Roger Waters: Bon Jovi stands with ‘settler who burned the baby’

Pink Floyd founder equates performing in Israel with support for worst expressions of extremism

Roger Waters. (Wikipedia Commons/Alterna2)
Roger Waters. (Wikipedia Commons/Alterna2)

Roger Waters, a founding member of the rock band Pink Floyd and an activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, published an open letter criticizing rocker Jon Bon Jovi for performing in Tel Aviv on Oct. 3.

Waters, a frequent critic of Israel, published the letter in Salon on Friday, responding to Bon Jovi telling Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth last week that he is “excited to come” to Israel despite Waters’ efforts to deter musicians from performing there.

Waters has published similar open letters in Salon to other performers with Israel gigs, including Dionne Warwick, the Rolling Stones and Robbie Williams.

In the letter to Bon Jovi, Waters accuses the singer of standing “shoulder to shoulder” with “the settler who burned the baby,” referring to the arsonists, thought to be Jewish extremists, who firebombed a Palestinian home in August, killing a toddler and several family members, an act condemned by Israel’s leaders.

Waters then lists seven other Israelis who perpetrated attacks on Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists. He says Bon Jovi has forfeited the opportunity to stand “on the side of justice,” listing various pro-Palestinian activists and Palestinians whom Waters regards as heroes or victims.

The open letter makes no mention of any Palestinian terrorist attacks or Israeli terror victims, including the two parents killed in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank Thursday.

In a four-page magazine feature in the weekend edition of a Hebrew-language newspaper last Friday, 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!”

Bon Jovi said in the article that he will spend a few days sightseeing in Israel after his concert.

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