Letter from the brilliant Roger Waters to Bon Jovi over his decision to play a
concert in Tel Aviv. Accusing him of
standing shoulder to shoulder with those who burn babies and who advocate
Roger Waters Slams Bon Jovi Over Israel Concert in Open Letter
“You stand shoulder to shoulder/With the
settler who burned the baby,” Pink Floyd co-founder writes
gig is upstaged by Roger Waters’s incantation of Israeli victims, including
Dawabshe boy –
thousand fans expected, in Tel Aviv. But the news is Roger Waters’s stirring
letter to the group,
posted at Salon, explaining their moral failure in playing Israel.
the interchange between the musicians. Very sympathetic coverage of Waters,
and a great headline:
the baby,” Pink Floyd co-founder writes. The politics of the issue are surely
changing when Salon and Rolling Stone stand with Roger Waters. And notice that
Waters invokes such victims of Israeli wanton violence as the four Bakr boys on the
beach in Gaza, little Ali Dawabshe in
Duma on the West Bank two months ago, and Salem
Shamaly, killed by an Israeli sniper while looking for family members in
Shejaiyeh. Waters is doing more to keep the Duma murders in American
consciousness than anyone else.
thrilled to see Israel for the first time.
must be on our list and it happened!”
Waters and his controversial boycott campaign to get other singers to nix
concerts in Israel, Bon Jovi says: “Yes, I heard about that but it doesn’t
interest me. I told my managers to give one simple answer: That I’m coming to
Israel and I’m excited to come.”
Salon (links to news sources at the site):
persuasive, letters to colleagues in the music business, encouraging them not
to give succor to the Israeli government’s apartheid policies by performing in
Israel. Having read Jon’s comments last week in Yedioth Ahronoth, I won’t waste
my time drawing parallels with Apartheid South Africa and the moral stand that
so many artists took then and that thousands are taking now in the face of
decades of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.So the die is cast, you are
determined to proceed with your gig in Tel Aviv on October 3. You are making
You stand shoulder to shoulder
With the settler who burned the baby
With the bulldozer driver who crushed Rachel Corrie
With the soldier who shot the soccer player’s feet to bits
With the sailor who shelled the boys on the beach
With the sniper who killed the kid in the green shirt
And the one who emptied his clip into the 13-year-old girl
And the Minister of Justice who called for genocide
You had a chance to stand
On the side of justice
With the pilot who refused to bomb refugee camps
With the teenager who chose eight prison terms over army
With the prisoner who fasted for 266 days until freedom
With the doctor banned from entry for saving lives
With the farmer who was cut down marching to the wall
With the legless child growing up in the rubble
And the 550 others who won’t grow up at all
Because of the missiles and tank shells and bullets we sent
The dead can’t remind you of the crimes you’ve ignored.
lest we forget,
“To stand by silent and indifferent is the greatest crime of
Roger Waters penned a long open letter to Bon Jovi slamming
the group ahead of their October 3rd concert in Tel Aviv. The former Pink Floyd bassist, long an opponent of Israel’s
stance toward Palestine, accused Jon Bon Jovi and his band mates of standing
“shoulder to shoulder” with Israel before listing many of the
casualties suffered by the Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli government
in an op-ed for Salon. Waters has routinely called on his fellow artists to
boycott performing in Israel.
In an interview with Israeli magazine Yediot this week, Bon Jovi said he
“always heard what a wonderful place Israel is – the birthplace of all
religions. I have been everywhere and Israel was a place that I’ve always
wanted to visit, but it never worked out. This time I insisted that Israel must
be on our list and it happened!”
A representative for Bon Jovi
declined to comment.
In the open letter, Waters
references “the soldier who shot the soccer player’s feet to bits,”
“the prisoner who fasted for 266 days until freedom” and “the
Minister of Justice who called for genocide,” providing links to each
example he lists. In February, Waters similarly called out Alan Parsons – the
engineer on Pink Floyd’s Dark
Side of the Moon –for
scheduling an Israel concert with the Alan Parsons Project.
Some years ago, I was in the office of a straitlaced, middle-aged lady who
was in charge of my law firm’s support staff. I noticed a photograph on her
desk of herself with a long-haired guy who looked like a rock musician. It
seemed incongruous, so I asked about the picture, and she told me this story.
She and her husband had a boat in a marina on the St. Croix River, which
constitutes much of the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin. One Saturday
afternoon, they were working on the boat, polishing fittings and so on, when a
man approached them. “Excuse me,” he said, “would you be interested in renting
your boat out for an afternoon next weekend?” They asked what he had in mind,
and he explained that he worked for “Jon Bon Jovi, the singer.”
Bon Jovi was going to play a concert in the Twin Cities the following
Saturday night. The man explained that there was a retarded boy in the Twin
Cities–sorry, I honestly don’t know the current euphemism–with whom Bon Jovi
had a big brother relationship, and whenever he was in Minnesota he made time
to spend with the boy. They thought it would be fun to go boating on the St.
Croix. So, could Mr. Bon Jovi rent their boat for the following Sunday? Our
personnel director and her husband said that they would be happy to lend their
boat for free, if they could come along.
The following Sunday, at a time when most rock stars of that era (or any
other) would have been sleeping off a night of excess, Jon Bon Jovi, his
assistant and the young boy met with my friend and her husband at the marina,
and enjoyed an afternoon of boating on the river. That’s when the photo was
taken. There is nothing unique about Minnesota: I assume that for several
decades, Bon Jovi has done similar good deeds around the country with zero
publicity. So, as you can imagine, I have long had a good opinion of Jon Bon
Fast forward to 2015. While many of his rock and roll contemporaries have
succumbed to dissipation and in some cases are six feet under, Bon Jovi is
still performing. He scheduled a concert in Tel Aviv, which drew the wrath of
Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, who is now an obsessive anti-Israel activist and,
in my opinion, an anti-Semite. Whenever a high-profile entertainer undertakes
to perform in Israel, Waters weighs in, in bullying fashion. Hence this
Former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters disapproves of rock band Bon Jovi’s
following through with plans to play a concert in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The 72-year-old British musician published a scathing open letter to the
group — bandleader Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan and Tico Torres — on Salon.com
Friday, claiming they “stand shoulder to shoulder” with those who have
committed violent acts toward Palestinians.
“You stand shoulder to shoulder with the settler who burned the baby…with
the bulldozer driver who crushed Rachel Corrie…with the soldier who shot the
soccer player’s feet to bits,” he wrote, linking each act with a corresponding
No mention of the countless terrorist attacks by Arabs against Israeli Jews.
“Having read Jon’s comments last week in Yedioth Ahronoth, I won’t waste my
time drawing parallels with Apartheid South Africa and the moral stand that so
many artists took then and that thousands are taking now in the face of decades
of Israeli oppression of Palestinians,” [Waters] wrote.
“So the die is cast,” he added before listing several acts committed between
Israelis and Palestinians. “You are making your stand.”
Well, I hope so. Bon Jovi was unimpressed by Waters’ anti-Israel rant:
Bon Jovi is expected to perform in Israel Saturday; the band’s lead singer
recently proclaimed his admiration for Tel Aviv ahead of the concert, saying he
isn’t interested in Rogers’ boycott campaign.
“Yes, I heard about that but it doesn’t interest me,” he told Yedioth Ahronoth.
“I told my managers to give one simple answer: That I’m coming to Israel and
I’m excited to come.”
“It doesn’t interest me.” I like that.
The singer explained he’s most excited to visit the metropolitan city for
its “vibrant and dynamic” culture and “great restaurants.” He and the band will
reportedly spend more time than just the day of their concert in Tel Aviv.
“There are a few places in the world that I haven’t been, Israel is one of
them,” he said. “So I’m thrilled to be coming. We want to stay for a few days
and see as much as possible.”
I have no idea whether Bon Jovi is a Christian, but he evidently shares the
excitement that Christians, Jews and others feel at the prospect of visiting
the Holy Land. Good for him. He evidently will not be deterred by a left-wing,
has-been bully. Somehow, I am not surprised.
I had meant to end this post there, but saw this
account of the concert in Tel Aviv, which concluded just hours ago:
Jon Bon Jovi kicked off his band’s first-ever performance in Israel Saturday
evening by telling 50,000 cheering Israelis “I’ve waited a long time for this!”
A few songs into the show, he underlined his empathy with Israel by
introducing a new song called “We Don’t Run,” released earlier this summer,
with the comment: “This should be the fight song for Tel Aviv.”
And later in the performance, the New Jersey-born rocker name-checked his
keyboard player, the Jewish musician David Bryan (Rashbaum), by saying that
“your father would be proud of you” for being in Israel pounding the piano.
Probably unbeknown to the band, the concert began minutes after a terrorist
attack in Jerusalem 60 kilometers (some 40 miles) away, when a Palestinian man
stabbed two Israelis to death in the Old City, and injured two others.
Roger Waters had no comment.
I don’t think the whole performance is available on line yet, but via
YouTube, here are 28 seconds of Bon Jovi singing “We Don’t Run” just a few
hours ago, in Tel Aviv:
I know, Bon Jovi is a Democrat who has come out for Hillary. But he’s a