Sunday April 20, 2014
Israel Hayom
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Yehuda Safra

The dark side of Roger Waters

In the song "Brain Damage," the ninth track on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," vocalist Roger Waters sings the following lines: "The lunatic is in my head," and "there's someone in my head but it's not me."

I am not sure that Waters, now 70 years old, is crazy (despite the fact that there are musical geniuses who walk the fine line between genius and insanity), but for the sake of his fans in Israel, I certainly hope that someone found his way inside his head at the beginning of last week when he made the following anti-Semitic statements about Israel in an interview with a pro-Palestinian political website: "The parallels with what went on in the 30s in Germany are so crushingly obvious. ... The occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable."

Waters has been calling for a boycott of Israel for years already. He turns to various artists who are planning to perform here and urges them not to come, not to lend legitimacy to our existence. It is likely that he expresses himself to them in the same biting and hurtful manner as he does in the quotes above, a contribution to the brainwashing of those who do not know the truth.

If Waters was loyal to the facts, then, in contrast to the complex music he has written, he would refrain from objective superficiality. For the sake of his own self-respect, he would admit that apartheid does not exist in a country where Arabs have equal rights (and obligations). An Arab can stroll through any mall he wants, receive treatment at any hospital and work everywhere. Sure, discrimination does exist, but it goes both ways (can a Jew live safely in an Arab village?!), and the feeling that "we're being pushed around" is far from being exclusive (just ask immigrants from Ethiopia or the former Soviet Union).

There is also no ethnic cleansing here, and only someone brainwashed with hateful opinions could compare a country that treats injured or ill Palestinians and Syrians -- citizens of two enemy entities that call for our destruction -- to monstrous Nazi Germany.

No man is shot here just like that, just because he's an Arab, Muslim or Christian. Gas chambers and all the other methods of systematic extermination are not waiting at any end of any train tracks, for any citizen. Patches, identifying Arabs as inferior and subject to death, are nowhere to be found. (Moreover, in Waters' home country, politicians are calling to label Jewish products.)

The occupation can be debated. That is a political opinion. What belongs to us, what belongs to the Palestinians -- that is a legitimate argument. But one who displays at his concert a pig with a red Star of David on it loses all legitimacy, and it's a shame that he chooses not to focus on his strength -- music.

Unfortunately, this great artist is but a small man, blindsided and surrounded by a "wall," which was a wonderful piece of rock music, but as an opinion, it is a jarring chord. A false musical ear, dancing to the sounds of one side only and suffering from deafness to the balance the other side wants to add, the Israeli side. Alas, Waters has already picked a side -- the dark side of the moon.


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