Israel lobby group launches attack on Roger Waters on eve of 6 city Canadian tour

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English rock star Roger Waters starts a 6 city Canadian tour in Toronto on October 2nd. But the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is trying to develop opposition to the tour because of Waters’ very vocal criticism of Israel over the issue of human rights for Palestinians. Read more…

Israel’s largest lobby group in Canada, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has just launched an aggressive campaign called “Tell Rogers: Leave Israel alone”. It is aimed at rock star Roger Waters who is about to begin a 6 city Canadian tour of his highly acclaimed world wide “US + Them” show.

The campaign includes a video and a petition which CIJA proposes to send to Waters. In the campaign video, CIJA claims that BDS has failed and invites readers to tell Waters that his “failed, hypocritical BDS campaign is hate“.

The petition appeals to viewers to “ADD YOUR NAME to send Roger Waters a clear message: “antisemitism, bigotry, and hatred are not welcome in Canada.”

A strange irony

CIJA does not see the irony in the fact that Waters and the BDS movement already agree with this message. He and the BDS leadership have stated on many occasions that BDS does not support anti-semitism, bigotry or racial hatred. It is not directed against Jews or even against Israelis. It is aimed at the State of Israel. It demands 3 fundamental democratic human rights for Palestinians, which so far Israel denies.

Waters, who was one of the original founders of the group Pink Floyd, has associated himself over the years with a number of progressive causes, including environmental projects like the Live Earth Concert, and the Millennium Promise, a non-profit organisation that helps fight extreme poverty and malaria.

Support for BDS – the movement to boycott Israel

Waters has visited and performed in Israel several times at the invitation of the Israeli government. But he earned the ire of the Zionist establishment in the USA and Canada when he started to speak out about human rights for Palestinians. In June 2009 he criticized Israel’s wall which cuts off the West Bank. Later that year, pledged his support for the Gaza Freedom March.  But the Zionist opposition to him crystallized in 2011 when he announced that he had joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Waters has consistently maintained “I hate apartheid, not Israel”, as he did in an interview in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz with well known Israeli journalist Gideon Levy

CIJA claims that Waters and BDS have been unsuccessful, though the expensive campaign would indicate that perhaps they are not confident that this is the case. There is no doubt that the campaign against Waters has had an effect however. He has suffered significant financial losses because of it, including losing several major sponsorships.

But Waters remains undeterred. In a short interview in Montreal last year with Radio-Canada’s wildly popular Quebec television program “Tout le monde en parle”,
Waters makes it clear he is more interested in principle than profit. He gets a standing ovation from the audience.

If you want to attend, here are dates and locations for Roger Waters’ Canadian tour

10/02 Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
10/03 Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
10/06 Quebec City, QC – Videotron Centre
10/10 Ottawa, ON – Canadian Tire Centre
10/16 Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
10/24 Edmonton, AB – Rogers Place
10/28 Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena

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Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue. We invite comments from readers. Both Zionists and non-Zionist opinion is welcome as long as it is expressed in a respectful way. If you support our educational mission, why not join? Or make a donation? Or learn more about what we do?  Contact us at membership.ctip@gmail.com.

36 comments

    1. Can the world’s activists see the strategy of the Palestinian leadership —that want Israel to become a maximum oppressor, so that the world will turn on Israel? To answer your question, what Jews and all others need to do in order to put the conflict into perspective, is to understand that Zionism began as a goal of solidarity between European Jews, minorities in Palestine, and the Arab majority. It is mainly because the Palestinian leadership would not talk about sovereign rights for any minorities during the time 1922 at the time of the British Conference on the Future of Palestine, and independence in 1948, that Israel was forced to become armed and dominant – in order to take a stand in support of a pluralistic society.

      1. Blaming the Palestinians for Israel being an oppressive state is the same as blaming the Jewish people for how the Nazis acted.

    2. @Larryzb

      Of course they can be objective. But they have no reason to. In the Israeli-Palestine fight they are partisans. They love their homeland and want to see it thrive and prosper. Roger Waters wants to see their homeland annihilated and replaced with an entirely new state populated by foreigners. Why wouldn’t they fiercely oppose that? Many countries have lost millions of lives fighting against enemies who desired to do much less harm.

      1. Roger Waters wants to see the people who lived there before the 70 years of Israeli terror began, back where they belong. I do enjoy reading how people carefully manage to avoid answering all those decades of terror inflicted because they know full well who started this evil mess, but are too scared to actually think for themselves anymore.

    3. Why not?? Just read David Grossman’s funny/sad and totally brilliant – and short, so no effort – new novel A Horse Walked Into A Bar.

  1. It is ironic that CIJA works so hard against a diverse and peaceful Canadian and international peaceful movement (including BDS) to try to find a permanent solution to the Israel Palestine conflict through the realization of full civil political and human rights rights for Palestinians through a “two state” or some other kind of solution.

    Using the canard of anti semitism and “hate speech” is particularly off-putting given the stated motives of the peaceful solution-oriented BDS movement (largely based on the strategy which helped to eliminate apartheid and establish democracy in South Africa); the basic legality of the movement based on international law including UN resolutions;the fact that the objectives and sometimes the means of the movement are supported by large numbers of Jews in and outside of Israel; and the fact that Arab Palestinians are every bit as semitic in language and ethnic origins as Jews in Israel or the diaspora.

    Given their position, it would not be surprising to see CIJA advocating for the criminalization of the BDS movement as has happened in Israel and being debated in a Senate bill in the USA supported by AIPAC, even as AiPAC and CIJA maintain their right to advocate without hindrance for the foreign government of Israel. Fortunately, American and Canadian traditions of “free speech and legal peaceful political action” are still likely to prevail.

    CIJA could much better achieve its stated objectives by working for a fair and equitable solution in Israel Palestine and understanding, if not actually supporting, others who are doing so like Mr. Waters and other advocates of the BDS movement.

    1. @George

      diverse and peaceful Canadian and international peaceful movement (including BDS) to try to find a permanent solution to the Israel Palestine conflict through the realization of full civil political and human rights rights for Palestinians through a “two state” or some other kind of solution.

      CIJA is in favor of a permanent peaceful solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. BDS doesn’t offer such a solution. One of the most minimal components of the definition of a peaceful solution between X and Y is not make demands on X so hateful to them that they would rather die in large numbers than comply with those demands. Such demands by their very nature require a warlike solution because only losing wars, and often multiple wars, are required to get people to comply with extreme demands. The core BDS demand is that Israelis damn themselves and their progeny forever to a continuation of the horrors of statelessness. Israelis have indicated throughout their history include their prehistory as the Yishuv that they will never live under an Arab government again. They prefer war to slavery.

      Now I get that you don’t think they should prefer war to slavery. I get that you don’t view them living under an Arab government as that much of a negative. But you cannot demand something of someone that they could never possibly comply with an call that a “peaceful solution”. That’s simply an abuse of language.

      peaceful solution-oriented BDS movement (largely based on the strategy which helped to eliminate apartheid and establish democracy in South Africa);

      I’m glad you said “helped”. That being said the Whites in South Africa and the Blacks in South Africa believed they lived in on country. There was a shared South African identity. Moreover their had always been a shared South African economy. The Yishuv in 1937 and Israel in 2002 has expressed quite clearly through acts that they were quite willing to relinquish access to Palestinian labor. That is something the Whites in South Africa were never willing to do regarding the Blacks. Any fair reading of this analogy shows it is deeply flawed.

      fair and equitable solution in Israel Palestine and understanding, if not actually supporting, others who are doing so like Mr. Waters

      Mr. Waters is an open advocate for imprisoning the Israeli leadership. And moreover his statements have been so expansive on what he considers “war crimes” that as far as I can tell he favors imprisoning huge percentages of the Israeli population for war crimes. He’s never been grilled in detail on how one is to negotiate a solution with a people who has lost their leadership and has 25% of the population being held in his imaginary Hague concentration camp.

      People like Hitler and Pol Pot who implemented the suggestion of men like Mr. Waters were not seeking peace, understanding, fairness or justice.

      1. Netenyahu has presided over a great many deaths, whereas RW supports a cause that exposes the lies of a vicious, genocidal state, where war criminals are indeed in power. Bibi, like Bush and Blair, is a war criminal. He has the blood of innocents on his hands and it will never wash off, no matter how many people he exterminates.

  2. Neither does CIJA see the irony in the fact that it thrives on its own bigotry and hatred. Why in its message to Waters does it need to include “antisemitism” when “bigotry and hatred” covers that arcane term “antisemitism?” That, of course, is a rhetorical question, as any tolerant Cdn knows that CIJA (and its zionist kin) embrace “antisemitism” as a euphemism for criticism of Israel’s policy of apartheid, torture, mass murder, and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Rock on, Roger!

  3. I’m looking forward to Roger’s Vancouver performance in late October and I’ll thank the CIJA for making enough of an issue of his tour of Canada to motivate this aging fan to put my dancing shoes back on one more time.

  4. Waters (and his fans mind you) are relentlessly attacked in online posts for supporting RW and his very moral stance against Israeli Aparthied and the complete lack of Palestinian civil rights in the occupied territories of Palestine. The tactics online are the same as the tactics in the occupied territories; a constant barrage of nastiness in the hope they will wear you down.

    The true face of Israel is a face the entire world is increasingly given good reason to regard with contempt and even hatred. Israelis and zionists seem to be completely incapable of telling the truth….about anything….and it’s so obvious in statements like “Palestine never existed” and the psychopath Netanyahu’s famous statement that he’s “not targeting civilians” added to an increasing number of “Holocaust” survivors recanting their fanciful tales with apologies like “It wasn’t the true reality, but to me, it was my reality” and THIS is what people who question statistics of the “Holocaust” are going to jail for?!?

    Far and above all of this is the brutal and murderous behavior of Israelis themselves. The level of callous heartlessness, and the joy taken in expressing it would be hard to believe to the average person. For anyone who has spent any time observing Israelis, it’s just one more sadistic act in an endless line of repulsive, cruel and disgusting behaviors that seem to be endemic to their culture.

    Roger stands against Apartheid. I stand against the evil that is the very fabric of these failed demonic people’s lives.

    1. Well Peter note this line, “ added to an increasing number of “Holocaust” survivors recanting their fanciful tales with apologies like “It wasn’t the true reality, but to me, it was my reality” and THIS is what people who question statistics of the “Holocaust” are going to jail for?!?

      Want to keep claiming your organization doesn’t have a problem?

      1. Hey CD-Host
        As you know, I allow a range of views on this site, including some which I do not share. My organization cannot be held responsible for the views represented, but we will erase comments that are racist including anti-semitic remarks and Islamophobia. I will respond separately to the author who calls himself Zionism=murder.

    2. Hey Zionism = murder,

      You use very strong language. Have you had much direct experience in the region? Do you know many Israelis?

      i have spent a lot of time in Israel and talked to a lot of Jews, including many Zionists. Of course I do not agree with Zionists. I think Zionism is a form of exclusive nationalism. It arose because the Jews themselves were excluded and oppressed in Europe. But today it serves to justify the oppression and exclusion of Palestinians.

      Can you justify the description you give of Israeli culture? The main criticism I would make of most Israelis I have met is that they are UNCONCERNED about the fate of Palestinians. I could not say that I have met anyone who meets your dramatic description (repulsive, cruel, disgusting, etc.).

      I am not surprised that CD-Host suspects you of being anti-Semitic.

      Finally, I am interested in knowing why you put Holocaust in quotes. Your text seems to imply, but does not say clearly, that you do not believe that there was a Holocaust in which a huge number of people, including Russian PoW’s, Poles, Jews and others were deliberately exterminated. (According to the National Holocaust Museum in Washington there were 15 million people exterminated in the Holocaust, of whom 6 million were Jews. The largest single group to be affected were Russian POW’s.)

      1. Hang on, but CD-Host can compare Roger Waters to Hitler and Pol Pot? Excuse the pun but… Pot, Kettle, Black, anyone?

  5. Hey Alan,
    I don’t understand your idea that minorities could/should have “sovereign” rights.
    Perhaps it was just a slip of the tongue.
    Sovereignty means running your own affairs, which can only be done if you make the rules.
    Minorities can have guaranteed rights, and the majority can give them “autonomy” on certain issues, but they can’t have “sovereignty” unless they are able to make all the rules.

    1. Thanks for the question, Anonymous. In a situation such as a colonial territory preparing for independence, it is reasonable for all the ethnic groups to come up with a formula for what kinds of political relationship will exist between the various cultures in the territory. An example of enabling full autonomy of cultures is the formula that Czechoslovakia worked out in a spirit of mutual agreement after that country became independent of the Soviet orbit.

      When the Arab Higher Committee stiff-armed the UN on the question of how much sovereignty each of the constituent cultures in Palestine would have – and the Jewish Committee was very interested in co-operating with the UN on coming up with a mutual agreement on how this would end up, in my view the record shows that it was the Israeli side that was acting in good faith.

      I do not dispute that there has been a brutalization and reliance on force over the past 7 decades, but I raise this matter because it is important to reach a way to get off the polarization track – and looking at history provides a way to ratchet the hostilities down somewhat. Canada should be helping to get the causes of the rift understood and worked on.

  6. We must always remember that from the start of Zionism’s colonial and racist ideology and the plan of taking over Palestine and the continuation of that plan up to today, using utmost brutality, it did not mater what the Palestinians did or did not do at all time. The plan is alive and and ongoing regardless of anyone saying or doing.
    Therefore any individual or group that talks about stopping Israel or advocating for the Palestinian rights, has to be destroyed by pro Israel Jews.

    1. @Jake

      You are simply mistaken here. Israel’s and the Yishuv’s relationship with the Palestinians changes quite dramatically multiple times in history as a reaction of Palestinian action. 1935 you have something like classical colonialism developing with joint cooperation and work towards increasing citrus production for the collective benefit of both people. The Palestinian leadership are embraced and enhanced. 1937 you have a deliberate attack on Palestinian leadership designed to undermine and make Palestinian society disorganized. 1982 Israel invades Lebanon to destroy the PLO’s military arm. 1994 the PLO is invited to act as a quasi-governmental power in the West Bank and Gaza directly receiving arms from Israel.

      Yes it does matter what the Palestinians do.

      1. 1947. King David Hotel. I’d love to hear your thoughts, or views, on how and why this happened. I would also love to hear your support for Israel when they slaughtered the village of Deir Yassin. If you could convince me these events were necessary in ANY way, shape or form, you might be able to convert me into a sheep.

    2. That was not my experience as a kibbutz volunteer over 30 years ago, Jake. I was volunteering at a kibbutz that was a secular settlement, loosely affiliated with the Histadrut Labour organization and the Mapam Party. It was a place where many Palestinians were associated – and were accepted in a spirit of equality. In the intervening decades of growing alienation, it has become maddeningly clear to me that Palestinian leadership is taking a position of hoping that Israel will be forsaken by the world, as a temporary blip.

      There is one factor that negates the dreams of those Palestinians who refuse to accept Israel. In the past few years, the majority of people in Middle East have seen the violent ugliness of radical Islam and want no part of it. The intolerant, homicidal nature of Islamicists has opened the door to getting people to understand the reflective, rational and pluralistic essence of Zionism.

      What is needed is for countries like Canada to become much more willing to take a stand in support of the historical facts. If Canada is sincere in its commitment to authentic multiculturalism, it will help to clarify the actual originating goals of the Zionist cause as friendship and mutual benefit between Arabs and Jews.

      1. Hey Alan, I do not doubt that some of the idealistic volunteers who participated in various kibbutz shared the lofty ideals you refer to.

        However, I am sure you have heard of “hebrew labour”. As a part of creating the “new Jewish man (and woman)” that Zionism was developing, Jews were to do physical labour. Wherever possible non-Jews were not hired. This contributed to the soaring unemployment of Palestinian fellahin who were cleared off their lands and not able to get labouring jobs.

        The notion of “mutual benefit” is fine language, but I don’t think it was practiced very widely.

      2. Much appreciation for the response, Peter…My main suggestion in getting the spirit of fairness and equality restored in the Palestine/Israel clash, would be for countries like Canada to begin to take a tough love approach to both sides. The Palestinian leadership needs to be called out whenever it acts like it wants to be obstreperous, and refuses to enable any progress to occur. I feel this is the first condition that is essential. Then when facts are faced, and the stunts that the Palestinian commanders are pulling are called out, and pressure put on the PA and Hamas, and others, to understand that Israel is not temporary, and these Palestinians get the message, then it may be possible for other positive things to happen.

        It would be great if Israel could have its UN experiences a lot less disillusioning. The world needs Israel to take a stronger leadership role in things like the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Goal 16 – to overhaul dysfunctional institutional culture and to establish equal justice for all, will require the capacities of Israel to enable this goal to be advanced.

  7. Page 80 of “State of Terror”, 3rd paragraph: [1940s]” Dr. Arieh Altman, chairman of a delegation of the New Zionist Organisation…said “Anti-Semitism must form the foundation of Zionist propaganda ” Keeping alive the threat of antiSemitism “, Dr. Altman argued , “would persuade Jews in Britain or America to emigrate to Palestine, and non Jewish support [for Zionism] in America could be increased…”

    1. It is apparent that Dr Altman was looking at a PR strategy to use anti-Semitism as an impetus for action…but it is more than apparent that Zionists who take a “screw the world – we can rely on ourselves to prevail” attitude, are taking a dangerous plunge into hubris.

      Refusing to build alliances for Zionism would doom many Jewish lives to continued violence, and would waste time we may not have in getting our resources marshalled to deal with potentially lethal dangers to life on Earth.

  8. Roger Waters impresses me…a man who puts principles and integrity before his pocketbook. Perhaps there is right on both sides; I’m not the Deity so I make no comments about rightness or wrongness of individuals or groups of peoples on either side of a ‘contentious issue’. However no one person and no one group of persons has the ‘divine right’ to put another individual or another group of individuals at risk for wanting the same rights and the same level of way of life.

    As a Jewish woman I can see that the only way for Jews/Israelis to be safe in this world, without concern about their safety is to try to ensure that same safely to every other individual and every other group of people–including the Gazans, the Palestinians and the Palestinians in refugee camps.

  9. @Zookeeper

    Let me start off by saying that every country has historical mistakes. Is your policy going to be that any country that has a historical event that someone disagrees with can be freely invaded and destroyed? If not than frankly who cares whether you agree with King David or Deir Yassin. What does that have to do with 2017? The Yishuv doesn’t exist anymore, the Irgun doesn’t exist anymore. What difference does it make if you do or don’t like how the Irgun acted in the 1940s? I think you should really examine your conscience here.

    OK now onto these two topics.

    The King David Hotel was the British administrative headquarters. Why wouldn’t a revolutionary group that was trying to drive the British out target that? Not only was it a normal target the attack played a key role in turning British public opinion against the mandate and pushed the British government towards serious negotiations on their departure. So the rather minimal loss of life achieved major political objectives. To quote Weizmann, “I can’t help feeling proud of our boys. If only it had been a German headquarters, they would have gotten the Victoria Cross.”

    No one likes terrorism over peaceful resolution. But as terrorism goes that’s a pretty excellent example of the greatest amount of good for the least amount of harm. The Etzel Museum in Tel Aviv (http://eng.shimur.org/etzel-tashach/ ) dedicates a whole room to celebrating this important milestone in freeing the Jews. I’m not even sure what you would want me to defend here.

    As for the Village of Deir Yassin this one is more ethically tricky. This represented the point where the Irgun and Lehi moved from fighting the British to fighting the Palestinians. The technique was to surround the village while allowing an escape route and then fire in, to get the Palestinians to flee. We know most fled. Were the Arab version of the story true, this escape route wouldn’t have existed. During the later capture there was resistance including men dressed as women. So women who didn’t obey instructions were shot. We have only the Irgun’s word for that, but there were many participants and they all told that story.

    Geographically this village is in a strategically important location so certainly where it not for Deir Yassin’s promise to have remained neutral this conquest would have been completely acceptable. So you have two versions of events. Either there were large numbers of fighters or there weren’t in the village on the Arab side. Either Deir Yassin did or did not violate its treaty with the Haganah. If they did they were fair game. There are far too many records proving the Irgun did take POWs and did transfer them within days for safety to the British. So given those two critical pieces of information: the escape route and the POW transfer to the British I have good reason on balance to believe the Irgun’s version of events over the Arab version.

    Moreover this view is consistent with the study done by Bir Zeit University which completely reconstructed the evidence on all sides, most of which confirms the Irgun’s version of events.

  10. @Peter Larson

    I’m going to respond to your comment to Alan. I’m sorry but you are mixing up dates too much here. Starting in the 1880s you do have the concept of Hebrew Labor but it has no impact on the economy since it isn’t widely followed. The Jewish farms of the 19th century often simply fail. Wealthy Jewish eccentrics are driving this who really don’t care much if their farms are profitable or not. It is really not until the late 1910s and early 1920s you do have a huge push towards Hebrew Labor even among Jews. Primarily this has impact because Palestinian anti-Jewish terrorism pushes Arabic Jews out of cities and onto the Jewish collective creating enough laborers to make the policy possible to implement on the Jewish collectives. That period lasts about 5 years. In 1927 there is a citrus boom and the need for labor in Jewish farms far exceeds what the Jewish population can provide. The Yishuv moves away from Jewish Labor and develops towards more of a classically colonial relationship or mutual benefit if you want to use that terminology. This BTW is the first time there is any meaningful percentage of Palestine being used for Jewish farming. The first time the Yishuv economy is big enough to have the kind of impact you are talking about as having happened earlier. So while I’m sure there was clearing before this point, this is the point when Palestinian farms are being taken over. And they are being taken over by joint farms investing in a more profitable product.

    1937 the Yishuv moves back towards Jewish Labor in the context of the civil war. So here you do have unemployment among Palestinians but they aren’t coming directly from their own farms. They lost their farms a decade earlier.

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