Roger Waters: 'The Moral Perversity of U.S. Position in Gaza Is Stunning'

"No politician's career has ever been hurt by applauding Israel's illegal occupation."

Ultimate Guitar

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters recently issued a lengthy essay on his stance towards the current situation in Gaza, severely criticizing actions of the United States government.

In the Salon piece, Waters noted that "the moral perversity of the U.S. position is stunning," adding how "the U.S. could act to stop the senseless slaughter but it won't." In conclusion, the musician offered a poem he wrote in dedication to the children of the Gaza Strip.

Since the issue is quite serious, we'll just bring you Roger's article in full, read it below.

"The carnage in Gaza continues after the latest collapse of cease-fire talks and over four weeks of asymmetrical bombardment by Israel. With the death of more than 2,000 Palestinians, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands more, the complicity of the American government has been exposed to the world as never before. Yet the mantra repeated ad nauseam by the U.S. government and media alike remains the same: Israel has a right to defend itself.

"The moral perversity of the U.S. position is stunning. How can the U.S. government ask Israel to be more careful about civilian lives while simultaneously arming and then rearming the IDF so it can more effectively inflict such devastation on an imprisoned and occupied people?

"The U.S. could act to stop the senseless slaughter but it won't. Instead, it's cheerleading. Members of Congress are mindlessly parroting Israeli talking points without a thought given to the Palestinian perspective or to preserving human life. Brimming with righteousness, they argue for turning Israel loose - Sen. Rand Paul in particular - and invoke Israel's right to self-defense, despite the fact that, as the occupying power, Israel has an obligation to protect the Palestinians it rules, not massacre them.

"Do congressional leaders ever stop to wonder what they would do if they were born Palestinian, had their homes and private property stolen from them, and were forced to live without freedom under an illegal Israeli occupation for 47 years? Do they know what it means to be on the receiving end of Israel's barbaric 'mow the lawn' euphemism? Scarcely a word is said about the rights of Palestinians who are being pummeled from the sky and shot dead in their neighborhoods by the region's most powerful military. What, I wonder, would Americans do if it were their neighborhoods being invaded and if they were the ones living under siege? I think it's safe to say Americans wouldn't stand for it.

"Despite these realities, it's far more advantageous in Washington to come down like a ton of bricks on the Palestinians and maintain that they are the cause of their own suffering. No politician's career has ever been hurt by blaming Palestinians or by applauding Israel's illegal occupation, colonization and war crimes.

"Pressure on American politicians to conform to the party line is abetted by skewed media coverage. For instance, CNN, while purporting to be a news channel, relentlessly churns out Israeli propaganda.

"It is easy for those of us who do not live under the tyranny of the occupation to condemn the military wing of Hamas for using randomly fired rockets that might cause civilian casualties in neighboring Israel, and I do unreservedly condemn it. Having said that, an occupied population has the legal right to resist the military of the occupier. The occupier has a legal obligation to protect the occupied. Under these circumstances the reporting on CNN is biased beyond all belief.

"Numerically, one can readily see the bias. Far more pro-Israel guests than pro-Palestinian experts are invited on air to make their case.

"An exception to that general rule, and obviously not on CNN, is Henry Siegman, a prominent Jewish voice and a former national director of the American Jewish Congress, who recently got the opportunity to expose the shortcomings of Israeli talking points. Siegman was interviewed fairly and in depth by Amy Goodman on 'Democracy Now!' Sadly 'Democracy Now!' is not mainstream media. If only it were!

"Contrast that appearance with the reception Yousef Munayyer received during an extraordinarily 'unfair' Fox News interview by the execrable Sean Hannity. Actually, to dignify Hannity's rude and infantile shouting and finger pointing as an 'interview' would be wrong.

"If only CNN - or Fox, for that matter - would sometimes rely for their analyses on someone as intelligent and humane as Siegman. Unfortunately, however, CNN persisted for weeks with the extremely biased analysis of Israel's former ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren. Even CNN appears to have recognized how biased a contributor Oren was as it recently changed his title from CNN analyst to former ambassador.

"Staunchly pro-Israel voices like Oren's have resoundingly proclaimed: Any resistance, violent or nonviolent, in fact any criticism of Israeli colonization and denial of Palestinian rights, is off limits. What they are advocating, in essence, is perpetual armed conflict until greater Israel is a fait accompli, and complete Israeli domination over any surviving Palestinians is accepted as a reasonable status quo. Commentators such as Oren feign interest in a two-state peaceful solution but they and the state they represent resist all attempts to implement such a plan.

"On a positive note, I take heart from the fact that support for Jewish Voice for Peace has skyrocketed over the last month as members of the American Jewish community, appalled at Israel’s actions, have looked for a place to register their concern. JVP advocates for an end to occupation and the siege on Gaza, for Palestinian rights - as dictated by international law – and peace with justice for Palestinians and Israelis alike. It primarily does so by educating people with basic facts and by using the tools of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions to apply pressure on Israel to cease its human rights abuses.

"Additionally, we welcome Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz to the swelling ranks of celebrity dissenters. Their courageous stand is a beacon to us all. We need many more like them if we are to shift the discourse and persuade the American and Israeli governments to adopt more realistic, humane and hopefully fruitful policies. To paraphrase Siegman, 'If you want to stop the rockets, end the siege of Gaza and the occupation of both Gaza and the West Bank.' He sounds like a sage but this is just common sense. If I might stick in my two pennies’ worth, why not then engage in serious conversations with the Unity Palestinian Government, which up to now Israel has seemed determined to destroy.

"The U.S. Congress, far too beholden to the right-wing Israel lobby, will be the last to figure out this tragic jigsaw puzzle and human catastrophe and grasp the critical need for a political solution. And mainstream media, if unchallenged, will continue to distort reality and embolden the counterproductive, AIPAC-driven unrealistic position that it portrays as fact.

"On a personal note, I am pro-human rights for all peoples all over the world. I am pro-peace for all Israelis and Palestinians. I am not singling out Israel. I deplore all abuses and violence, whether in Syria, China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, England, the USA, Egypt, Libya, wherever. That said, international law was designed to protect against such human rights violations and should be applied fairly to all.

"In the case of Israel/Palestine, legal channels have yet to be seriously pursued. Consequently, change will continue to be led by popular efforts. Specifically, the growing nonviolent BDS campaign offers the best chance of successfully pressuring Israel to alter its ways and allow for Palestinian freedom and rights. Despite major efforts to destroy it, more and more people are joining the BDS movement. It is this growing momentum that gives me hope that, together, the people of the world will eventually help deliver what governments have been unwilling to secure: justice and a lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

"I wrote a short poem a few days ago that I have been encouraged to append here.

"It is called 'Crystal Clear Brooks.' Although it expresses my feelings, I cannot but think that the children in Gaza would give anything but their birthright and their pride and their basic human rights for a glass of crystal clear water. And, I think too, of the Bakr children, the sons of fishermen, who were slain while playing on a Gaza beach."

"Crystal Clear Brooks" By Roger Waters

Crystal clear brooks

When the time comes

And the last day dawns

And the air of the piper warms

The high crags of the old country

When the holy writ blows

Like burned paper away

And wise men concede

That there’s more than one way

More than one path

More than one book

More than one fisherman

More than one hook

When the cats have been skinned

And the fish have been hooked

When the masters of war

Are our masters no more

When old friends take their whiskey

Outside on the porch

We will have done well

If we’re able to say

As the sun settles down

On that final day

That we never gave in

That we did all we could

So the kids could go fishing

In crystal clear brooks.

79 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Of course Waters is right. The only reason there's actually debate on the subject is because people seem to be too dumb to seperate supporting Israel and being Jewish. Goes for both people who are Jewish and those who are not. Jewish people seem to be have misplaced allegiance with Israel, simply because the ****tards doing criminal shit are jewish, and claim to represent Jews. It's dumb. And the non-jewish people seem to think that ISRAEL IS THE JEWS.. and you can't be against jews, can you? Uh, that sounds touchy. Both are excellent examples of subtle brainwashing 101. And, on a side note, since the US has been actively supporting Israel, even when other Western nations have not, and has built their bloody military, and ensured their dominance, and their "Right" to run a criminal state (Which it IS, there's rules for that, y'know), i dare say they carry some responsibility. Rant over.
    this is ****ing stupid, most of you people see the situation from the media.. take an instance today, hamas bombed the spot on the border that israel passes supplies to the people of gaza, it`s absurd! hamas are using the people of gaza as human shields because if they resist hamas executes them on the streets. you people have no idea how complicated this is because its not a war between countries, hamas is terrorism and they don`t give a **** about gazas innocent civilians, they use fake propaganda on you and lie all the time. I am saying all this as an american citizen that has served in the idf in the past, heck i even got some muslim friends that i met in the army in fighting units. No hate people, music is meant to make bridges around the world not break them. Like all reasonable human I think the bloodshed has to stop but I`m afraid terrorism is not letting that happen.
    Palestinians have a right to defend themselves from an occupying force. Would you call the founding fathers of the United States terrorists? Because they fought for their country? It's the exact same thing.
    gaza is NOT occupied by israel for some years now man.. check it up
    United States. Bitched at for being world police. Bitched at when they don't police the world.
    Supporting a country without hesitation even when that country commits crimes against humanity on a daily basis hardly falls under your 3rd grade analysis
    What kind of crimes against humanity are you talking about? Hamas purposely stations itself in and around schools, hospitals, and other public places and shoots rockets from there. Then when Israel strikes back and hits schools, hospitals, and other public places they get condemned on the world stage. Supporting a group without hesitation even when that group commits cowardly crimes against humanity on a daily basis hardly falls under your 3rd rate analysis.
    There is a difference between "striking back" and obliterating everything on their path, particularly when we're talking about a country which has access to the most modern military equipment in the world. If anti-terrorists in a hostage situation charged in with grenade launchers and heavy weapons wiping out everyone including the hostages, you'd also justify them as "it had to be done"?
    The death toll shows who's doing all the killing. Israels crimes are beginning to border on genocide...and still people are on here defending it.
    Except nobody is supporting Hamas you retard, only Israel And to even question the unwavering support and aid Israel receives to bomb and segregate innocents gets you labeled as an anti-semitic
    Israel bought the weapons they are using to massacre Gaza from America, so America's job is done unless the Hamas can bid higher, which they can't.
    what if Iran could bid higher than Israel? would the US openly sell weapons to Iran?
    The problem is that here they ARE being world police, just in a less spectacular fashion, and this time for a cause which is near impossible to defend.
    dimitris rousso
    Who are the states to 'police' the World? Who asked? They police only for their own good-MONEY-, only on foreign land. They create disaster everywhere, but people like you are so small that think they should do it, and it goes on.
    They think they can do this because they still think they're the good guys. They're using military equipment on their own civilians now and people still refuse to do anything about it. Soon they won't even need people on their side since they're building a drone army. If america doesn't go through a revolution it will become a horrible place to live.
    They do it out of moral obligation. They do it not because someone asked, but because if they didn't then either the Russians, Chinese, Germans would do it and America being world police makes for a better world for all of us than ANY other nation on this globe. Other countries that have the same or better moral compass don't have the socio-econimcal power or military power to do so. Rather than blame America, shouldn't we blame the extremists that bring it to this point that it allows America to interject itself?
    That's the problem, you see yourself as morally superior even though the rest of the world sees you as the tyrant.
    Even Russia has a better moral compass than the States now. America is a country in perpaul war...They have no moral compass. No country in the world agrees with what America is doing, apart from their loyal dogs Israel and the UK. Torture, illegal wars, Guantanamo Bay, supporting dictatorships... The idea of America having a moral compass is simply laughable.
    Except he never claimed America was morally superior "Other countries that have the same or better moral compass don't have the socio-econimcal power or military power to do so"
    I read the whole thing and for some reason I kept hoping to hear a Gilmour solo somewhere along the way. Sadly, it never came...
    There is a common link with all these historical conflicts and modern day conflicts, the sooner the world is run by atheists the better off we will be.
    Joseph Stalin was an atheist (and arguably, Hitler and Mussolini, too). Do you still maintain that stance?
    Their actions were not driven nor motivated by their lack of belief - Still, GMPX is an idiot, religion is more than often a usefull political tool to rally people up to a political agenda. What those in power actually believe in regards to religion is often completely irrelevant in terms of reaching their goal.
    Lol at how he referred to Israel's existence as an "illegal occupation."
    technically, it is...
    Bad Kharmel
    incorrect sir, the territory was controlled by the British at the end of WWII and was used by the British to form a Jewish state in 1946 as a result of the holocaust (they believed a Jewish state in their traditional homeland would prevent further genocide, the current problems are due to a failure to integrate due to cultural and other historic factors, however there's nothing illegal about it
    Actually no, the establishment of a Jewish state was agreed in 1917 (The Balfour Declaration), with the U.K stating they would help the financially influential Zionist federation. In fact, the Zionist who founded Israel used to assasinate prominent Rabbi's and Jews all over the world who spoke out against the establishment of Israel (the Talmud says that the Jews' exile from the Holy Land is a punishment for their sins, and they may not re-enter until God decrees), but let's face it, Israel is Zionist, not Jewish, so don't tar the Jewish faith with the filthy brush that is Israel. And in terms of Illegal occupation, immediately after the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948, Israel terroist groups immediately swept through Arab villages slaughtering innocents (look up Deir Yessan). They have also broken every territory agreement they've been held to. But i digress, Roger Waters was referring to the current military occupations of the West Bank and Gaza. To summarise, if you're going to try and reprieve Israel of responsibility for their horrendous actions over the years, do your f**king reading first
    I love Floyd but Waters is an idiot. The Jews have been kicked around in that area and dislocated since the dawn of man. They're the only symbol of a free society in that region and the countries that surround them are only fueled by hate. Waters is entitled to his opinion and voice on the matter but it makes him look moronic.
    Actually it makes him look intelligent, eloquent, and well-educated.
    Actually, the Jews' biggest historical aggressor in the region was the Christians, Muslims and Jews got a long relatively well until the Zionist's turned up in the late 1900s. And if you think the symbol of a free society is ethnic cleansing, child torture, apartheid, indefinite detention without trial, murder and breaking every law in the international book, well... then... you're a bit of a monster!
    Waters need to stfu. His position completely ignores the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
    Velcro Man
    Nothing justifies the slaughter of innocent children, no matter your ideas of revenge and whatever.
    firing rockets from behind a wall of innocent children is the best way to describe what hamas is doing,it doesn't matter about what peoples ideas of revenge are, the terrorists in control of gaza are using their children to create a false belief that isreal are targeting children when infact they are targeting wepons.
    Like the Israeli's bombing British/Israel civilians who helped them take the country? Or cluster bombing Lebanon (in defiance of International Law) to the point children will be getting blown apart for generations? Or destroying the infrastructure of Gaza but not allowing any materials to rebuild? What about illegally settling their civilians in militarily acquired land (just like the Nazis, btw), or stealing the Sinai from Egypt and declaring it Israel? How about assassinating any prominent Jewish thinkers who protest their occupation (which is itself a violation of the Jewish religion). I don't excuse terrorist bombing of civilian or the blind firing of rockets, but Israel uses the most advance targeting systems in the world (capable of picking between landing in the front seat and the back seat of a car) and still slaughters countless civilians? Why do you think any time there's a large terrorist group threatening the West, their roots are either in something horrendous the West has done, or in the West actively recruiting and training that terrorist group (Israel training the Taliban in the Pakistani mountains)? To paraphrase Immortal Technique, 'You f**ked the Middle East and gave birth to a demon'.
    Roger puts the Star of David on the side of a pig at his concert and then acts like he has any business talking about morality. The holocaust was only 70 years ago. Stop making me hate you, Roger.
    roger hates all religions equally.
    The Star on David placed on the pig has nothing to do with religion.
    That's silly, not all religions are equal, and we will never see Waters put the Star and Crescent on the side of a pig. Ever. The Star of David alone has everything to do with Judaism.
    With that argument, the crescent moon alone always symbolizes Islam, and cannot be a symbol of a country, or organization, the former which Waters is directing his criticism towards. Gee, I wonder what country has the star of David in its flag? Seriously, get your head out of your ass.
    Calm down. The crescent moon derives from Islam, so yes, its always a symbol for Islam. Nations use it on their flag because they're Islamic states. Symbols tend to symbolize things. Obviously he tried to insult Israel with his pig stunt, but he forgot the rest of the flag. Not gonna discuss this here any further.
    Yes, but that's the point - He was criticizing Israel, the land and its politics, not Judeaism - The star alone is related to Judeaism, but you are either delibaretly, or through narrowmindedness interpreting his use of the David star on the pig as an attack on Judeaism, while it's obviously an attack on Israel in regards to its politics and its humanitarian crimes.
    Floyd Phoenix
    I saw the Wall show live twice; definitely a star and crescent on the underside of the Pig, as well as a christian cross and many other symbols...
    I've said it before and i'll say it again, don't take your advice on what's going on here from any kind of celebrities.. From Roger Waters to Sylvester Stallone. Read as many pieces on the situation as you can from unbiased sources and come to your own conclusions. Most I can say is that both sides are at fault here.
    Roger is simply practicing his vitriol for his inevitable review of the new pink floyd album.
    I know he's just trying to express his views but to me there is nothing worse than when musicians try to be all political. Play your music and shut up.
    PF and Roger Waters's music has been politically influenced before. He can express his views, and he doesn't have to give a damn that you don't enjoy it, or don't agree with it. It's your issue, so you have to deal with it, not him.
    Why is he talking about the USA position? Why not the Australian, Canadian, or British positions.....Abbott, Harper, Cameron....all supportive of Israel.
    Well, considering the USA is practially Israel's father it's only natural to focus on it.
    Bad Kharmel
    untrue, modern day Israel was created by the British, not the Americans, just for some reason blaming the British isn't quite as popular
    Israel exists because of the US and was placed on land that was simply taken from Palestine. The only claim to ownership Israel has to anything is what the US supports them no matter what, whether they verbalize it or not. Canada and the UK have lesser positions because we're more concerned with ourselves politically than running other countries, especially when they pose no threat to us.
    Bad Kharmel
    not true, the British controlled Palestine due to former imperialism and created the State of Israel (in fact it's nastier than that, the British had a treaty with the Ottoman empire, in which they agreed not to go after the waning empire in exchange for help in WWI, however when the war ended the British and the French divided it up with no regard to the people groups living there, this action created much of the the chaos that exists in the middle east today)
    I am in agreement. US Americans general stance on this matter is baffling. you go to any sight, including this one, and everyones blindly supporting Israel. If a bomb falls on a school and kills 3 kids, they say it was justified because the extremists attacked from that area. Whatever the case may be, you dont ever shoot at a school where you know very well there are innocent refugees and children on the off chance you may hit a terrorist. Israel does have a right to defend themselves from the attacks, but they have to learn to be more effective at it. USA needs to get their heads out of Israels ass and see whats going on here.
    Waters days in music are about over and has been for a while so the man needs a hobby. So mr. Waters: grow up, shut up and f**k up.
    Mr Winters
    So people you don't agree with should just shut up? They don't have a right to voice their opinions?
    It seems like whether the US plays the role of world police or not people still just want to blame the US
    US government puts its foot in the slightest amount with an expression on its face that everyone is forced to look at. The foots in just enough to imply 'this is exactly what we want'. The expression reads 'we must protect our interests'. They just want to remind everyone 'we exist'. The reason the US gets hate is because their inaction is an action in itself. And I don't know if you read the article properly: News networks spreading propaganda. What an atrocious thing to allow on the air. I don't even know how the US public lets it happen.
    I haven't been to the USA, but over and over again I have come across various reports from various sources indicating that Americans know less about geography than a mosquito knows about Jupiter. If there's any truth to that, one may assume that those people don't watch foreign news outlets either, even the BBC. Then there's the lack of distinction between the media and Congress and a history of said propaganda going back to WW2, and there's nothing to stop you from hitting the nail on its head.
    Last time I checked, Rog was BRITISH. Petition your queen to sell some jewels and buy some missiles if you really think you have a solution. Quit bitchin about the USA. He forgets he would be speaking German if it wasn't for the USA. Freakin bleedin heart hippie!
    I don't like the fact that politics are in the UG comment section. this place supposed to be about music. I think its very easy to judge people when you're in some high chair in the other side of the world. If Roger doesn't want to be "Brimming with righteousness" himself he should come down to Israel and that to people on both sides. Have a nice day
    drivel. is there proof he really wrote this? may have to delete all my floyd, melt the vinyl, crack the cc's. too bad. it cost me a lot of money !!!
    Not sure if you're trolling. I think Roger Waters is severely misinformed, but he's been like this for decades.
    hey everyone. i see many many comments and it's impossible to have a civilezed discussion in here. im giving you my email so we can talk peacefully about this conflict i want to have a respectful discussion with someone who agrees with roger waters. i want to understand why you think israel is a war criminal and show you a different side of the story that maybe will make you (or me) change our minds, and just talk about it until it it makes sense to both sides. you're welcome to write anything and talk about this with me.
    i don't get why i get dislikes. all i said was that i want to have an organized respectful discussion....
    The US has always supported Israel's right to exist. Even the Soviet Union voted in favor of the Holy Land becoming a Jewish state. You whether believe the Jews have a right to their homeland, or you don't. There is no middle ground. This conflict has gone on since Ishmael and Isaac's time.