Pink Floyd Members Urge Rolling Stones to Boycott Israel

"We call for a resolution that upholds freedom, justice and equal rights for all, irrespective of identity, and does not cause additional suffering for either people," reads the letter.

Ultimate Guitar

Former Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Nick Mason have written an open letter to the Rolling Stones, published in Salon magazine, encouraging the band to boycott Israel by cancelling their June 4 concert in Tel Aviv.

Here is their open letter, in full, courtesy of Salon (via Hennemusic):

"With the recent news that the Rolling Stones will be playing their first-ever concert in Israel, and at what is a critical time in the global struggle for Palestinian freedom and equal rights, we, the two surviving founders of Pink Floyd, have united in support of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), a growing, nonviolent global human rights movement initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005 to end Israel’s occupation, racial discrimination and denial of basic Palestinian rights.

"The BDS movement is modeled on the successful nonviolent movements that helped end Jim Crow in the American South and apartheid in South Africa. Indeed, key figures who led the South African freedom struggle, like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mandela’s close associate, Ahmed Kathrada, have come out in support of BDS for Palestinian rights. BDS offers us all a way to nonviolently pressure the Israeli government to fully realize that its injustices against the Palestinian people are legally and morally unacceptable and unsustainable.

"The movement does not advocate a particular political framework — one state or two — and neither do we. Rather, we call for a resolution that upholds freedom, justice and equal rights for all, irrespective of identity, and does not cause additional suffering for either people.

"So, to the bands that intend to play Israel in 2014, we urge you to reconsider. Playing Israel now is the moral equivalent of playing Sun City at the height of South African apartheid; regardless of your intentions, crossing the picket line provides propaganda that the Israeli government will use in its attempts to whitewash the policies of its unjust and racist regime.

"We are nearing the tipping point in global awareness that the denial of Palestinian rights has had a devastating impact on generations of people, and that they need our support now more than ever. Consequently, we encourage you, fellow artists, to ask yourselves what you would do if forced to live under military rule and discriminatory laws for decades. If the answer is that you would resist until justice prevailed, we ask that you champion BDS as a nonviolent, collective means of securing a better future for all. If you wouldn’t play Sun City, back in the day, as you, the Rolling Stones did not, then don’t play Tel Aviv until such time as freedom reigns for all and equal rights is the law of the land.

"Together We Stand"

At press time, the Rolling Stones had not issued a response to the open letter.

The band are scheduled to return to the road for their 14 on Fire tour with a series of European dates set to begin in Oslo, Norway on May 26.

31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Imagine if Waters becomes the MLK of Palestinian suffrage? Now that's a concept album idea!
    Most of the world has no clue about whats going on in Israel. The arabs in Israel (which are my neigbours) are delighted (no less) to be under 'israeli occupation'. that so called occupation is better than what they would have gotten anywhere else. btw, does music suppose to connect people or build walls between them?
    Super Sponge
    I'm from Israel, and the world is not aware of what is happening here when every day there are rockets raining down from Palestinian areas wherever possible, and manage the life as usual when buses exploding around you ... Israel has the right to defend itself against the supply of weapons to Palestine. Many Arabs also Pailistinian Arabs works in Israel and Israel allows them to work and earn money for their families but if you give the Jew enter Palestine,they will murder him in less than 10 seconds! Dont get me wrong I dont have anything against Arabs and I personally have some Arab friends that some better then my Jewish ones. Anyway... You need to be here to understand what's going on... Love Music, Love Pinkfloyd, Peace!
    Isn't it kinda took their country away from them, stripped them from their rights while disregarding any international agreements? They're fighting back, something they're in their full right to, I'm not saying that it's Israels fault, because of circumstances after the second World War, but all in all, Israel is definitely not a part of the solution, and they do not intend to be either
    (you should read this) an open letter to roger waters:Mr. Waters,Music is supposed to act as a bridge between people and cultures and not create a gap between them. Your attitude doesn't help to break the wall, it only makes it higher.The impression you make is that you're not really interested in bringing peace and co-existence in the Middle East and that's too bad because many of us here are…Maybe you've succeeded in convincing Pearl Jam not to come here, because you're sort of a "father figure" for them, but Neil Young is not a child and he will be here because he knows that music lovers are the same anywhere in the world. *worth noting that even though waters is a big believer in freedom of speech he still deleted this post from his page after it got too many likes.
    Much as I agree with the sentiment, dude, keep your hands out of other peoples' tours. I know that sounds mighty libertarian of me, but seriously, if they wanna do a gig in a shitty country, let 'em. They get blown up or cause an international scene, it's their own fault. Also realize that Jagger and Co. could use this show to maybe promote the cause too, since Israel doesn't really seem to do too much to quell protests. Not as much as some places, for sure. I mean if Bjork can play "Declare Independence" in China... I mean, I'm all for standing up for Palestine, don't get me wrong, those people are suffering and they really need to have a sense of self-determination. But this isn't the way to go about it.
    yes, boycott israel! don't use electrinics that have israeli-made chips in them. no laptops, no smarthphones, lets see you now, hypocrats.
    Thank you Roger Waters. Israel, so-called "The only democracy in the middle east." A Democracy that does not recognize the villages of its indigenous tribes and bulldozes them? (The Prawer Plan) Restricts the movement of its own Arab citizens? Provides segregated education for its Arab and Jewish citizens? Authorizes the use of rubber-coated bullets on Palestinian citizens? Regulates interracial marriages? Israel is even an official Jewish State, whereas the PLO is a secular Republic. Israel is most reminiscent of South African apartheid. What will it take for people to realize this? When will people stop being racist?
    That comment really showed how ignorant and media eaten you are, since all the "questions" in your post are blatent lies.
    Fully agree. Israels' treatment of Palestinian citizens is absolutely horrifying and should be condemned by us all. Regardless of our religion, hatred and intolerance is never the answer.
    Standing up for you personal beliefs (no matter how **** it is) is Okay... Good for you and good luck with that. But trying to impose it to other people is another thing.
    Two surviving members of Pink Floyd???? What about David freaking Gilmour? Roger is too funny. The laddy recons himself a politicion now. When he put vote for Obama on the pig, I knew he was just another sheople. He should just retire and get on with it.
    It says "the two surviving founders of Pink Floyd", which is correct since David Gilmour joined Pink Floyd in 68, 2 years after the band first started playing together. Regarding the political stance of this letter, I guess it will piss off a substantial amount of people and a politician or a young musical act writing such a letter would put their career in a very risky position. Mason and Waters have nothing to loose and nothing to prove, hence making them quite honest messengers on such a subject.
    It is inaccurate for someone to say that Israel is guilty of "racial discrimination" against the Palestinians. Both Israelis and Palestinians are racial kindred. They are both Semitic. Of course they are of a different faith, but Jews originated from Isaac, and Muslims descended from Ishmael. Isaac and Ishmael were half brothers. I'm not taking sides. I am just stating facts.