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Roger Waters asks musicians to boycott Israel

August 20, 2013|By August Brown
  • Roger Waters is urging fellow musicians to boycott Israel.
Roger Waters is urging fellow musicians to boycott Israel. (Don Emmert / AFP/Getty Images )

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters has long been an outspoken critic of Israel's treatment of Palestinians. But his latest protest is close to his line of work -- he's asking musicians to boycott the country. 

"I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel," he wrote, in an open letter posted to his Facebook page and the Palestinian activist website Electronic Intifada.

"Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights."

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Waters has been a frequent advocate of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement regarding Israel, encouraging institutions to withdraw investments there, among other tactics. In the letter, he said he drew inspiration from British violinist Nigel Kennedy's criticism of Israel, the successful boycott of South Africa during apartheid, and Stevie Wonder's recent rejection of states with "Stand Your Ground" laws.

Elvis Costello and Annie Lennox are among the musicians who have expressed similar support for a musical boycott of Israel. But Waters recently caught criticism at a show in Belgium, where the famed Pink Floyd inflatable pig appeared with a star of David and images of repressive regimes.

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