Through Hell and High Waters

I attended in June a concert in Dublin to hear Roger Waters. Listening to the music of Pink Floyd was a ‘high’; hearing Waters rant against Israel was ‘hell’.

For me personally it had been a difficult decision whether to go or not. Although I love Plink Floyd, it was not a light decision; it meant more than crossing the Irish Sea but crossing the more tempestuous ‘Waters’ deliver a tirade against Israel. He is like a ‘one-man band’ determined to bring down the State of Israel, so why should I support him? It weighed heavily on my mind while crossing on the ferry.

My concerns were warranted.

The music as expected was wonderful and exceeded my expectation until the intermission, which was anything but a ‘time out’ as bold messages appeared on the large screen. The stage that had moments before mesmerized suddenly horrified as the vibe morphed from entertainment to slander – all in front of a captive audience of over 50,000.

So, who was on Mr. Water’s ‘Hit List’?

First in the cross-hairs was Facebook’s pioneer visionary, one of the world’s youngest billionaires, and yes – a JEW!

“Resist Mark Zuckerberg” read the giant message on the screen.

This was followed by carefully calculated and manipulative anti-Semitism.

Following projecting the message “To discriminate against anyone on the basis of their religion or ethnicity is obscene”, he craftily follows it by

“Resist Israeli Anti-Semitism” and “Yes, Israel discriminates against Palestinians on the basis of religion and ethnicity.”

The lyrics of Waters in Dublin was poison – all lies and deception.

The attack on Trump with his pop-art projections, made me realize that what bothered Waters – the world’s most high-profile advocate of the BDS movement against Israel – was less about the President’s policies regarding America and more about his show of understanding for Israel.

In the parlance of Pink Floyd, Waters is off ‘The Wall” when he calls Israel “an Apartheid state” comparing its Government to Nazis and accusing Israel of being the “worst human rights offender in the world.”

Really? Does Mr. Waters read the newspapers or watch the TV and learn of what’s going on in Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, Turkey, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan to name a few.

Why single out Israel, and give a free pass to the world’s worst human rights abusers and mass murders? No message on the screen against President Assad for having manically massacred hundreds of thousands of his civilian population, many of them Palestinian, and at times, using chemicals – sound familiar – characterized by the UN as a “war crime”!

Assad achieved this genocide not only with the armed support of Russia’s President Putin and the mad murderous mullahs of Iran but with the support by way of a deathly silence from much of the world – a silence that included the muted voice of Roger Waters.

However, silence is not an answer when it is selective silence!

What explains why one of the smallest countries in the Middle East attracts the most attention?

Why is it that the most free, open, and democratic society in the Middle east provokes the most global derision?

Why would a provocative slap by a teenager on a soldier in Erdogan’s Turkey that would probably go unreported, but on an Israeli soldier results in headline coverage on all major international TV news networks?

Is it because Israel is a Jewish State – a concept that a resurgent anti-Semitic world can still not yet come to terms with seventy years after independence and ratified by a UN that now appears to have second thoughts because of the change in composition on that organization since 1948?

This may explain why Waters was so vocally abusive in Dublin – not against Assad – but against the Jewish state, a state whose military medical corps at the same time were whisking away under the moonlight severely injured Syrian men, women, and children across the hostile frontier into armored ambulances towards hospitals in Israel for intensive care.

As one Syrian patient remarked: “Israel is not the enemy. Bashar is the enemy.”

And the enemy of Israel today is an English songwriter, singer, bassist, and composer and anti-Semite and his name is Roger Waters.

We have seen dangerous men before; men in the 20th century who too used their voice to devalue people resulting in mass murder. I reflected on the 50,000 fans, who came there out of love with many leaving fully charged with hate….and thought that when you have a captive audience of adoring fans hearing a dangerous message delivered by a dangerous man, there was a clear path from Nuremberg to Dublin.

I will never attend another live Roger Waters concert!

About the Author
Sidney Kaplan is originally from South Africa and a founding member of Manof in the Galilee, since 1978. Today, he is retired, having been involved in marketing in Cape Town prior before coming to Israel, and in Israel, one of three partners involved in agriculture.