Jul 3, 2017

Dark Side of the Moon

There are Israel-haters in every generation. If today we are witnessing anti-Israel forces within and without Christianity (say, Shane Claiborne and Jeremy Corbyn, respectively), we can look back some decades to see where much of it began.

And sometimes worlds collide.

In the 1960s, a handful of British musicians formed a singular super-group that became “Pink Floyd.”

After founding member Syd Barrett dropped away due to drug use and rising mental problems, the remainder of the group—Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright—were joined by David Gilmour. The next decade would see musical innovations and record sales that remain legendary in the industry.

It was truly a group effort, but Roger Waters developed a reputation as a mercurial talent: a natural-born musician, combined with a political and social sense that went far beyond his chosen profession.

The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall became iconic albums and Waters’ career was made. Today, as is often the case, the original band remains apart. Wright and Barrett are dead, and from all accounts, Waters does not get along with the rest, in particular the equally talented Gilmour.

Unfortunately, Waters’ troubled relationships aren’t confined to individuals.

For some time, he has been a vocal opponent of the state of Israel, advocating loudly and angrily for “Palestine.”

In a recent issue of Uncut magazine, Waters lets his feelings be known in a wide-ranging interview. As to Israel, he says:

“I get accused of being an anti-Semite here because I’ve been active on behalf of the Palestinian cause, on the grounds that they don’t have any rights under the law. But the law exists. There is a Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was ratified in 1948 by all members of the United Nations. It is enshrined in international law that if, if you’re party to the Treaty of Rome, which most countries are. The State of Israel was created and what’s happened since, the people who live in Palestine don’t have any rights under the law. You can’t take everything away from the people who were living there. It’s wrong. All I do is go, “This is wrong, guys. This is wrong.” So I get accused of being an anti-Semite, which is absurd. Sticks and stones. It’s the way the world works. Or fails to work.”

First, almost all anti-Semites say that the charge they are anti-Semitic is absurd.

Second, it’s hard to know if Waters is simply a gullible artist and dupe, or if he understands that his propaganda is shot full of holes.

The above-mentioned Declaration states at the beginning:

“Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.”

Waters of course places all the burden on Israel, failing to mention in total the thousands of terror attacks launched against Israel not only by all her neighbors, but in particular by the Palestinians. Further, the latter’s constant incitement to violence breaks both the spirit and the letter of the Declaration.

Also, we need some clarification from Mr. Waters. For example, what does he mean by “Palestine”? Does he mean what the Palestinian leadership means, all the territory from the river to the sea? Does he mean historical Palestine, which would include Jordan? Or does he mean the Palestinian Territories?

It’s hard to know. His statements are too incomplete to understand the answers to those questions. It would be fascinating to hear someone who understands the issues ask him those questions, rather than a music magazine editor.

Finally, let’s discuss what we do know.

Within Israel, Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel most certainly do have rights under the law. Palestinians are members of the Knesset. Land and property disputes are settled in court, where Palestinians have been awarded judgments.

Now, if Waters and his ideological friends mean the Palestinian Territories, how is Israel infringing on their rights when those areas are controlled by the thoroughly corrupt Palestinian Authority and/or Hamas?

I doubt Waters knows the answers to these questions. I’m speculating, but I think if he were confronted with facts, he would do what Jew-haters do: obfuscate and change the subject and hurl all manner of irrelevant data and narrative.

Oddly enough, Waters played a concert in Tel Aviv last year. A concert attended by Palestinians who live in Israel and had the right to be there.