The night The Rolling Stones tore down the Waters dam
Or, Who Can’t Get No Satisfaction? Roger that.
In case you had your head in the wall last week, or if you were just out dreaming on the dark side of the moon, you might not have noticed that a horde of wild Zionists and their ilk congregated in the tens of thousands, last Wednesday afternoon and night, celebrating in Tel Aviv’s Park HaYarkon outdoor concert arena.
That’s right. These gawdawful cultural elitists borne of the belly of low down, sex-charged, blues-inspired Rock ‘n Roll, were doing something so horrible and evil and against every anti-Semitic value in the book of How to Hate Jews and Make It Seem OK, that only Roger Waters and his much beloved BDS movement could possibly hope to make any impact on its perception as a rare, unique, singular and wonderfully special event. And I’m not even talking about the large, thick cloud of marijuana smoke that hung heavy over the crowd of around 50,000 people.
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Not only that, but the small gang of merry minstrels and terrifying troubadours, and their travelling road show troupe, dared to do what had never been done before: Bring a little Satisfaction to a crowd of people who have been ironically defamed, slandered and verbally abused by one of the most famous builders of The Wall, long before Israel’s security wall ever broke any records, or stopped any homicide bombers.
If you ever saw The Rolling Stones perform before (or since) June 4, 2014, you can be sure that it was not entirely like this show. And no, not because the setlist was so rare, or because it took place at the end of Shavuot, or because it was drummer Charlie Watts’ birthday all astologically aligned into cosmic harmony, but because you’ve never heard Mick Jagger speak Hebrew to an Israeli crowd full of Stones’ fans before. Clearly he put in the time to learn to pronounce some expressions that went down well with the audience. And, for the first encore, playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, an Israeli women’s choir sang the intro choral parts. Nice touch.
What Protocols will this Elder friends of Zion band dare to do next?
Yes, it was exciting to see them in TLV for once. Yes, some of the performance seemed a little auto-pilot. I think that’s fair, considering the septagenarians have been at this for 50+ years now. Yes, the audience’s reaction was a little muted compared to so many other of the band’s performances over the past half-century. Maybe that’s because half of them are in their ’60s and ’70s and, unlike the Stones, they actually got tired with age.
Oh yeah, by the way, do you remember that Roger Waters played a gig in Israel, relatively recently, just when the security wall was being built? So might it not perhaps be the case that Mr. Waters just doesn’t want so many other bands to be able to say they also played Israel, just like him?
Nevertheless, I have a little sympathy for the devil. And that’s why I say, diplomatically: Mr. Waters, tear down this wall … of your own silly opposition to Israel’s clear and open security issues, and of your vaunted support for the BDS movement, which are a great shame and stain on the otherwise perfectly legitimate criticism of the massive imperfections of Israel.
And for all other great bands from afar who wish to visit and perform in Israel, know that the audience is eager and happy to warmly welcome you and your crew.
Full disclosure: When not satirizing politics and the insanities of pop culture, Yasha Harari has composed songs of war, peace and love, performed before millions of people, built and torn down secure walls in Jerusalem and contributed to music, the internet, media and political organizations in the U.S., Europe and Israel.