An Open Letter to Roger Waters

Dear Mr. Waters,

As a fan of Pink Floyd and of your music in general I have to tell you that I was severely disappointed in the letter you wrote to try to convince Alicia Keys NOT to perform in Israel.  I would be very remiss if I did not tell you that your letter is full of contradictions and outright falsehoods.

You write:

“We are all part of the same old story, nothing has changed since the bad old days of apartheid South Africa and Segregated America. We must stand united with all our brothers and sisters against racism, colonialism, segregation and apartheid.


Please, Alicia, do not lend your name to give legitimacy to the Israeli government policies of illegal, apartheid, occupation of the homelands of the indigenous people of Palestine.


Others may try to persuade you that by playing in Israel you may magically effect some change; we know that this is not true, appeasement didn’t work with South Africa and it has not worked in Israel. I know I tried it ten years ago, things have only got worse.

I appeal to you to join the rising tide of resistance. Join the many millions of us in global civil society who stand together on the side of justice and peace for all humanity. “We shall overcome one day.”

Well, first of all Roger… things have changed, and in this case NOT for the better. You talk about standing with “brothers and sisters” against racism, and apartheid and you talk about “global civil society” that is standing for peace and justice for all humanity… Apparently though, you seem to forget the Jewish people when you talk about “all humanity”.

For instance, you mention that Israelis are occupying the “homelands of the indigenous people of Palestine”, well are not the Jewish people indigenous to the area known as Palestine / Israel? And if so, why do you deny the Jewish people their legitimate rights to self-determination in their ancestral homeland? If you do deny that Jews are indigenous to the area known as the Palestine district, where do you think they originated?

But when you talk in support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) you should realize that this is a movement that denies the Jewish People their legitimate rights to self determination and instead favors only the rights of the Palestinian people.

You talk of peace and justice but understand that neither the Palestinian polity nor the Jewish polity, accepts what you propose. HOWEVER, Israel (the country you demonize in your letter) is on record offering peace agreements time and time again, only to be rebuffed by the Palestinians that you claim to represent. Did you know that the Palestinian Polity overwhelmingly REJECTS a One State Democratic Solution that guarantees equal rights to Jews? Yep… they do. Don’t take my word for it though – please look at the results of the PSR Poll 47 from the Palestinian Center for Survey and Research in Ramallah.

Look in section 5 regarding The Peace Process. Here are the findings on this:

Talk has recently increased about the inevitable failure of the two state solution and the need to demand the formulation of a solution based on the establishment of one state in all Palestinian areas and Israel, one in which Arabs and Jews enjoy equality. Do you support or oppose this view?


Support: 29%

Oppose: 70%


(Note vote is not in original form due to formatting issues but the question is the exact wording – J.S.)

And there we have it… 70% of the Palestinian Polity OPPOSES a state where Arabs and Jews enjoy equality. So do you support Democracy here, and if not, what kind of government do you support? Also, if not, how do you square that with your rhetoric?

So really, wouldn’t you say that the program that you support and called for by Palestinian Civil Society one is the one that reflects colonialism and apartheid? I mean, you are telling us to support Palestinian political dreams. Well, here they are in a poll of Palestinians by Palestinians. So how do you square this with your talk about justice for humanity Mr. Waters?

Then you talk about Apartheid. Roger, do you know what Apartheid is? I get that it is the hip word to use when talking about Israel, but, really how accurate is that term? I mean you do know that South Africa was a country that was ruled by a minority government that practiced the most severe forms of segregation and oppression? In South Africa Whites were only 12% of the population, but in Israel, Jews are 73% of the population.

Further… Arabs are not precluded from being part of Israeli society, unlike in South Africa, Arabs can and do vote including having ministers in Government, justices on the Israeli Supreme Court and so forth. Do you know that Omar Barghouti, the head of the movement you support got his Masters at Tel-Aviv University? In South Africa Black and White Students were not allowed to mix.

The failed analogy goes on and on.

Finally Mr. Waters, do you really want to bring Alice Walker into this? I mean, I realize that Ms. Walker is a famous and well received author but did you know that Ms. Walker also supports the insane, and frankly racist writing of David Ickes? Again, don’t take my word for it. How about you read for yourself:

Here is just a little slice of Ms. Walkers feelings:

It’s an amazing book, HUMAN RACE GET OFF YOUR KNEES, and reading it was the ultimate reading adventure.  I felt it was the first time I was able to observe, and mostly imagine and comprehend, the root of the incredible evil that has engulfed our planet.   A lot of it is how shall we say: shocking, beyond belief (but not really, if you don’t get too scared), stunning, profound.  The deconstruction of language is breathtaking, the interrogation of symbols startling.  Magical, in a way.  I kept going:  Oh, so that’s why….  You will too.

The Reptilian space beings whose hybrid (part human, part reptile) descendants make our lives hell in Paradise were blue eyed devils to Malcolm X,  the devil himself to my Christian parents, who never talked about eye color, which I think was not only prudent but wise,  although they seemed clear enough about his sex, and as demons in many other religions, including the non-religion, Buddhism, where the advice is often to invite them in until they go away.  But maybe these were other kinds of demons.  Not the ones controlling not just you, but everything.

Is this the company that you want to keep – people insisting that White’s and Jews are some alien hybrid Reptillian race bent on suppression of the planet?

Roger, I would suggest that before you send out requests like the one you did, you look at the hypocrisy contained in your letter. You claim to be for “human rights and justice for all humanity”. Aren’t we Jews human? OR maybe you subscribe to David Icke’s theories as well?

Please just look at the data for the side that you support. I am not sure how any of what you support measures up to your rhetoric and words to Ms. Keys.

Regards –

About the Author
Jon Segall is creator of the blog The Progressive Zionist. Jon has lived in Israel and studied Israeli and American Policy in the region. Currently Jon, is re-learning Hebrew, and is an active practitioner of the Israel Self Defense Martial Art Krav Maga.