Boycotting Israel is the “way to go,” says Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters

March 26, 2013

The following interview was first published on The Electronic Intifada. You can view it in its original context, here.

Roger Waters, British rock legend and co-founder of the group Pink Floyd, visits Israel’s wall surrounding the West Bank town of Bethlehem, 21 June 2006.  (MaanImages / Magnus Johansson)

Roger Waters is the most famous rock star to have publicly supported the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

A founder of Pink Floyd — a British rock group which has sold more than 250 million albums — Waters decided to become active in the international Palestinian solidarity movement following a trip to the West Bank in 2006. Shocked by the oppression that he witnessed, Waters spray-painted the words “we don’t need no thought control” — a line from one of his biggest hits — on Israel’s wall.

More recently, Waters has served as a juror on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, an initiative aimed at drawing attention to how Western governments and companies aid Israel’s violations of international law. In that capacity, he addressed the United Nations during November last year.

Visiting Brussels for the tribunal’s final session, Waters said he would explore the idea of releasing a single urging musicians not to perform in Israel. He intends to discuss this project with Steven Van Zandt, the guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, who assembled many well-known musicians to record Sun City, a protest song against apartheid in South Africa during the 1980s.

Waters spoke to The Electronic Intifada’s David Cronin.

David Cronin: Do you think the campaign for a cultural boycott of Israel is having an impact?

Roger Waters: I’d like to think that it was.

My experience when I speak to people to and say “don’t go” is either they reply “that sounds good” or they say “don’t you think it’s better to go there?”

Well, no, I fucking don’t.

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. Let us not forget that they laid waste to most of Lebanon around the time I started getting involved in this issue. They destroyed airports, hospitals, any public buildings they could.

They are running riot and it seems unlikely that running over there and playing the violin will have any lasting effect.

DC: Have you personally asked any fellow musicians to boycott Israel?

Read the rest of this entry »


Russell Tribunal on Palestine, New York – the Film

February 13, 2013

From the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, this is a 2-hour film about the New York session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. Including testimonies from Ilan Pappe, Ben White, Phyllis Bennis, The Corrie family and many others.

Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation

Evidence from the London Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine

Edited by Asa Winstanley and Frank Barat. Foreword by Alice Walker

Damning exposé of corporate complicity in Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land. A vital legal resource on this pressing issue.

“As we prepare for the South African session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, this book is an important, practical tool in the non-violent struggle against apartheid in the Holy Land.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“A compelling and urgent read for anyone concerned about corporate complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.” – Omar Bargouti, co-founder of the Palestinian Civil Society BDS Movement

£19.99 only £17.50 on the Pluto site


Roger Waters at the UN for Russell Tribunal on Palestine

December 5, 2012

http://www.plutobooks.com/localjackets/m/9780745331591.jpgRoger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, spoke on 29th November to the UN on behalf of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. He delivered a speech in front of delegates on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. We have reproduced the video below which is well worth watching, at just under 25 minutes long.

Pluto published a book, Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation (Pluto, 2011) edited by Asa Winstanley and Frank Barat, covering evidence from the London session of the tribunal in 2010. Examining the involvement of corporations in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land by Israel, the tribunal of 2010 generated widespread media coverage. The book identifies companies and corporations participating in such illegality and possibilities for legal action against them are discussed.

To order the book, click on the cover image, or this link.


Noam Chomsky’s Call to Action – Russell Tribunal on Palestine

September 27, 2012

Political dissenter, linguistics professor, anarchist, Pluto author and all-round dude Noam Chomsky has made a short video about the upcoming Russell Tribunal on Palestine in New York this October.

When the world’s most prominent public intellectual argues that the coming session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, NYC, October 6-7th, is key in time and place, it is surely worth taking note and, most importantly of all, action.
As Chomsky argues in the video (below)“The high level of anger against the US in the Arab and Muslim world is driven in substantial measure by the severe punishment of the Palestinians and the denial of their elementary rights.”
Watch it, share it, and register today.

A New Generation Draws the Line

“Humanitarian” Intervention and the Standards of the West

Noam Chomsky

Deftly exposes the hypocrisy and double-speak of those who use ‘humanitarian intervention’ as a cover for imperial policies.

“Judged in terms of the power, range, novelty, and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive.” – The New York Times

“On the one hand we have the established media, the respectable community of foreign affairs analysts, the government – on the other, Noam Chomsky.” – The Nation

£12.99 only £11.50 on the Pluto site

Fateful Triangle – New Edition

The United States, Israel and the Palestinians

Noam Chomsky. Foreword by Edward W. Said

‘The most ambitious book ever attempted on the conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians … a great and important book.’ Edward Said

“The most ambitious book ever attempted on the conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians … a great and important book.” – Edward Said

“Brilliant and unscrupulous.” – Observer

£18.99 only £17.00 on the Pluto site


Actor Wallace Shawn denounces crimes against Palestinians, and endorses the Russell Tribunal on Palestine

September 19, 2012

Actor Wallace Shawn, best known for his roles in ManhattanPrincess BrideGossip Girl, Clueless etc. has spoken out against US complicity in Israel’s crimes, endorsing the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, due to take place in New York City, October 6-7th, 2012.

Giving his reasons for what may widely be regarded as a controversial statement, he said: “As an American taxpayer and sometimes voter, I’m very directly responsible for the crimes that have been committed against the Palestinian people.” Shawn, who is Jewish and is a member of  the Advisory Board of Jewish Voice for Peace, recorded this 2.5-minute video clip endorsing the need for a full investigation into the crimes against the Palestinian people by Israel financed by US tax dollars:

Shawn invites everyone to join him in hearing the world’s most prominent public intellectual Noam Chomsky, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, and civil rights leader Angela Davis who will be offering and weighing testimony at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP), an international people’s tribunal that was created to expose human rights abuses and stir people to action in opposition to Israel’s violations of international law. In addition, Russell Means and Dennis Banks, dubbed by the LA Times, “the two most famous Indians since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse,” will join Israeli historian and Pluto author Ilan Pappé, (Out of the Frame, 2010), former Palestine Liberation Organization legal advisor Diana Buttu, and a who’s who of international human rights figures at RToP in New York City, Oct. 6-7th, 2012.
RToP was launched in 2009 following Israel’s bloody assault on Gaza, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, and has since worked to bring together legal experts, scholars, activists and other people of note to help shed light on the reality of Israel’s 45-year-old occupation of Palestinian land. RToP also shines a light on the active role that third parties — foreign governments and corporations — play in perpetuating human rights violations in Israel-Palestine.
Walker, Davis, Means and Banks are among the Russell Tribunal participants to issue an “urgent call to others who share our commitment to racial justice, equality, and freedom.” They invite people to attend the hearings in New York City on October 6 and 7, writing, “Each and every one of us — particularly those of us and our fellow jury members who grew up in the Jim Crow South, in apartheid South Africa, and on Indian reservations in the United States — is shocked by what Israel is doing to the Palestinians.”
Previous sessions of the tribunal have been held in Barcelona, London and Cape Town. These hearings have addressed, respectively, European Union support for Israel, the complicity of corporations in the occupation of Palestine (see below for details on the Pluto book), and the question of whether Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. The fourth and final session will be held in New York City this October 6-7th, and will examine the role of the United Nations and the United States in perpetuating Israel’s impunity in depriving the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination.
To learn more about the upcoming Russell Tribunal, see their website.

Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation

Evidence from the London Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine

Edited by Asa Winstanley and Frank Barat. Foreword by Alice Walker

Damning exposé of corporate complicity in Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land. A vital legal resource on this pressing issue.

“As we prepare for the South African session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, this book is an important, practical tool in the non-violent struggle against apartheid in the Holy Land.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“A compelling and urgent read for anyone concerned about corporate complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.” – Omar Bargouti, co-founder of the Palestinian Civil Society BDS Movement

£19.99 only £17.50 on the Pluto site


Russell Tribunal finds Israel guilty of Apartheid

December 8, 2011

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine in session

Writing for AlJazeera Richard Falk comments on the verdict of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which has found Israel guilty of the crime of Apartheid:

The most controversial, and at the same time far reaching feature, of the RToP finding was to conclude that Israeli responsibility for establishing an apartheid regime applied not only to Palestinians living under occupation, but also to the Palestinians minority living with discriminatory regulations in Israel and to the Palestinian diaspora consisting of 4-5 million refugees and exiles.

The RToP divides its rationale for finding guilty of committing the crime of apartheid into three main parts: (1) race as defining identity in Israel/Palestine relations (tribunal agrees that race in the international definition of the crime should be interpreted broadly to include ethnic and national character); (2) inhuman acts (specified in relation to Israeli treatment of Palestinians, as integral to the crime, particularly “colonisation and appropriation of Palestinian land” and coercive fragmentation of the Palestinian community in “different physical spaces”; (3) a systematic and institutionalised regime as pervading the subjugation of the Palestinian people (preferential treatment of Jews, dual legal arrangements, restrictions on residence and mobility, deportations and house demolitions are elements in what the tribunal calls “Israel’s institutionalised regime of domination”. [See Victor Kattan's excellent detailed analysis of the RToP finding of apartheid in his "The Russell Tribunal on Palestine and the Question of Apartheid", al-shabaka brief, November 23, 2011].

Visit AlJazeera to read the article in full.

Read the rest of this entry »


Turning the tide of injustice in Palestine – Desmond Tutu and Michael Mansfield in the Guardian

November 7, 2011

Jurors at the London session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine

Writing in the Guardian, Desmond Tutu and Michael Mansfield highlight the significance of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which opened its third session in South Africa on Saturday. They raise parallels with the struggle against apartheid in South Africa:

We have visited Israel/Palestine on a number of occasions and every time have been struck by the similarities with the South African apartheid regime. The separate roads and areas for Palestinians, the humiliation at roadblocks and checkpoints, the evictions and house demolitions. Parts of East Jerusalem resemble what was District Six in Cape Town. It is a cause for abiding sadness and anguish. It revolves around the way in which the arrogance of power brings about a desensitisation. Once this has occurred it permits atrocious acts and attitudes to be visited on those over whom power and control are exercised. What such people are doing to themselves just as much as their victims should also be of concern.

Tutu and Mansfield write that the role of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine is to apply the standards of international law to Israel’s conduct in relation to the Palestinians:

These are all matters the tribunal will be assessing in order to ascertain what parallels and comparisons can be drawn. Whatever they may be, the ultimate objective is to consider the Israel-Palestine situation on its own facts and apply the norms of international law to identify three major issues. Have there been violations? If so, what are they and who is responsible? And thirdly, what are the legal ramifications and processes which should ensue? It is hoped that this process may contribute and not detract from the urgent need to progress understanding and peace, truth and reconciliation.

Visit the Guardian to read the article in full.

The evidence from the London session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine is collected in a new book from Pluto Press, Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation, edited by Asa Winstanley and Frank Barat.

Read the rest of this entry »


Frank Barat writes for Al Jazeera on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine

October 19, 2011

Bertrand Russell - philosopher and peace activist

In an article for Al Jazeera Frank Barat, co-editor of Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation, writes about the tradition of the Russell Tribunal and the importance of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine:

From the experience of past Russell Tribunals – on US military intervention in Vietnam (1966-1967) and internal repression (with outside interference) in Latin America (1973-1975), and judging from the conclusions of the first two sessions of the RToP, it is clear that findings of the tribunal provide a legally grounded body of arguments, constituting an important tool to be used by those who seek to ensure respect for the rule of international law, and the rights of the Palestinian people.

The RToP is an international people’s tribunal, created in 2009 as a response to the failure of the international community to act appropriately to bring to an end Israel’s recognised violations of international law. In particular, the organisers of the RToP were very concerned by the inadequate international response to the Advisory Opinion of July 9, 2004, of the highest judicial body in the world, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on the legal consequences of the establishment of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territories – which called for the wall to be dismantled and which reiterated the need to respect past resolutions of the United Nations.

Read the rest of this entry »


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,409 other followers