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Can Roger Waters  the co-founder of the legendary rock band Pink Floyd save the world? I'm thinking no, but he can certainly try as futile as it roger watersmay be.  If you haven't caught  Roger's Op-Ed in The Guardian, or his interview on AlJazeera by now, it is time.


To sum it up, Roger Waters is calling for a boycott of Israel due to the wall in the west bank, and in his opinion the violation of human rights it causes. I am not going to comment on whether I'm in agreement with his stance on the wall around the West Bank. To tell you the truth, I don't feel as though I am educated enough on the subject to get in to that debate. I assure you I certainly do have an opinion.

My gut, along with what knowledge I do have on the subject leave me confident in my beliefs. I am, however not qualified to tell you what you should think. What I would like to kick around here is the touch of hypocrisy that lies with in Roger Waters.

It’s not that he is purposely setting out to be hypocritical.  It is more of a catch 22 for him, really.  It is just a fact that, although drowned in what I believe to be good intentions (misguided or not), for each wall Roger tries to tear down he is putting up another.  He says fear builds walls.  Most often this fear is rooted in religion and politics.  So then why would he take such a stance in a very political and religious issue?

This is not simply a case of human rights.  It is far from that simple. In standing for Palestinians, he alienates Israelis. He inspires some fans, but leaves many feeling alienated, disgusted and abandoned.  There is a clear line in the sand between his fans. They stand divided, slowly building a new wall between them. Fans have posted opposing opinions on Rogers facebook page . Some have posted their feelings, some continue to post links to articles and pictures.  There is a lot of focus on the Fogel's, an Israeli family who were slaughtered at their home this past Friday in the West Bank settlement of Itamar.  It seems in the wake of this tragedy, the launch of Roger's boycott of Israel was poorly timed.   There is of course no way he could have had any idea that these terrible murders would happen the very same day his piece appeared in the Guardian.

That is an unfortunate coincidence. However is it coincidental that this issue was not pushed until after the US leg of The Wall Tour was over? I don't think it is.  There is no doubt that it would have hurt his ticket sales in the United States had he widely publicized these opinions earlier.  Americans are not completely accepting or tolerant of his more extreme views.  His song "Leaving Beirut"  was met with mixed feelings by his American fans when it debuted.  I personally witnessed heavy booing as he performed it on the Dark Side of The Moon Tour.

Just like the words of Leaving Beirut, Roger's boycott of Israel is building walls between his fans. It is also putting a big wall between himself and anyone that sees things differently. Anytime an artist takes such a bold stand, it inevitably polarizes his fans. Take those that support Roger’s decision. They may share his ideals or maybe they are just being influenced by someone they admire. Either way, like Roger  they are now facing accusations of anti-semitism and hate. Anti-semitism is very much alive in this world.  But, I don’t believe it is alive in the heart of Roger Waters, or in the hearts of the majority of his fans that support the boycott.

Now take the fans that are in disagreement of the boycott.  You can not expect Israelis, and their allies not to feel hurt and abandoned.  Someone they look up to and admire is turning his back on them, or at least that is how it feels. These people are being accused of being violent isolationists.  Most of these people want nothing but to feel safe. This wall is something only those that live with it can truly understand.

Agree with Roger or not, it is not his place.  He should put his energies in to more charity shows, like the gig for the Hoping Foundation, and awareness events. They would be better received and ultimately make more progress than the boycott.  How about funding a program that brings young Israelis and Palestinians together, teaching them to live and work along side each other?   That would really be progress. Maybe just leaving it alone would be the best idea.  

He should take a page out of David Gilmour's  Gilmour and his wife, author Polly Samson quietly support several causes yet they manage to not offend their fans in the process. That is where Waters becomes a hypocrite. He talks about tearing down walls, but breeds the contempt that builds them. Fear may build walls, and so does ignorance and arrogance. Roger Waters has tons of my respect as an artist.  He has my respect as a human being as well. I do believe he does what he really feels is right.  

But, for such an open mind, his eyes are closed to the views of any but those who share his own. The intensity and the frustration make for great music. Music is a powerful tool, and he has that gift.  He should concentrate on using that.  So is there anybody out there?  Tell me what you think!


Contact DMC at dleit19@gmail.com