There is nothing personal in this letter. I am putting aside your history and ignoring the relationship I have had with your music; I have simply read your recent public comments and felt a need to respond.
I am a Zionist, which simply means that I believe the Jews have the right and need to control their own destiny just like every other nation does. That for a long time, Jews were without that nation, doesn’t detract from that right. Or arguing another way, believing what you do, I doubt you would suddenly announce that all Palestinian claims had expired due to some imaginary time limit.
You argue by having ‘researched’ that your opinion is of more weight and value than anyone who disagrees with you, claiming as you have in the Dionne Warwick case that she is ‘ignorant’ and ‘misunderstands’. You support dismantling the Middle East’s only liberal democracy (the ‘one state solution’) in line with the central tenets of the BDS platform. I have no intention of dealing with propaganda or the creation of a separate storyline; my intent is simply to show that the basic facts highlight that the BDS narrative is wrong. What I am also not going to do is suggest Israel is without flaws, nor posit that Israel is always right; that isn’t my Zionism; for me Israel has every right to be a state that makes mistakes; just like the UK. At the same time, my Zionism allows for the Palestinians to be victims too, even if you and I would radically disagree both about the causes and the possible solutions to the conflict.
As for your research; many people have studied the conflict, many taking opposing views to yours. I too have done so, spending many years living and working with both Israelis and Palestinians. You have clearly taken a stance that considers some ‘sources of information’ untrustworthy, building your opinion only from those you have chosen to follow. Most people do that when taking sides, but it is important to remember your opinions are not facts but merely conclusions drawn from individually and carefully selected pieces of information.
Some issues are not opinions. For example, there is only one land in the entire Middle East where an Arab citizen can vote for, sleep with, or pray to, whoever he/she wants, and that is Israel. Unlike *all* of the nations that surround it, and despite continual conflict, Israel tries to provide freedom for all its citizens. What is most odd about BDS, is the attitude it has towards Arab Israelis, because they are, factually, the freest Arabs in the Middle East. If you look at the conflict and see suffering Palestinians, that is one thing, but if you look across a Middle East where universal suffrage does not exist, people are beheaded for praying to the wrong god, girls are mutilated to deny them the joys of sex or people are killed just for loving the wrong person and yet you still feel the need to highlight inequality between Israel’s citizens, then your cause has nothing to do with rationality. That level of prejudice isn’t what you gain from research, and when aired publicly, it is nothing more than venom coming from a simpleton on a soapbox.
But what of the main ‘stated’ cause of BDS, the Palestinians themselves? You make continual historical comparisons, referencing the abolition of slavery, the black rights movement in America and of course the great boycott success against Apartheid; yet you fail to grasp the fundamental flaw in your reasoning. In all of those events, there was no conflict and only a single narrative lay behind a denial of fundamental freedoms. One man’s ownership of another was an absolute wrong, so too was creating laws based on the colour of the skin; but the slave owners and white South Africans didn’t dispute the narrative, they justified it through prejudice. The slave was never free, his life was never his own and he had no choice but to be a slave. Nothing he or his family ever did could change the manner of his existence; according to the white man, the black mans’ life wasn’t the black man’s property to change.
In Palestine however, historically, there was no occupation, nor indeed a conflict; the original denial of rights, was not by Jews to Arabs, but by Arabs opposing the immigration of Jews. People leaving persecution had their entry to British Palestine opposed by some people living there; it isn’t a totally accurate comparison, but for modern equivalence – think BNP. Another fact; in the very small window Jews had to escape Nazi Germany, Britain restricted immigration because of local Arab pressure. How many additional Jews were needlessly murdered because of that policy?
Another fact; the Mandate was built on a one nation for all policy, a ‘one state solution’, but was absolutely rejected by the Arabs. You always begin your comments with reference to the events of 1947-1949, but in truth the BDS proposals, as they pretend to be, were rejected long before this. The partition, described in the Peel report of 1937 and eventually turned into an international position in 1947 was a result of the Arab rejection of a Jewish presence in British Palestine. This from the preamble in the 1937 report:
“one side put itself, not for the first time, in the wrong by resorting to force, whereas the other side patiently kept the law”.
It is therefore both ironic and absurd that BDS should suggest the solution to the partition is to create a single state, when the very rejectionism behind BDS led to the abandonment of the one state idea and the idea of partition and two states in the first place.
1947-1949 was to see a civil and then regional war erupt, a war based on the continuing Arab rejection of the Jewish presence in the region. Fact: The Jews won that war and Israel was born. But 1948 is a tale of two narratives; the Jewish one and the Arab one – and the BDS movement only represents the extreme side of one of these narratives. Not the outcome of well-meaning research, but distorted vision, selective positioning and the absolute rejection of historical facts because of prejudice.
The deliberate ethnic cleansing described by the Palestinian narrative is a myth that is easily discarded by even an elementary process of investigation. Facts:
- After the civil war, Arabs remained in Israel. They now make up more than 20% of the Israeli population. They can all vote. Some communities voluntarily choose to send their children into the IDF to protect their state.
- 1% of the Jewish people in Palestine died during the 48/49 conflict, even discounting those lost prior to May 1948. That equates it to WW2 scale losses for the UK. An undeniable battle for survival
- Even outside of the civil war and prior to the May 1948 invasion, Arab irregular armies entered Palestine to destroy the Jewish communities.
I am certain some strategic areas had hostile Arab populations removed to gain an advantage in the conflict, just as I am certain other Arabs simply left to get out of the way. The first war ended in 1949. More facts:
- The armistice lines of 1949 (read green line) left the West Bank and Gaza under Arab control. Not one centimeter of these lands had a single Jew left alive residing there. Ethnic cleansing in this conflict only works one way.
- Conflict creates refugees; historically civil war conflicts always create refugees. Just look at Syria, Libya or Iraq.
- No Palestinian state arose in those areas under Arab control between 1949 & 1967, despite no Israeli presence and refugees were not repatriated with their brethren from the camps in Lebanon or Syria despite the opportunity.
- In the 1940’s there was another partition. One that divided lands into India, Pakistan & Bangladesh. It saw the creation of millions of refugees, 15 million people crossed borders in population exchanges. State creation was a choice that the Palestinians rejected, had today’s Pakistanis also done so, would we now dismantle India?
The problem with building an opinion on sand is the arguments do not stand up to any pressure. You can only support such a vile notion as BDS through ignorance or prejudice. BDS isn’t like the fight against apartheid and will not nor can it ever be allowed to win; It’s a fringe movement of extremists trying to dress itself up to be something it is not.
- In every communication about BDS, the word ‘justice’ appears. Not ‘peace’ – but ‘justice’. The boycott against Apartheid was about giving blacks a vote, so too the American 1960’s rights campaigns; none of these movements were ever about *depriving* the rights of others. BDS specifically sets out to deprive the people of Israel of having the right to self-determination; unlike proposals for a two-state solution, BDS is destructive rather than constructive.
- Rather than set up a potentially successful Palestinian nation as was their choice ever since 1947, Pro-Palestinian BDS types simply want to deny the Israelis theirs.
- There is not a single society in the region that can act as a blueprint. In fact, the best society in the Middle East by a clear mile is the one BDS seeks to destroy.
The BDS movement is a continuation of extremist Arab rejectionist policy that has duped Europe’s left into believing it is somehow comparable with a call for black rights in South Africa. It is a revisionist nonsense that isn’t interested in Palestinian rights, nor democracy, nor self-determination. It isn’t a movement of hope, nor one of peace and has nothing to do with an independent state for the Palestinians. Those who align with BDS have taken sides with the aggressor, waving the flag of war, trying to convince peacemakers to fight alongside them. BDS is part of the problem, not the solution. BDS does nothing less than call for the destruction of a liberal democracy.
- More people have died in Syria in 2 years than all of the fatalities in all of the Israeli / Arab wars in the almost 100 years of conflict.
- Between 1936 and 1939 because of riots, the British killed 5000 Arabs. 4x more fatalities than in the 7 years of the first intifada.
- The population of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem is currently about 4.4 million. In 1967 it was about 1.2-1.4 million. If, as you continually claim, Israel is conducting a genocide and/or ethnic cleansing, then Israelis have proven themselves to be absolutely useless at it. Given the holocaust, this is the most vile of all the rancid lies thrown at Israel
It is all rather sad and pathetic really. You are wrong and you are being foolish, given that, I have no idea why you would wish to publicly spread around whatever nasty thing it is that you have caught. If artists want to go to Israel, let them. Israel is the only nation in the area most of them could have been born in that would have let them develop freely and express themselves – Israel is young, it is dynamic, it is successful. It is fully integrated with the global economy and it is not going to disappear just because the same warmongers have found a different strategy. People should be allowed to celebrate the success of Israel in any way they see fit – consumers buying its products or artists performing in Israeli cities. BDS, like so many regressive campaigns of hate and ignorance doesn’t stand a chance.
78 thoughts on “BDS : An open letter to Roger Waters”
Brilliant letter that absolutely hits the nail on the head. It’s time RW stepped out of his narcissistic bubble, faced reality and admit he’s wrong. If his ego won’t allow him to do that, then shut up and give us all a break!!!
Wow absolutely amazing letter I wish I had written it, I am actually Jealous. You drove the point directly home as to why BDS is a movement built on hate. Sadly perhaps that is why someone like Roger Waters so strongly identifies with it because it reflect his true feelings about Jews.
Thank you for sending Roger Waters back to school. I only hope he learn a thing or two and leave.the Jewish people and the State of Israel alone. My prayer is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyau will stand up to them like King David stand against Goliath.
He don’t need no education… said it himself.
Maybe, just maybe, Roger, and others will leave the Jewish people and the State of Israel alone once the State of Israel leaves the Palestinians and the State of Palestine alone. It works both ways.
I don’t know about RW and his friends. But i know that Israel would happily leave the Palestinians have their own state if and when the Palestinians are ready to agree the right of Israel as a Jewish state to exist. As simple as that. Trust me, Israel does want peace with her neighbourns!
If only your words and facts could penetrate that totally one sided anti semetic brain of his…unfortunately I think he is way to entrenched in his hatred and the adulation he gets from racist anti Israel factions. ..his whole life is caught up in his hatred and revisionism for him to let fact stand in his way. He is supremely deluded.
Just another pr*ck in the wall…
Oh boy, am I “stealing” that one!
and Comfortably Dumb
Lets let israel deal with the hell and the horror she has created.
She has had over 70 years to work out a peace deal but with Americas backing, she doenst see the need. Israel is no more important and is not any more chosen than any other people or country.
you didnt actually bother to read the open letter, did you?
nor do you seem to have even the slightest grasp of historical fact
And what do you call Ehud Barak offering Arafat all of Gaza (while it was still under Israeli sovereigny), 95% of Judea and Samaria, and joint sovereignty over Jerusalem, only to get the Intifada in return. It would seem that Waters isn’t the only ignoramus here.
….and I thought Rogers’ comments were daft. If only it were up to Israel to “work out a peace deal”, then I’m sure it would be done in 70 days. You seem to be forgetting/ignoring the other aspects to ensuring lasting peace, i.e.: that EVERYBODY involved wants that.
Dear MQW/MQW …
You are doing the same mistakes as so many did before you. You do not even try to see the truth, don’t you?.
In 1948 after announcing the birth of the state of Israel Ben Gurion openly announced that Israel does not want war and opened its arms for peace. What did the Arab countries do? reply with the same?, nop… they opened with a WAR !.
The Arab countries were sure that they will destroy the Jewish state and kill all the Jews. Britain and even the US did not gave Israel a chance.
Some will say that Israel won due to a miracle, some will say the Jews were better but the truth is simple. Israel did not have anywhere else to go. Israel only option was to win. That was the case then and this is the case now. Israel is here to stay !!!
From day one Israel wanted peace. It was and it is still the Arabs wish to destroy Israel. 70 years passed, Israel absorption of about one million Jewish refuges from Arab countries is ignored. Jews who fled from Arab countries left behind huge property far greater then anything the Arab left when they run away from Israel.
If you are open minded, not antisemitic and really want to know what happened I can suggest reading the book by Joan Peters … Joan did a huge research and found tons of information regarding the causes of the Jewish Arab conflict. Read and learn the unbiased truth.
There it is. The age old hate of the Jews because they are the chosen of God
Mr, Waters,,,,,A “Has Been” who thinks that he has the God-given right to boycott Israel…
Maybe due to the effect of the “substances” he consumed in his early life.
Reminds me of the three “wise” monkeys: “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” against the Palestinian terrorists.
Or maybe as CNN “objectively” reports after every Palestinian murder of Israeli citizens: “According to Israeli sources…” Yeah, right, and all that blood on the floor is just ketchup. And the sliced throats of the murdered children are just covered with makeup for the “The Wall” movie.
Mr, Waters, As the writer clearly stated, Israel is not free of mistakes. But you are not Mr. Know-it-All.
Wonderful piece of writing.
Great letter! Says it all! I fully agree. Peace be upon Israel
Very well put. Kudos.
Like some other has-beens – https://melchettmike.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/an-open-letter-to-andy-kershaw-and-other-useful-idiots/ – Waters’ obsessive, disproportionate Israel-bashing demonstrates something rather more sinister.
Well put with observations and facts.
Waters is totally anti-Semitic and blind to the truth. I do not know what hisproblem is, but he has one. His interpretation of history is the usual twisted logic of pro-Palestinians. For him, a country dealing the same with all its citizens, is a true democracy unlike its Arab neighbours, is to be condemned. Why?
Make sure you send a dictionary or an interpreter along with this letter. Chances are that it will go over his head!
Masterful. Very well said David.
Brilliant ..it may not change the deluded blinkered view of Waters but hopefully it will make some others who are not so entrenched have a think. This blog should be seen and read by as many people as possible on Twitter and elsewhere.
David yet again brilliant, succinct and unemotional. You’ve nailed him on every point showing the “Dark Side of the Loon”
BDS is an organization build around the foundation of Humanitarian concerns, but in reality is only a tool of warfare for those who hate Jews.
Excellent letter but Roger Waters isn’t amenable to reason. He seems to be in love with the sound of his own rhetoric.
Roger Waters is Anti-Israel-Yisrael / Anti-Zionism / Very Antiseitism!!
Only MESSIANIC JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY IS RIGHT AS WE HAVE THE SAME GOD who art in HEAVEN!!
Happy Shavua Tov Everyone!! SHALOM ALWAYS EVERYONE!! Am Yisrael Chai FOREVERMORE!!
Love and Shalom,
Isnt Mr Waters the chap who wrote “we don’t need no education” and got a group of school kids to sing along with him??? I don’t see his viewpoints as remotely of any interest given that he clearly has no understanding of the history of Israel
Stupid really did get worse get off the drugs and wakeup! To the commenter who doesn’t get the letter.
Another article hating Roger Waters, is there any unbiased truth to these “RW is a has been blah blah he hates Jews” articles? Wake up people, tear down the wall. You’re so ignorant enough not to do your research before you comment. Let alone the writer of this article is a joke.
What would have been really constructive would be to have addressed a single one of the facts in the blog. But you chose not to… you chose simply to make childish remarks and run away – the typical response of those who have no argument. The facts listed above are facts…if you can dent any of them – go ahead.
I would simply be typing all day if I were to do that. Just do your research and keep an open mind and you can thank me later. Roger isn’t antisemetic he fights for injustice and human rights, which everyone is entitled to. I’m not gonna keep beating this horse because most of you who are saying negative comments don’t know shit about Roger, let alone the conflict in the Middle East, will never get it. But hopefully the love in your heart will trump that. But for now ignorance is every clueless persons key defense.
Nonsense, the blog isn’t personal it is factual. And my mind is always open. I also never claimed he was anti-Semitic. I tell you what – instead of hiding behind empty insults and a claim that my research (which i have been doing heavily for more than 20 years) is wrong, why not simply show us what you have. Don’t try to pick the entire blog apart, take two facts and show me they are wrong. Go on, just two.
“Roger…fights for injustice”. Mrfloyd, thank you for inadvertently telling the truth in that Freudian slip.
If you are open minded please read this. If after that you will not change your mind Ithen you are NOT open minded but stupid, sorry to say that.
I always find it rather dispiriting to read a article that harks back to the mistakes of both sides in 1937-49 to justify current Israeli policies in the Palastinian Occupied Territories.
Cityfan… Firstly, how do you propose I respond to a letter that cites 1947 as the cause, without referencing 1947? Secondly, your argument simply suggests that the way to solve any crisis is not to understand it, not to look at the root causes, not to look at history but merely to take a snapshot and make a judgement call. If you had look at Western Europe in late 1944, as the Nazis were trying to cling on to their lives, you’d have put the UK and US in the criminal court. After all, what did 1939-1941 matter? The real reason you feel uncomfortable is because it takes back the narrative; the BDS narrative hates both 1922-1947 and 1949-1967, because those years highlight the fact BDS and the extremists of Hamas are making everything up. Much easier to run a calendar that talks about 1917, 1948 and everything post 1967…That way, you get to hide the truth. I will not let the narrative be stolen from me. Truth is truth.
Oh dear, Godwin’s Law has been evoked in the second entry of a thread! The moral equivalence argument is tedious and unhelpful to an enduring settlement which has to come from the Israeli side but is sadly lacking at present. Hence the existence of BDS. You have to move on if you want progress on this.
An argument against a single fact in the blog would be of far more worth than empty words. And meaningless rhetoric such as “enduring settlement” in BDS terms simply means to remove Israel from the map. BDS seeks to destroy a liberal democracy; so don’t try to lecture me about morality.
You misunderstand the stated aims of the BDS movement and replace them with unhelpful hyperbole. BDS has nothing to do with “the call for the destruction of a liberal democracy” (ie. Israel) or “the creation of a single state”. It is about pressurising Israel to respect basic human rights and respecting international law.
That is a rather amusing tale. I think you need to read up on BDS. I understand that sometimes they need to water down the goals, so as to enter places that would be hostile if they opened up, so I am assuming you have fallen for BDS ‘lite’. BDS do not talk of peace, they talk of what they refer to as justice, a resetting of the clock. If BDS were to get what they want, there would be no Israel, whichever way you want to spin it. This isn’t a movement to pressure Israel to be a little more flexible at the negotiating table…so don’t pretend it is…
Brilliant. Anyone whose mind is not yet completely poisoned and closed will see how true and accurate are the facts and analysis presented in your letter.
This is a great letter.
I’d also like to point out a couple of other interesting points about the man,Roger Waters, I used to respect so much.
1. Mr. Waters moved from the UK to the USA. He lives primarily in New York state….he has a beautiful country home in Easthampton, and he is a regular at a beautiful golf course out there. I find it strangely ironic that the man who does not like walls and occupations, has no trouble relaxing on land that was taken from the Montauk tribe, decades ago….so he can hit a little white ball in peace….behind the walls on the course that keep the undesirables out.
While the various native american tribes live in squalor on reservations Mr Waters can relax at his lovely summer mansion, that sits on land where these oppressed people used to live, hunt, fish and play.
How sadly ironic.
2. It is very strange that Mr. Waters is so adamant about boycotting Israel, because of its policies, but has no problem lining his pockets with money from other states that are egregious human rights violators. He claims in his letter to Ms. Warwick that
“This is about human rights and, more specifically, this is about the dystopia that can develop, as it has in Israel, when society lacks basic belief in equal human value, when it strays from the ability to feel empathy for our brothers and sisters of different faiths, nationalities, creeds or colors.”
Indeed, and this:
” and I am sorry but you are wrong, art does know boundaries. In fact, it is an absolute responsibility of artists to stand up for human rights – social, political and religious – on behalf of all our brothers and sisters who are being oppressed, whoever and wherever they may be on the surface of this small planet.”
Where was Mr Waters’ empathy for his fellow brothers and sisters who were being oppressed, “whoever and wherever they may be on the surface of this small planet” when he played in these countries on his various tours over the years?
Istanbul, Turkey – August 4, 2013 – MAssive violation of Kurdish rights, and killing/abducting/dissapearance of thousands of Kurds in southern Turkey. Vicious torture. Censorship, free speech restrictions,
St Petersburg, Russia – April 25, 2011 – A country currently involved in Ukraine, that is also prosecuting a war on gays in its own country.
Moscow, Russia – April 23, 2011 – a country who had just invaded Georgia
MOscw, Russia – June 24, 2006 – a country just coming out of the chechen wars, having killed 10s of thousands of civilians
Shangai, China – Feb 12, 2007 – a serial human rights violator, and decades long brutal occupation of tibet
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Feb 21, 2007 human rights violator, non-democratic, anti-gay, brutal treatment of guest workers
St Petersburg, Russia – June 6, 2008
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – April 15, 2002 -human rights violator, non-democratic, anti-gay, brutal treatment of guest workers.
Women are treated with tremendous discrimination, sharia law is applied. Flogging is legal, for premarital sex, alcohol consumption, adultery, kissing in public. Death by stoning is legal.
Rape victims are criminalized. Apostasy is punishable by death. Homosexuality is a capital offense. Amputation and Crucifixtion are legal punishments. Abductions and forced disappearances are common. Criticizing the government or royal family is illegal. Forming unions and protesting are illegal.
Beirut, Lebanon – April 17, 2002 – Torture, Political Detention, Free speech limits, censorship, banning of art, music, cinema. Child labor, migrant worker abuse. Brutally vicious discrimination against PALESTINIANS in a variety of forms…350,000 Palestinians live their as non citizens with virtually no rights. Homosexuality is a crime, and men are subjected to brutal medical examinations to determine if they have had homosexual relations.
St Petersburg, Russia – May 27, 2002 * in the middle of the 2nd chechen war at the time, destroyed chechen cities without warning and slaughtered 10s of thousands of civilians.
Moscow, Russia – May 29, 2002
Mr. Waters also toured with Pink Floyd extensively, in both the USA and the UK, the former, during its prosecution of the Vietnam War (Floyd toured there from 68 through the end of the war) , and during the UK’s brutal occupation of Northern Ireland from the late 60s through the 80s.
and Mr Waters’ own country (UK) in addition to his adopted USA, have been occupying Afghanistan for over 13 years now….why is he not boycotting these countries on his tours?
Because $$$ from touring are more important to him than idealism…except when it comes to Israel.
Israel is the only country Roger Waters’ chooses to boycott, strangely.
Life must be very nice when you sit on someone else’s occupied land in the Hamptons, like Mr. Waters….and point fingers at others. Some might call that hypocrisy….or he might just have found “religion” late in life. Strange that it is only the jewish state he takes issue with…
and just so he knows who he is defending, here are the laws and views of the Palestinian people, as represented by Fatah and Hamas:
Indeed, as Roger said ” In fact, it is an absolute responsibility of artists to stand up for human rights – social, political and religious – on behalf of all our brothers and sisters who are being oppressed, whoever and wherever they may be on the surface of this small planet.”
Maybe Roger should boycott the Palestinians, Russians, Chinese, Lebanese and Turks as well.
But i doubt he will.
There isn’t a reply tab to continue our little thread so I will write here instead. You have now graduated from hyperbole to full blown conspiracy theorist. Do you seriously believe that BDS, with its loose alliance of NGOs, Western trade unionists, academics, writers, actors and musicians is plotting the annihilation of Israel from its cosy New York headquarters?
To be honest there is no substance to that post of yours. Do I seriously believe the UK communist party is at this very moment seriously plotting to replace capitalism with communism in the UK? No I do not; but those remain their ideals and if you support the Communist party then those are your ideals too and you should be prepared to shoulder the ethical consequences of supporting groups such as these. You do not wag them, they wag you. Calling me a conspiracy theorist when these policies and goals are on the BDS website in their ‘about us’ section simply indicates you do not understand what ‘justice’ means to the BDS, or what the publicly stated aims of the movement are. The fulfillment of the BDS platform demands the end of the State of Israel – live with it.
Er….OK….from Nazis to communists, but I will press on. Where, anywhere, does it state on the its website that the goals and objectives of the BDS movement is the end of the State of Israel?
Rather than just ask me, why don’t we turn this around. Tell me what you think the end goal is for the BDS movement and we can take it from there. Not the slogans, such as justice, but how it would look on the ground. How many states?
I have asked you a specific question that I would like you address. Perhaps you could copy and paste the bit on the BDS website stating its aim to destroy Israel as a nation State.
I have been around the block too many times to get involved in a game like this. I have made various statements backed up by clear historical facts on the blog, you have done nothing but use empty rhetoric supported by cynical attempts to detract from my argument merely through attacking the way I express myself rather than addressing the content itself. Now either have a go at the facts laid out in the argument or support your assertion that I have misunderstood the stated aims of the BDS movement by describing them to me as you understand them.
“FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA, PALESTINE WILL BE FREE” on banners, flags and on the BDSers lips.
Goal / Objective — Israel ceases to exist. That is elementary and fundamental.
“Do you seriously believe that BDS, with its loose alliance of NGOs, Western trade unionists, academics, writers, actors and musicians is plotting the annihilation of Israel from its cosy New York headquarters?”
Why do BDSers chant “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free” if their aim isn’t to annihilate Israel? A Palestine state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea wipes Israel off the map. Most naive European BDSers don’t even realise that Saudia and Iran are funding the BDS project. Haven’t you ever wondered where the money comes from?
(Sigh…) Your entire blog is predicated on the “fact” that the stated objective of the BDS movement is to destroy Israel as a nation State. You write that “BDS specifically sets out to deprive the people of Israel of having the right to self-determination”. You have singularly failed to provide one shred of evidence to substantiate this claim.
You write that the BDS movement supports the “dismantling of the Middle East’s only liberal democracy in line with its central tenets” but that is not a fact – it is merely your opinion. It is an opinion that many would say is just the usual dogmatic Zionist paranoia that has become so depressingly familiar from the Israeli side. The actual stated aims and objectives of BDS are quite clear for everyone to see – they are published on their website.
FYI, BDS is a global pressure organisation that believes that, after many decades of State sponsored oppression in the Occupied Territories and fruitless diplomatic pressure to bring it to an end, it has now come to pass that economic sanctions and a cultural boycot of Israel are legitimate pressurising tactics to help “nudge” Israel’s political classes into seeking an enduring settlement with the indigenous Palestinian population. You may disagree with this political tactic (and many do), but it has absolutely nothing to do with seeking the destruction of Israel as a country. If you can prove that then provide the evidence, and not the consequent misinformed conjecture that your blog is full of.
cityfan… As much as you would like to present BDS as a global organisation designed to bring two sides together; the entire premise is simply flawed…BDS is one of the sides involved in the conflict. The pretense that BDS is somehow disconnected with the fight itself has seen them present themselves as modern day ‘anti-apartheid’ warriors’ despite the absurdity of the comparison. BDS is a weapon of war as much as the siege engines used to be a weapon of war. And as much as “respecting the rights of refugees” might sound nice to a student in UCL, it could mean, if such a group wanted it to, that millions of Palestinians need to be allowed to enter Israel.
So I ask you, if BDS was successful, as successful as they want to be – how do you know when they’d apply the brakes? What do you think would be enough for a Palestinian weapon of war that has its foot on the throat of Israel? Enough with idea they are some type of humane NGO only seeking peace; they never even talk about peace – it is of no interest to them. And what exactly do you mean by occupied territory – where does it start and where does it begin? Where do you think the Palestinian refugees should end up living? Nothing is ever defined; nothing clear; nothing explicit – nothing that would put the student of UCL off. I want 2 states – Israelis in Israel and Palestinians (including the refugees) in Palestine – clear – easy- precise…what does BDS want? What do you want?
And as for legitimacy. At what point do you have the right to tell me what to buy, what to eat and what to watch? Taking kosher products off shelves in supermarkets – you should be ashamed of yourself.
So I guess that you have at least moved on from the “BDS wants to destroy Israel” delusion since you have still failed to uncover any evidence of this. Or maybe not…
All those questions you ask about the Arab-Israeli endgame are exactly what BDS are pressurising Israel to address but Israel refuses to enter meaningful negotiations with the Palestinians. Make no mistake about this, the solution to all this must be initiated by the Israelis because they hold all the cards. Instead it continues to deny Palestinian freedoms and presses on with an illegal resettlement policy. It has created an entrenched defiant Palestinian population who are, unfortunately, ripe for terrorist exploitation. The situation is dire and likely to worsen after the recent Israeli general election.
And yes, a BDS strategy will mean that the general Israeli population will suffer under economic and cultural sanctions imposed by the international community. But consider why it has come to this. Consider why BDS exists at all.
Not moved on at all. Omar Barghouti (founding committee member) advocates the one state solution (ie, no Israel), Samir El-Youssef said of him and BDS “As a Palestinian, born and brought up in a refugee camp in Lebanon at the time when the PLO was a dominant force in the country, I feel that the content and style of Barghouti’s article suggest that he has other concerns than peace on his mind.” adding “His article is full of questionable assumptions, biased assertions, reductive and dismissive statements, condemnations and accusations against those who disagree with him. The language is reminiscent of Palestinian orators who used to urge us to keep fighting “the Zionist enemy” until the “liberation of every single inch of Palestine”. ” He also said (this is a Palestinian, not me) “Barghouti’s ‘true peace based on justice’ is that Israel must be punished, brought down to its knees, before a Palestinian is allowed to greet an Israeli in the street”
I understand that some people involved in BDS actually believe it is benign, it is deliberately created to appear so. But you cannot escape the fact that the call for justice, rather than peace, implies adhering to the subjective opinion of the judge. So who is the judge in the fight for BDS ‘justice’? Do you know?
Further, thank you for highlighting another major weakness in the BDS movement. “Israel holds all the cards” you say. So why, between 1949 and 1967 was the solution not found when Israel held *none* of the cards? Unless of course the cards Israel are holding are inside the pre 1967 borders. What cards where Israel holding in 1964 that led to the creation of the PLO?
Finally of course there is the ludicrous assumption that of all the conflicts, of all the horrors, this little spat is the one that needs the worlds attention. Holding Israel up, not to a world standard, but to a standard well above what most are achieving elsewhere. Have you read the BDS comments on the Israeli arabs? Which arabs in the region, of any you are free to choose, would you like to suggest are more free than the ones in Israel? What is it about Israel’s treatment of Israeli Arabs, as opposed to say, Syria or Iraq or Egypt or Jordan or Lebanon or Yemen, that warrants a boycott?
And finally you missed the question about kosher goods. What gives you or anyone the right, to tell me, a British citizen, what food I can buy, where I can buy it, what I am allowed to watch and who I am allowed to listen to?
The Arabs are not the “indigenous population.”
In 1939, the Palestine National Football Team was all Jewish and the Palestine flag was a Jewish Star of David on a light blue background (similar to Israel’s flag today).
I suggest you watch “Inventing the Palestinian People” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYMviMHH0nc
1857 British Consul, James Finn:
“The country is in a considerable degree empy of
inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is that of a
body of occupation.”
1867 Charles Wyllys Elliott, President Harvard University
“A beautiful sea lies unbosomed, among the Galilean hills
in the midst of that land once possessed by Zebulon and
Naphtali, Asher and Dan. Life here was once idyllic…now
it is a scene of desolation and misery.”
1867 Mark Twain:
“A desolate country…a silent mournful expanse…there are
two or three small clusters of Bedouin tests, but not a
single permanent habitation. One may ride ten miles,
hereabouts, and not see ten human beings.”
1874 Reverend Samuel Manning in the book “Those Holy
“But where were the inhabitants? This fertile plain, which
might support an immense population, is almost a
solitude. Day by day we were to learn afresh the lesson
now forced upon us, that the denunciations of ancient
prophecy have been fulfilled to the very letter: “The land is
left void and desolate and without inhabitants” (Jeremiah,
ch. 44 v.22).”
My home town in Israel was established in 1892. Early pioneers bought swampland from a mufti and ordered eucalyptus trees from Australia. They planted those trees to dry up the swamps–many dying of malaria in the process, eventually planting orange groves to work the land. That is wayyy before 1967 or 1948.
Back to the youtube film:
“The Arabs were attracted by new employment opportunities provided by the Jewish pioneers and the massive Arab immigration into the land began. The Arabs who today call themselves “Palestinians” are the descendants of Arabs who illegally flooded British Mandatory Palestine from Arab territories. Britain, during its Mandate over the territory, turned a blind eye to the flood of illegal Arab aliens entering while at the same time limiting Jewish immigration into their ancient, biblical and ancestral homeland.
1930 British Hope-Simpson Commission recommendation: Prevention of illicit immigration” to stop the illegal Arab immigration.
Governor of Syrian district of Hauran, Tewfik Bey El Hurani, admitted in 1934 that in a single period of only a few months over 30,000 Syrians from Houran had moved to Palestine.
1939 Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of USA:
“The Arab immigration to Palestine since 1921 was much greater than Jewish immigration.”
1939 Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister:
“The Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population.”
Walid Shoebat, former PLO terrorist:
“The fact is that today’s Palestinians are immigrants from the surrounding nations. I grew up well knowing the history and origins of today’s Palestinians as being from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and the Jordanians next door. My grandfather, who was a dignitary in Bethlehem, used to tell us that his village Beit Sahur (The Shepherds’ Fields) in Bethlehem County was empty before his father settled in the area with six other families.
Zahir Muhsein, a PLO leader said in a 1977 interview with Dutch newspaper Trouw:
“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing out struggle against the state of Israel. In reality, there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of ONE people, the Arab nation. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people.”
So no, the Arabs are not indigenous to the Holy Land.
Incidentally, in case you don’t know, Britain was supposed to mind the Mandate land until it could be handed over as a Jewish homeland. Instead, they gave away half of the land to a crony from Saudi Arabia–that land became Transjordan and the Saudi became king.
You are a pompous sounding pseudo intellectual.
Go and stand up for the rights of west Saharan people whose lands and rights are trampled on by the Moroccans. Or for the Tibetan people under China, or the rohyinga in cambodia or even the aboriginal people of Australia whose lands were stolen.. the whole world is full of causes more deserving. But because this involves the Jews, every one wants a bite.
The Palestinians have had 60 years to take their destiny into their own hands in numerous opportunities…they declined each time.can’t you see that?
Oh dear, I thought we were making progress. You have made yourself irrelevant if you continue with the deluded belief that “BDS specifically sets out to deprive the people of Israel of having the right to self determination.” This is a fundamental falsehood with no basis in reality. Please provide the “specific” evidence. You can continue to peddle your paranoid political beliefs to your Zionest pals in your own little dark recess of the internet, but no-one will take you seriously until you base your arguments on facts. It is the basis for all meaningful debate.
The moral equivalence argument (ie. why pick on Israel when there is no much other bad stuff in the world) is just a tactic for continuing stalemate and further suffering of indigenous Palestinians. It serves no useful purpose. It is one of the reasons why a pressure organisation like BDS was formed in the first place.
With regards to Kosher goods, how is BDS going to stop you buying them in UK? BDS calls for sanctions and a boycott of Israel only, because Israel’s political leaders has stubbornly refused to enter a meaningful dialogue on the Palestinian question for decades. Where is the visionary Israeli leader who will rise above the points scoring and start this process? Where is the FW DeClerk of Israel? Sadly lacking at present and in the meantime Israel slowly degenerates into becoming pariahs on the international stage, just like aparheid South Africa.
you are not responding to anything. you are merely on a soapbox. You keep making references to what I believe without actually dealing with any specifics. I just gave you a Palestinian view of someone from the heart of BDS and you skip it completely. I am well versed in the conflict and on the reality on the ground. I spent a long time with both Israelis and Palestinians and am willing to take on board any new ideas that can be shown to me. Rather than address anything I have asked, you have skirted around the issues, simply regurgitating the same tired lines. What is the point of talking to you if you simply refuse to address anything?
As for kosher products…. if half of the kosher products on the shelves are Israeli, how is BDS not trying to stop me from having the opportunity to buy these goods?
You keep going on about sticking to the facts and yet you have singularly failed to provide not one shred of evidence to support your assertion that “BDS specifically sets out to deprive the people of Israel of having the right to self determination.” Where “specifically” is this evidence in the goals and objectives of the BDS as an organisation? Go on, produce it to me. I want evidence and not opinion. Until you specifically address this point there is no point pursuing this further. A fixed false belief out of touch with reality is called a delusion and that is what your entire blog is predicated upon.
Yours is a silly argument; you are suggesting that unless BDS blatantly calls for the destruction of Israel (something they could never do), you wont believe it is the case, despite every word of their mutterings screaming at you that this is the case. The BDS marches are full of ‘destroy Israel’ banners, their thugs hide kosher, non Israeli foods (kosher foods – another point you ignored because you had no answer), I gave you a Palestinian who described Barghouti’s book for you, I gave you Barghouti’s book (I suggest you read it), I gave you the *fact* BDS don’t talk about peace (why on earth not?), I asked you about the refugees and much more besides. You have refused to answer anything, standing in front of the burning fire, saying until you actually feel it burn you, the smells, the screams and even the heat mean nothing. That is your choice. It is a highly silly way to approach life, and if you ever meet *anyone* with a sinister intent then you will fall prey to them. Movements like the Apartheid one were clear and precise, they had nothing to hide….I remember Apartheid, the story was straight. BDS isn’t and they don’t answer questions, because they can’t. They are a one state solution movement, which would at some point require the removal of Israel…they are just evasive and I suggest you are being deliberately evasive as well. It’s enough now.
It’s pointless carrying on because you refuse to answer specific points, merely ranting on ad nauseum.
If you are truly representative of mainstream Zionist opinion then the future is indeed bleak for an enduring peace in the Middle East. So much paranoia! So much suspicion! How on earth are you going to find any common ground to start a meaningful dialogue? You are part of the problem, not the solution.
You return once again merely to attack my argument without any facts. FACT: The Arabs began with the violence even before the mandate officially began FACT: The creation of the Jewish defense forces was a response to Arab violence FACT: It was mainly Arab violence that led to the British suggestion of partition FACT: only because of Arab rejection of partition did the civil war explode FACT: Whilst the Jews were galvanizing support for the civil war, 100,000 of the wealthier Palestinians deserted it, taking their money and expertise with them. FACT: During the civil war, Arab irregular armies entered Palestine to destroy Jewish communities FACT: Arab armies invaded Israel as soon as the state was declared FACT the partition envisaged and specifically mentioned population transfer; just as was seen in India FACT: The Israeli war of independence was brutal, 1% of Israelis died during this conflict.
Now I do not know what ‘mainstream’ even means in such a context, but I will try to address your post anyway. The vast majority of powers that be and the vast majority of people in democratic nations, want a two state solution. I do too. We all may differ on what each sides needs to give, where the exact border should be, and how specifically to deal with the refugee issue, but if any solution exists to this conflict, it exists somewhere in this spectrum. BDS do not exist inside this spectrum, they exist outside of it. And whoever you are and whatever it is you are trying to sell, wont wash here. You wouldn’t even answer the simplest and most straightforward of questions
How many states do you believe those behind BDS would like to see in the area? What do you say about one of the founders openly claiming he wants Israel gone?
All you wish to do is create smokescreens for a very extreme anti-peace movement. I wish you would stop wasting both of our time.
It’s too late..don’t you understand?
Israel left Gaza and got Hamas … the Egyptian government realizes what this means and they have effectively sealed off Gaza …not Israel..why are you not bds ing Egypt??
With Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah on the northern border and Isis and the Iranians a stone throw away in Syria what crazy government would give up Judea and Samaria never mind ideological or religious reasons.
if the Palestinians really wanted a state in the west bank only, they could have had it all or most of it years ago. But to compromise on only the west bank was never possible for them…can’t you understand that?
It’s too late now. Actually. I used to think it was possible..no more.
What educated person cares what this has-been once great artist (1/2 century ago) has to say politically.
Fine…if he wishes to be an anti-Semite or Israel-hater or whatever floats his boat, great. Please Roger, your one-time fans who put you where you are today are frankly sick and tired of “the self-importance of your BDS craziness”.
First of all, its a total failure (even in the word’s of Mahmoud Abbas) who has begged the BDS movement to stop; that it is hurting the Palestinian people more than helping.
In addition, it hasn’t hurt Israel (in the least); in fact Israel’s economy has grown substantially since BDS started (on Tel Aviv Campus) by a PhD candidate working on his Israeli-made “Intel Inside” laptop. What a silly joke of a movement.
There are so many real stories in the middle east of oppression and murder, etc in which he could really do well.
But this is all about him; and nothing about the Palestinian people (who frankly I’d like to see prosper and do well with their own nation). But it ain’t gonna happen if it has to rely on self-aggrandizement useless movements like BDS.
What a nightmare/failure you turned out to be sir. And I spent a LOT of money helping build you to what you became as did so many of my friends, only to be spat upon. You have turned on the world, and are hurting the very people (horribly) you are claiming to help. Shame on you.
An open question to Roger Waters
Have you ever received any moneys, property, benefits or kickbacks from Saudi Arabia or any other party to pursue your hate campaign against Israel and to harass artists who schedule concerts in Israel?
It always boggles my mind why actors, singers, models and footballers think their point of view is more important that anyone else’s. Say the lines, sing the songs, walk the walks, and kick the balls–that is what you’re being paid for.
What annoys me about RW is that after years of singing “We don’t need no thought control” he continuously attempts thought control and harassment on anyone wanting to visit Israel. That’s hypocrisy for you.
And the Israel/ Palestinian issue is all about cause and effect. I remember when they all worked freely in Israel. I also remember the 7 terror attacks in my town, not being able to reach my children who were in town at the time, or thinking how I’d just passed the marketplace 5 minutes before that bomb went off. Roger doesn’t remember. I remember how my home was burgled twice and two vehicles were stolen. In the second burglary, they took the car keys and cellphone–then spend off in our van. I rang my husband’s cellphone number and someone with an Arab accent answered. “Are you the thief?” I asked. “God forbid” he said “I just own a garage.” It was 6am on a Saturday morning, so he must’ve been hardworking. Then he offered me a deal: bring $5,000 to such-a-such place, and you’ll get your van back. I declined.
So Rog, I was so happy when that security fence went up. My town is free of bus bombings, drive-by shootings, suicide bombings and other attacks. No more burglaries either. As they say: “High fences make good neighbours.” The same with Gaza. As long as Gazans are bent on murdering us, we’ll close our border with them. That’s not rocket science (pun intended).
Some things not mentioned in this article are that the Jews are occupying what is rightfully theirs since God gave the land of Israel to the Jews as an everlasting inheritance, the two-state solution will not result in peace as many think because God said He will judge the nations that divide up the land. And BDS? God said He will curse those who curse Israel.
Hallo is there anybody out there.
When the power of love becomes stronger than the love of power we may have a chance for universal peace. Unti then all of you put away your books of so called facts , and deal with the problem at hand which is every bodies inflated ego. Any one who takes a side using stories from the past is blind and has a need for revenge along with something to prove. Not one living man or woman knows the truth from the past so all of you shut up to the people who sit in millions , spend it in those who need it without talking about it,you’ll feel better.
The future will always contradict the past leave it alone
The problem with comments like that is they are empty of substance. They seek to take away what is real and replace it with nothing. Then they theoretically constuct an impossible idealism that cannot possibly play out in the real world. The only solutions to this conflict will come from the real world and only upon acceptance of what is possible. These are real people, living today, that all deserve to have the opportunity to live in freedom and in peace. Haven’t enough children been sacrificed over impossible dreams?
Weighing it all up the Jews have suffered no more than some others but the Jews especially the Zionist sure came out of it rich and are forever cashing in on their persecuted past. As for its own state which really means they want to own the world , they got most of the banks and a lot of politicians locked up tight.
No nation deserves a state there is no right no one owns anything we are all only tenants. Wake up children the dream is real.
I most certainly have never mentioned god and your last post kind of doesn’t leave much room for an answer. As a Zionist, I will simply run off to the bank I own, pay of a few politicians and have everyone do my will. After all, apparently I seek global domination. Jeez.
No u didn’t mention God but I thought u were as u got all the answered from his books.
As for globalisation check it out
And the answer is simply open your closed mind widen your tunnel vision you be amazed what you see when you start looking
Roger Waters is a sad ‘has been, and a moron. He is simply a Jew hater, and a fuzzy brained guy who built his own Apartheid Wall around his own home in the Hamptons and stole an access road from his community—A plain & simple anti-Semite one who needs to go back to school and learn about the history of the Middle East & realize that Jews have lived continuously in Judea since before Jesus’ days. There was never a Palestinian people, the Arabs were referred to as Arabs and they live throughout the Middle East. Mr Waters should not be given a stage unless it is to play guitar. He built his own wall and banned neighbors in his long island enclave– I guess his own little apartheid. Laws do not apply to the ego maniac MR WATERS
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