The ‘Dark Side of The Moon’ to The Dark Side of Waters

By David E. Kaplan

Pink Floyd Experience, a tribute band to the British rock group, canceled three shows in Israel after Roger Waters – the former lead singer of rock band Pink Floyd and BDS’s high-profile flagbearer – pressured the cover band to cancel its shows in Israel. The band was scheduled to perform in the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheba in early January 2019.

image010 (2)
Roger Waters Show Draws Protestors At Bay Street Theater, NY in October 2015.

He has no shame in lying in his explanation which he posted online:

To sing my songs in front of segregated audiences in Israel and contribute to the cultural whitewashing of the racist and apartheid government of that country, would be an act of unconscionable malice and disrespect.

“The people you intend to entertain are executing their neighbor’s children, shooting them down in cold blood every day. In the name of everything human, PLEASE hear my plea and cancel today.”

The tribute band canceled its shows a few hours after Waters’ post.

I loved and still love Roger Waters’ brilliant music. It was difficult not to as a student in the seventies!

image003 (8)
What’s With Waters? While denying no “anti-Semitic intent” what was Walters thinking when he used Nazi-like uniforms and a pig balloon with a Magen David (Star of David) at a 2013 concert in Belgium.

So, without denying the impact of Pink Floyd on Rock culture and society, today, when I hear Water’s magnum opus, “The Wall”, I think he may be “off the wall”.

Or worse!

While the messages in Pink Floyd’s lyrics were at times subliminal, the messages today from the band’s co-founder and chief song-writer is clear – to undermine the legitimacy of the State of Israel. It is reminiscent of another of his concept albums – ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’. There is something “dark” about Waters today the way he obsessively supports BDS – whose aim is the destruction of the only Jewish state.

This is what he actively supports despite his protestations that he is not an anti-Semite!

 Troubled Waters

This “Dark Side”, evident in influential figures throughout history, has a name: it’s called anti-Semitism.

image004 (15)
The imagery of Roger Waters

Let us reflect on a few:

  • Cicero, the Roman statesman and orator wrote:

The Jews belong to a dark and repulsive force. They are a nation of rascals and deceivers.”

  • While many are familiar with the anti-Semitism of the composer Richard Wagner, his no less illustrious father-in-law, Franz Liszt had this to say:

The day will come when all nations amidst which the Jews are dwelling will have to raise the question of their wholesale expulsion, a question which will be one of life or death, good health or chronic disease, peaceful existence or perpetual social fever.”

  • And what of US President Ulysses S. Grant, who 1862, in the heat of the Civil War fighting against slavery, issued Order No. 11, expelling all Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. He explained that the measure amounted to “special regulations of the Treasury Department have been violated….mostly by Jews and other unprincipled traders.”
  • While we may be comfortable reclining in a Ford sedan, who can be comfortable with the words of the company’s founder Henry Ford when he said in 1921: “Jews have always controlled the business… The motion picture influence of the United States and Canada . . . is exclusively under the control – moral and financial of the Jewish manipulators of the public mind.”

And what of our 20th century writers, whose works we cherish like – Roald Dahl, H.G. Wells, and Bernard Shaw:

  • Roald Dahl, the beloved children’s book author, expressed that “There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity….even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.”

         – the British writer H.G. Wells had a lot to say on the subject. In the Anatomy of Freedom, he writes: “Zionism is an expression of Jewish refusal to assimilate. If the Jews have suffered, it is because they have regarded themselves as a chosen people.”

In a 1933 letter he pens: “A careful study of anti-Semitism prejudice and accusations might be of great value to many Jews, who do not adequately realize the irritations they inflict.”

Of course, persecution of the Jews is not the fault of the persecutor but the persecuted according to Well’s, who in private correspondence labeled Karl Marxa shallow third-rate Jew,” and “a lousy Jew”.

  • The wondrous writer of Pygmalion, transformed into one of the most beloved musicals of all times – “My Fair Lady”, Georg Bernard Shaw expressed in the London Morning Post, December 3, 1925:

This is the real enemy, the invader from the East, the Druze, the ruffian, the oriental parasite; in a word: the Jew. This craving for bouquets by Jews is a symptom of racial degeneration.”

As Israel celebrated last year, the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, it is sad to recall the words of Shaw in the Literary Digest, October 12, 1932:

The Jews are worse than my own people. Those Jews who still want to be the chosen race – chosen by the late Lord Balfour – can go to Palestine and stew in their own juice. The rest had better stop being Jews and start being human beings.”

In other words, according to Shaw, Jews were not “human beings”!

Is it not this belief of Shaw that only a few years later led to the “Final Solution”?

Come Hell or High Waters

image008 (3)
The imagery of Roger Waters

And joining this august company is Roger Waters on a ‘crusade’ to silent Israeli artists and to sabotage any international artists performing in Israel.

Not sufficient that Israel is surrounded by enemies that want little more than its physical annihilation, Waters now is hell-bent on its cultural obliteration.

  • Is he calling for cultural boycotts of Syria that remains responsible for wholesale murder and mayhem or of its complicit backers Russia and Iran, that have left over half a million dead, and many million refuges?
  • Is he calling for boycotts for some the world’s other major human rights violators such as Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Myanmar, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan and Afghanistan?

Of course not!

Only Israel is “chosen”, a word that H.G. Wells and Bernard Shaw so connivingly ridicule. Waters happily adds his voice in this anti-Semitic chorus that periodically reaches fiendish crescendos that that end up as ‘Inquisitions’, ‘pogroms’ and ‘concentration camps’.

Next up for Waters: the destruction of the State of Israel.

Is it a surprise why Jews not only need an Israel, but a strong Israel – an Israel that can defend itself and deter others seeking its destruction?

Durban Disaster

With BDS crediting its genesis to the 2001 Conference against racism in Durban, South Africans should be aware of this organisation’s real agenda.

Apart from harassing international artists to cancel their shows in Israel, they bully and threaten Palestinians who wish to engage with Israelis.

This happened recently when it caused a conference at Stellenbosch University in November 2018, to cancel a delegation of seven Israeli academics from three universities, including a Palestinian Professor, Mohammed Dajani.

Omar Barghouti, a founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and a co-founder of BDS refuses to engage with Israelis. He accuses Palestinians who do of displaying “moral blindness,” calling them “clinically delusional”.

Mohammed Suleiman Dajani, who founded the Wasatia, a “Muslim moderate” movement in Palestine in 2007, descends from a well-known Palestinian family. His great grandfather Sheikh Ahmad Dajani (1459-1561) was appointed by the Ottoman Sultan as the custodian for the King David Tomb in Jerusalem.

As Dajani writes in an exclusive with Lay Of The Land (LOTL), “I have endured my fair share of criticism as an academic but never have I had my credibility or identity as a Palestinian doubted before.  To accuse me of not being a “genuine Palestinian” because I seek peace and engage with Israelis or Jewish communities around the world is extraordinarily myopic and one can see how preposterous it is for an organization that says it is concerned with human rights to be so set against dialogue and reconciliation.”

The Writing is on ‘The Wall’

What is happening today in South Africa by fomenting a culture of hate against Israelis and Israeli-born visitors – trying to bar them from South African campuses – is reminiscent of the “Judenrein” policies of the not so distant past. Note the proposal put forward in September 2017 by the Palestine Solidarity Forum, calling on UCT to implement an academic boycott of Israeli universities. “This academic boycott would require that UCT reject forming any institutional ties with Israeli universities.”

These universities are losing their moral high ground and can no longer claim to be bastions of free speech.image007 (1).png

From Richard to Roger

Despite Waters trying to whitewash BDS members as “human rights activists” they are nothing more than a band of bullies.

Its aim is not to seek a SOLUTION but a DISSOLUTION – the dissolution of the State of Israel.

Listen to BDS’s founder Omar Barghouti who says, “Definitely, most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine,” referring to all of Israel. He chooses his words carefully when he says:

To have a Palestine next to a Palestine, rather than a Palestine next to Israel.”

This is ‘music to the ears’ of anti-Semites and might explain why Israel is hardly partial to the sounds of Richard Wagner nor to the rantings of Roger Waters.

Israel can do very nicely without either!

Reconciling Reconciliation

Boycotts That Deserve To Backfire

Pressure from supporters of a boycott against Israel led organizers of an academic conference in December 2018 on “Recognition, Reparation, Reconciliation: The Light and Shadow of Historical Trauma” at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University to disinvite seven professors from three universities in Israel. One of the participants was a Palestinian, Mohammed Dajani, who founded Wasatia’ which aims to bring both Israeli and Palestinian public opinion closerto having more faith in negotiations and dialogue with each realising that the cake needs to be shared not trampled on.”

In an exclusive article for Lay Of The Land (LOTL)Prof. Mohammed Dajani explains  his position why it was so important for him and the six Israelis to participate and how wrong the South African organisations were to oppose their participation.


By Prof. Mohammed Dajani

South Africa has long been a global symbol of the possibility of emerging from a turbulent and conflict ridden past to a hopeful future built on the spirit of reconciliation between its peoples.

Prof. Mohammed Dajani

It has been the hope of many, including Palestinians and Israelis, to replicate the successful transition towards peace and democracy that South Africa did.

South Africa has always had the potential to play a meaningful role as a negotiator between Israelis and Palestinians. The iconic former President and anti-Apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela, was living proof that reconciliation between historical enemies was possible.

South Africa is a country that I was excited to visit in 2016 to promote peace. Peace is the solution that both Palestinians and Israelis yearn for but there are elements that will do anything to ensure that the normalization of ties between our two peoples never happens. It is not just the fundamentalist elements within both Israeli and Palestinian society that would rather peace not happen, but in the Rainbow nation as well.

The BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) movement, has found fertile ground in South Africa and is extremely vocal in their support in the breaking down of any constructive and productive dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. In fact, one could go as far as to deem them anti-normalisation and anti-peace.

Peace will be built from the ground up and through Palestinians and Israelis engaging with each other. This is how we recover from historical traumas.

The reluctance of BDS and their allies to support peaceful endeavours was evident recently when I along with an Israeli colleague, was invited to participate in a conference titled Recognition, Reparation, Reconciliation: The Light and Shadow of Historical Trauma at the University of Stellenbosch.  South Africa is always a favoured stop on my lecture circuit because of the historical symbolism of reconciliation and I thought that this conference was a fitting place for my message of peace.

 My Israeli colleague and I were asked “not to participate” and were told that it was “a political matter of not allowing the normalisation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by means of discussions about reconciliation, empathy and forgiveness while Israel continues to attack Gaza and place it under siege, occupy the West Bank, kill and torture Palestinian activists, and deny human rights to people who have been dispossessed of their land”.

There was not attempt to hear the reality of the situation from people who live in the region or give my Israeli colleague and I an attempt to bring context and fact to discussion. This has also robbed participants of the opportunity to ask important questions and engage in meaningful dialogue and does not have the interests of the Palestinian people at heart.

I have endured my fair share of criticism as an academic but never have I had my credibility or identity as a Palestinian doubted before.  To accuse me of not being a “genuine Palestinian” because I seek peace and engage with Israelis or Jewish communities around the world is extraordinarily myopic and one can see how preposterous it is for an organization that says it is concerned with human rights to be so set against dialogue and reconciliation.

The irony of not being allowed to speak at a conference which puts this discussion at the forefront of its agenda is such a lost opportunity to promote healing and understanding. It is also counter-productive to academia to not encourage diversity of opinions. It would appear that any contrary opinion to that expressed above is not welcome.

This is deeply troubling for a country that once prided itself in setting the benchmark for discourse.

If there is to be any solution and if South Africa intends to play a meaning ful role, then all voices need to be present at the table. This would not only be in the best interests of Israelis and Palestinians but also academia – after all, this is where future peace makers are shaped.


Prof. Mohammed Dajani. (Credit: Natan Dvir)

Professor Mohammed S. Dajani, an adjunct fellow at The Washington Institute, founded the Wasatia movement of moderate Islam and previously worked as a professor of political science at al-Quds University in Jerusalem.