Roger Waters holding up civil rights tradition in opposing Apartheid

Roger Waters holding up civil rights tradition in opposing Apartheid
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Roger Waters, the acclaimed British musician and co-founder of the rock sensation Pink Floyd, is not bullied or intimidated by attacks from the likes of washed-up singer Dionne Warwick (“Walk on By”) or the foul-mouthed radio racist Howard Stern who stains the America’s Got Talent TV series each week. He’s standing by the civil rights tradition that boycotts are effective in confronting racism and discrimination

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania covering Chicago City Hall (1976-1992)

Ray Hanania
covering Chicago
City Hall
(1976-1992)

Roger Waters must be doing something right when he can get the goat of racist radio talkshow host and hater Howard Stern.

Waters, the co-founder of the acclaimed British rock group Pink Floyd, wrote in support of the BDS movement recently in Salon.com. Waters pointed out that boycotts helped bring down the Apartheid Government of South Africa and freed the country’s black citizens. The same can be done in Israel which openly discriminates against non-Jews in policy and practice.

In a column at Salon.com, Waters criticize Jon Bon Jovi for performing in Tel Aviv despite the atrocities being committed by Israel’s government. Click here to read the column. In the past, he addressed the issue in response to criticism from washed up singer Dionne Warwick. Click here to read the column.
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Stern, who is Jewish, constantly defends Israel’s atrocities by twisting facts. Worse, he constantly and shamelessly invokes images of the Holocaust, the horrible mass murder of more than 6 million Jews killed not by Arabs or Muslims, but by Protestants and Catholics in Germany.

English: Howard Stern in 2000.

English: Howard Stern in 2000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To Stern, the Holocaust was a Palestinian event and therefore the Palestinians have no right to complain about having their lands and lives taken from them by Jewish immigrants, mostly from Europe.

Stern is just desperate for attention. His radio show sucks. It truly is one of the worst programs on any radio airwave. SiriusXM should be embarrassed to host his show which has been losing listeners steadily since he joined the pay-per-listen service more than a decade ago.

The Arab Daily News

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Stern brought his hate-driven humor to America’s Got Talent, but he has restrained himself although rumors persist that Stern’s biases have prevented many Arabs (Muslim and Christian) from making it to the AGT finals. So many have tried but none have made it. Stern hates Arabs and he really hates Palestinians.

BDS — Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions — is a legitimate movement that continues to put pressure on Israel’s continued violations of the civil rights of Palestinian civilians and the Rule of Law. Israelis routinely murder Palestinian civilians and with the complicit mainstream American news media, prevent coverage of those killings, focusing only on the killings of Israeli Jews by Palestinians.

The focus of the BDS movement is the illegal settlements. The settlements are racist and are built only for Jews, not Christians or Muslims in Israel. So much for “Democracy.” You can’t have a Democracy when you have two policies, one for Jews and another with fewer rights for non-Jews.

But when you criticize Israel’s Jewish versus non-Jewish policies, you are demonized by haters like Howard Stern as “anti-Semitic,” a word that has no meaning today because the pro-Israel fanatics have destroyed its morality. Anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews. Anti-Semitism is NOT criticism of Israel, a foreign country controlled by an extremist and violent political government.

English: This image file, Roger Waters O2 Aren...

English: This image file, Roger Waters O2 Arena London 18 May 2008, is a cropped image from WikiCommons, the original source file is listed below (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The BDS movement argues persuasively that they must also boycott Israel itself because Israel, through its government policies and the acceptance of most of its citizens, accepts the discriminatory policies in the Occupied Territories, the theft of Palestinian lands, and the extra-judicial murders of non-Jews. They close their eyes to the civil rights violations by their government. The moderate Israelis temper their criticism of Israel’s government and are quick to stand up and confront Arabs who they consider to be too harsh in their criticism.

It’s a one-sided war with Israel killing hundreds times more Palestinians than Palestinians kill Israelis. And it is an even more one-sided war with the biased mainstream American news media constantly protecting Israel by downplaying criticism of Israel and exaggerating praise for Israel.

Roger Waters is a righteous hero. He has the courage to stand up to a system of vicious lies and hate, and an industry of propaganda from a biased news media afraid to call out Israel for its war crimes and atrocities but more willing to criticize the critics of Israel as “anti-Semites.”

What needs to be done is for Israelis and American Jews to own up to the fact that Israel’s government is committing war crimes and atrocities against civilians. They need to stop defending it, and in the case of some, worse, being silent about it.

The Palestinians have been abused, brutalized, oppressed, assaulted and killed and when they strike back in resistance to the oppression, they should be praised and encouraged.

But the only solution is to not only peak up against the atrocities and war crimes of the Israeli government, but to also speak up in support of peace based on compromise. That means sharing Jerusalem, and dismantling the settlements in the Occupied West Bank.

Israelis and American Jews who say they don’t support the Israeli government violence, and the violence of the Jewish settler terrorists, need to speak up and say so forcefully, not in whispers. They need to demand that Israel’s government return to a genuine peace process that will result in Two-States, one Israel and one Palestine. They need to speak out against the illegal settlements and against extremism NOT JUST among Palestinians but among Israelis and American Jews.

Despite the criticism from some American Jews and Israelis, I can say I support peace based on compromise and justice. That’s more than many on the other side can say, and that’s the real shame.

The Arab Daily News

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