Pink Floyd star Roger Waters is embroiled in a bitter war-of-words with the Israeli government after he urged his fellow rock stars to boycott the country.
The veteran rocker is encouraging other musicians to follow his lead and refuse to perform gigs in Israel, but his plea has been met with a withering response from politicians in the Middle Eastern state.
In a message posted on a pro-Palestinian website on Monday, Waters told readers, “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…”
“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 reward 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.”
However, the rocker’s potentially inflammatory post has been condemned by a representative of the Israeli foreign ministry, who has accused Waters of forgetting the message behind Pink Floyd track “Wish You Were Here.”
Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson tells Britain’s Daily Telegraph, “That song is addressed to a friend and chides him for thinking that he can tell right from wrong… He has forgotten his own words. The Roger Waters we knew from the Seventies and Eighties is no longer with us. He’s just an ageing rock star now.”
Several British musicians including Elvis Costello and Annie Lennox have already announced they are boycotting Israel.