically play ‘the antisemitism card’ in order to stifle debate about Israel.

Gallagher’s interview of Waters demonstrates that the questions journalists don’t ask Palestinians and their advocates can be as potentially misleading to readers as outright distortions or falsehoods about the Jewish state.

20 replies »

    • Perhaps it has. Perhaps only Jews went to his concert because Arabs don’t like his music.

      Also listening to music is haram, if he tried to play in Gaza Hamas would stop the concert, at the very least.

  1. I was up late last night responding in the comments to the articles, which numbered over 1000. The comments, all comments, now seem to have disappeared. Am I missing something or is this normal behaviour for all subjects at the Independent?

  2. Another despicable sleb flirting with antisemitism. And yeah, the deafening silence about Israel. The nation no-one ever dares criticize. Not even, say, the UN.

    Do these people actually listen to themselves? Of course not, they’re so far up themselves to even hear what they’re saying.

  3. ““If they say something in public they will no longer have a career. They will be destroyed.”

    The truth is that the embittered who have no career, like Roger Waters, need someone to blame, so they turn on Israel.

  4. The more Waters opens his trap, the more he outs himself.
    For the trolls who show up here that process is usually quick, but Roger is a professional.

  5. Adam, for those who were too you pre 67’ or born post 67 it might be worth the effort to collect the outrages terrorists (Fadein) ’48-67’ murdering civilians on buses, schools communities all over Internationally recognized Israel. I know they’re books of pictures with the story behind them. Did Gallagher respond? Did the Independent reply?

    • Roger Waters is no mystery in fact he is Mister Miserable who goes about promoting his Racist Rant and then intimidates, and bullies artists into signing his ” List of Despair”. any artist that is signed up on that list a year from now, is not going to have a very happy future! In fact given the current winds of change, any artist who’s name is on Rogers’s List of Despair is going to be stating that they were intimidated and denying their names were put on that Artist BDS List by with out their knowledge

  6. A senile irrelevant racist old fart who is desperately clinging to his former glory…. using antisemitism to prop up his career.

  7. Those artists who really matter took no notice of him and his racist boycotts…They told him to go and do to himself an impossible physical act…..

  8. Rogers Waters claims that he can’t be antisemitic as his grandchildren are Jewish: This could be his future nightmare,his grandchildren grow up, they move to Israel join the IDF serve in Judea and Samaria..Later on go on and live in Judea and Samaria……