Pink Floyd star announces Israel boycott

Roger Waters

Roger Waters

British singer Roger Waters has announced that he has joined the campaign to boycott Israel and compared his stand to that of opponents of apartheid South Africa.

The Pink Floyd front-man, who last September was criticised for “crossing a line into antisemitism” after he performed against a background depicting Israel dropping bombs in the shape of stars of David, said he had decided a cultural boycott was " the right way to go”.

Mr Waters has been a vocal critic of the Israeli government for years, speaking against the creation of the security wall and the blockade of Gaza.

In a blogpost explaining why he had decided actively to boycott Israel, he said he felt he would be standing “in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine, but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their government’s racist and colonial policies.”

In the post Mr Waters accused the Israeli government of having made “no attempt to implement legislation that would grant civil rights to Israeli Arabs equal to those enjoyed by Israeli Jews” and alleged that Israel was keeping children “chronically malnourished” with the naval blockade of Gaza.

He said: “The wall is an appalling edifice to behold,” and accused “young Israeli soldiers” of treating him with “disdainful aggression” when he visited Bethlehem in 2006.

He said he had written on the wall: “We don't need no thought control," a lyric from one of Pink Floyd's most famous hits, "Another brick in the wall."

Last year the national director of the Anti-Defamation League described Mr Waters’ behaviour as “outrageous” after he projected images of a Jewish symbol juxtaposed with the dollar sign on to a screen he was performing in front of.

Abraham Foxman said the singer was “playing into and dredging up the worst age-old antisemitic stereotype about Jews and their supposed obsession with making money.”

Last updated: 3:31pm, March 7 2011