Adonis Diaries

Pink Floyd Roger Waters: Divest in Israel

Posted on: July 5, 2012

Pink Floyd Roger Waters: Divest in Israel

Roger Waters, British rock band Pink Floyd, wrote in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on July 2, 2012 under “Divest in Israel: Presbyterians should support Palestinian aspirations“:

“On Tuesday, I will be visiting Pittsburgh to perform my Pink Floyd hit “The Wall” at Consol Energy Center.

By coincidence, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has gathered this week in Pittsburgh.

One issue the Presbyterians will be debating is whether to take action in support of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank, under siege in Gaza and governed as second-class citizens in Israel under the rule of the apartheid government there.

I write in support of those Presbyterians who would like their church to divest its holdings in three U.S. companies — Motorola Solutions, Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar. These companies profit directly from Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and suppression of the Palestinian people in both the West Bank and Israel itself.

Divestment in these companies is supported by Jewish Voice for Peace, which has noted that:

1.  “Caterpillar profits from the destruction of Palestinians’ homes,”

2.  Motorola profits by providing safety equipment to “segregated communities on stolen land”

3. Hewlett-Packard profits by providing “support and maintenance to a biometric ID system installed in Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank which deprive Palestinians of the freedom of movement in their own land.”

When I wrote “The Wall” in 1979, I thought it was about me and the way I walled myself off from others because, for one reason or another, not the least of which was the loss of my father at Anzio in 1944, I saw myself as a victim. Thirty-three years later I have come to realize that “The Wall” has a broader message.

A picture that shocked the world
An Israeli woman protects a Palestinian boy in front of an Israeli Soldier !

The theatrical wall I build each night serves as a metaphor for all the walls erected to separate us, human being from human being: walls between rich and poor, between opposing cultural, political or religious ideologies and particularly between the oppressor and the oppressed.

The Israeli wall in the West Bank is a particularly graphic example. I make reference to that wall every night in my concert, but the injustices faced by Palestinians living under Israel’s brutal occupation and apartheid are not adequately addressed through theater and music alone. They warrant other forms of comment.

Note 1: Roger Waters is a founding member of the British rock band Pink Floyd.
Note 2: Rabbi James A. Gibson of Temple Sinai in Squirrel Hill argues that a decision by Presbyterians to divest in companies doing business in Israel would damage relations between Christians and Jews and set back conciliation efforts between Israelis and Palestinians.
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