The war of words reported by Rolling Stone magazine between former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters and Dark Side of the Moon engineer Alan Parsons, leader of the Alan Parsons Project, isn’t over after all.
Just before his performance in Tel Aviv, Parsons and his band’s Israeli bassist, Guy Erez, sat down for an exclusive interview with Creative Community For Peace (CCFP) to discuss their opinions on the cultural boycott of Israel and the role of music in the world.The cultural boycott campaign singles out Israel, and only Israel, for a cultural boycott. It is known for using tactics that can often border on harassment in an effort to prevent international artists from performing in Israel and Israeli artists from performing abroad.
The cultural boycott against Israel is anathema not only to peace but also to artists and artistic freedom.
Roger Waters wrote Parsons a letter containing false and inflammatory information about Israel in an attempt to pressure the band to cancel its February 10 performance in Tel Aviv. Rogers also ignored Parsons’ request to keep their exchange private.
Responding to Waters and the entire Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, the ten-time Grammy Awards nominee Parsons told CCFP, “It’s totally censorship. I mean, people who follow it would be considered succumbing to censorship. But we didn’t.”
Erez questioned the rationale of Waters’ behavior saying, “My approach to it is why don’t you try and use it in the opposite way? Instead of saying don’t go here and there and play, if Roger Waters really wanted to be a peaceful person, why won’t you take a group of Israeli kids and Palestinian kids and make a camp of making music together. Use the power of music to put people together. But don’t just say, ‘I’m taking a side, don’t share music with the Israeli people.’ Why do the Israeli people or any other people have to get punished even though let’s say you disagree with their government? It’s just something I don’t understand how he even puts it together.”
A veteran rocker with gold and platinum records, Parsons, told CCFP, “The language of music has nothing to do with the language of politics.”
Erez and Parsons went on to share a poignant, personal story of bigotry and loyalty about an instance when a concert venue in Europe sought to exclude Erez on the basis of his nationality. While Erez’s work has appeared in more than 100 movies and TV shows, it would appear that some are unable to see the value of musical talent over politics.