Former Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters has taken Facebook to troll Alan Parsons over Parsons decision (and right) to perform in Israel.
Parsons, who would go on to form Alan Parsons Project and release a series of his own innovative albums, was the engineer on Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’.
While there are no sanctions against Israel, Waters taken it upon himself to judge who should and shouldn’t enter the country to do what they do for a living … perform.
Waters started the recent argument with Parsons in the public domain. Parsons responded in private but Waters kept the abuse visible to all to see on his Facebook page.
Regardless, Parsons went ahead with his show and performed in Tel Aviv this week,
— Alan Parsons (@alanparsons) February 8, 2015
Roger Waters has continued to troll Parsons after the event.
It is painful to see an important debate lowered to this level of unhelpful mudslinging. To be clear, despite this blogger’s claim, I do not hate Israel – or Israelis or Jews. Along with my many Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, and Arab colleagues, I seek ways to make sense of the current deadly debacle and to encourage a solution that gives equal rights to all the peoples of these troubled lands. The end of the occupation, a primary aim of BDS, is generally acknowledged in the wider debate as a pre-requisite to any peaceful, just, and lasting solution.
Your resorting to posting ad hominem attacks against me from an obscure extremist website informs the conversation not at all and serves only to muddy the already muddy waters. I continue to hope that while in Israel you took the time to take a look at the Separation Wall – from both sides and to educate yourself further on the injustices Palestinians are routinely subjected to by Israeli military forces. I refer often to a just and lawful resolution of this conflict to the benefit of all the people of the“Holy Land” to provide an environment where all their children, regardless of race or religion, could prosper, equal under the law. I know you have stated that your last words were your final words on these subjects. So be it. Those of us who still dare to dream of peace will continue the conversation without you. For us, “Not to talk is not an option”.
PS: For those of you still interested in the conversation:
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is also castigated in the cited article. I would like to note that its director, Raji Sourani, is a Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award laureate and has been recognized around the world for his efforts, including with theRight Livelihood Award or “alternative Nobel Peace Prize.” For the record, The New York Times cites nearly 2200 Palestinians killed (a number close to that of PCHR). If you dispute the facts, as the website Alan linked to does, I would encourage you to read the devastating reporting of Anne Barnard and Tyler Hicks.
Earlier this week Waters went public with his criticism of Parsons’ business despite Parsons trying to keep the exchange out of the public eye. The are no official sanctions with Israel and the UK but Waters continues to cite a private group called BDS as the facilitator of the unofficial sanctions.
It’s been 40 years since we worked on Dark Side of the Moon together. If you recall, I was the pimply bass player, you were the tall engineer. Congratulations on your many successes since then.
The reason for my letter today is that I see you have plans to do a gig in Tel Aviv in February. I am writing to ask you to reconsider those plans. I know you to be a talented and thoughtful man, so I assume you know of the plight of the Palestinians and that there is a growing nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement protesting against the abusive policies of the Israeli government.
The BDS movement was started by Palestinian Civil Society in 2005 as a call to people of conscience to join their freedom struggle. Since then, the BDS torch has been passed from mouth to mouth, hand to hand and heart to heart and now is spread across the globe from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, from Lapland to South Africa – and inside Israel itself. In the last year in particular it has become a moral force to be reckoned with and has provided Palestinians and their allies with a means of resisting nonviolently against colonization, discrimination, and ongoing dispossession.
BDS is a means to end the 47-year occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem and achieve equal basic human and political rights for all the people – Jewish and Palestinian – inside of Israel and the occupied territories.
While I know you don’t want to disappoint your fans by cancelling this gig, you would be sending a powerful message to them and the world by doing so. As with Sun City, more and more artists are standing up to say they will not perform in Israel until such time as their occupation ends and equal rights are extended to Palestinians.
I ask that you consider joining me, and hundreds of thousands of others, by lending your voice to a conversation that rejects violence, embraces international law, and helps the global community pursue a just peace for all the people of the Holy Land.
Advancing a better future for Palestinians and Israelis is a matter of fundamental importance to us all. As John Lennon observed, “Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend”. I would be happy to discuss all this with you further. More food for thought, here is the public statement Nick Mason and I issued last May referencing the similarities of this campaign to the Sun City boycott in South Africa.
Waters then posted:
Alan replied, but asked me not to publish his reply.
I write back to him here:
I will honor your request not to publish your response to my letter, but note that your argument is similar to that of the few other musicians who have crossed the picket line to play in Israel.
I regret that you have decided, for now at least, to stand with the minority of artists and academics who support the policies of the current Israeli government.
But, by all means, let us continue our dialogue.
I, for my part, will be open and clear. My own decision to join BDS was formed by my experience in front of the Apartheid Wall that this and previous Israeli governments have built, and continue to build. Hopefully, should you visit the occupied territories, you will have a similar moment of insight.
I see from your bio that you played in Israel in 2010, a year after Operation Cast Lead, when you might have been forgiven for not knowing any better. Now, it is a year after Operation Protective Edge, when the al-Kilani family (see photograph accompanying this post) were killed. If we didn’t know before, we do now. If you go through with your visit maybe you will be as shaken as I was back in 2006/7.
By ignoring the boycott, you are turning your back on a beleaguered people who are desperately in need of your support. Even at this late hour, please reconsider.
Alan Parsons performed in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, February 10.
Alan Parson setlist, Rel Aviv, February 10, 2015
I Robot (from I Robot, 1977)
Damned If You Do (from Eve, 1979)
Don’t Answer Me (from Ammonia Avenue, 1984)
Breakdown (from I Robot, 1977)
The Raven (Tales of Mystery and Imagination, 1976)
Time (from The Turn of a Friendly Card, 1980)
I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You (from I Robot, 1977)
The Turn Of The Friendly Card Part One (from The Turn of a Friendly Card, 1980)
Snake Eyes (from The Turn of a Friendly Card, 1980)
The Ace Of Swords (from The Turn of a Friendly Card, 1980)
Nothing Left To Lose (from The Turn of a Friendly Card, 1980)
The Turn of the Friendly Card Part Two (from The Turn of a Friendly Card, 1980)
Ammonia Avenue (from Ammonia Avenue, 1984)
Luciferama (from The Very Best Live, 1995)
La Sagrada Familia (from Gaudi, 1987)
Limelight (from Stereotomy, 1985)
Don’t Let It Show (from I Robot, 1977)
In The Real World (from Stereotomy, 1985)
Do You Live At All (new)
Psychobabble (from Eye In The Sky, 1982)
Old and Wise (from Eye In The Sky, 1982)
What Goes Up (from Pyramid, 1978)
Prime Time (from Ammonia Avenue, 1984)
Sirius (from Eye In The Sky, 1982)
Eye In The Sky (from Eye In The Sky, 1982)
The System of Dr Tarr and Professor Fether (from Tales of Mystery and Imagination, 1976)
Games People Play (from The Turn of a Friendly Card, 1980)
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