(JTA) – Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters took partial credit for Stevie Wonder’s decision to pull out of performing at a Friends of Israel Defense Forces event.
In an interview with Electronic Intifada, a pro-Palestinian media outlet, Floyd said he was one of several dignitaries who wrote to Wonder in an effort to dissuade him from playing at the Los Angeles gala in December.
“I wrote a letter to him saying that this would be like playing a police ball in Johannesburg the day after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a great thing to do, particularly as he was meant to be a U.N. ambassador for peace.”
He said South African leader Bishop Desmund Tutu also sent Wonder a similar message.
During the interview, Waters compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians with the treatment of blacks in South Africa under the apartheid regime and argued sanctions against the Jewish state were the most “effective way to go.” Waters has endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
“I think that the kind of boycott that was implemented against the apartheid regime in South Africa back in the day is probably the most effective way to go because the situation is that the Israeli government runs an apartheid regime in Israel, the occupied territories and everywhere else it decides,” Waters said. “Let us not forget that they laid waste most of Lebanon around the time I started getting involved in this issue. They destroyed airports, hospitals, any public buildings they could.”
Waters, the creative force behind the progressive rock band, complained that the media in the U.S. had intentionally ignored covering his protests against Israel in recent years, speculating it was “under instructions from somewhere not to report these things to the American public, on what grounds I cannot guess.”