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In a recent interview for Empire Files, music legend Roger Waters sat down with journalist Abby Martin to discuss the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the importance of advocating for Palestinian rights. Waters, a longtime supporter of the Palestinian cause and a humanitarian, highlighted the need for an immediate ceasefire and expressed his belief in equal human rights for all. The two also delved into the controversy surrounding Waters’ political shows and his criticism of the Israeli government.
Waters began by addressing the current situation in Gaza, advocating for a permanent ceasefire rather than a temporary pause in the violence. He stressed the importance of equality and human rights for all in the Holy Land, including the people of Palestine, and criticized the Israeli government’s actions and policies.
The interview also touched upon Waters’ past criticism of the Israeli government and his investigations by German authorities regarding the imagery in his shows. Waters revealed that he had been targeted by the Israeli lobby for his outspoken advocacy for Palestinian rights, which led to controversy and attempts to silence him.
The conversation then turned to the irony of Waters being labelled an anti-Semitic Nazi despite his father’s sacrifice during World War II. Waters emphasized that his advocacy for equal human rights and platform built upon the Declaration of Universal Human Rights should not be misconstrued. He condemned the Israeli government’s disregard for the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine and their denial of civil and human rights.
Martin also questioned Waters about his awakening to the plight of the Palestinian people, to which he cited a concert in Tel Aviv in 2005 as a turning point. After receiving backlash from Palestinian supporters, Waters cancelled the concert and instead performed at a peace village called Neve Shalom, attracting a significant crowd of young Israeli Jews. This experience prompted Waters to explore the Palestinian struggle further and witness the dire conditions in Gaza during subsequent visits.
The interview highlighted the atrocities committed in Gaza by the Israeli government, and Waters criticized the media’s biased coverage and attempts to dehumanize Palestinians. He also expressed dismay at the lack of condemnation from world leaders and politicians, particularly in the United States. Waters commended the global demonstrations and protests in support of Palestine and called for continued activism to raise awareness about the ongoing genocide.
The conversation touched upon the role of the state of Israel as a partner for the US Empire and the necessity to challenge the narrative that portrays Israel simply as a democracy. Waters and Martin noted the disturbing trends of tone policing and historical revisionism in the media, such as the demonization of the phrase “from the river to the sea” and the use of crisis actors to shape public opinion.
They also discussed the power of solidarity and the importance of working toward a just and equitable solution for Palestine. Waters advocated for a single democratic state with equal rights for all or a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders but stressed the need for a fair and balanced approach to address the issue of settlements.
The interview concluded with a call to action, urging people to protest and lobby their governments to end the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Waters expressed gratitude for the millions of people worldwide standing up for Palestinian rights and suggested various ways to hold Israel accountable, including boycotts, divestment, and sanctions.
In the face of adversity, Waters remains steadfast in his commitment to peace and justice, using his platform to shed light on the truth and advocate for the Palestinian cause. As the world witnesses the horrifying events unfolding in Gaza, it is crucial to support and amplify voices like Waters and Martin, who strive for a more equitable and compassionate world.