Roger Waters vs Radiohead – 50 artists urge boycott in open letter

Last week close to 50 artists, including Roger Waters, Julie Christie, Mike Leigh and Tunde Adebimpe, the lead singer of TV on the Radio,signed an open letter to English rock band, Radiohead, urging them to cancel their upcoming concert in Israel in support of the cultural boycott.

In addition to the anti-Israel “regulars,” new artists lent their support including the hip-hop group, Young Fathers.

The open letter was widely reported on in both music and mainstream publications including PitchforkThe Washington Times, Yahoo News, and Consequence of Sound.

These reports, with rare exception, quoted heavily from the letter’s false accusations of Israeli apartheid and human rights violations without any semblance of a counter argument to its charges.

Several members of the entertainment community wrote letters to the editors, including Liberate Art, whose op-ed in IsraellyCool, read in part:

“Your report on an open letter from artists Roger Waters, Thurston Moore and others urging Radiohead to cancel their July performance in Tel Aviv is not so much sharing a news story as it is helping to spread misinformation and propaganda.”

Just two days after the circulation of the open letter, the chief pop–music critic at The New York Times interviewed Roger Waters, as part of its TimesTalks series of conversations with 21st-century “talents and thinkers.”

In the question and answer session, a member of the audience inquired about the Radiohead letter:

Although Waters admitted that he failed to convince Radiohead to cancel their Israeli concert, he was able to spread another layer of lies to an ever expanding audience of avid music fans.

Waters repeats the myth/lie that the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign originated as a Palestinian civil movement.

Ilan Pappe makes it clear that a critical component of the BDS movement is to keep this myth/lie alive. And for anyone not aware, Ilan Pappe is a rabid anti-Israel propagandist. The fact that this came out of his mouth is extremely telling.

As a leading voice countering the cultural boycott campaign, I am often asked about Waters’ role in the effort.  In this clip from my interview on the Barry Farber Radio, I answer that question:

Lana Melman