by Roger Waters
Alicia Keys (picturesdepot.com)
Dear Alicia Keys
I read today Alice Walker’s eloquent and moving entreaty to you in her open letter.
It is hard to add anything except to implore you to follow all the links she has directed you to.
To introduce myself to you, I am a fellow musician, my name is Roger Waters, I used to be in a band called Pink Floyd, and, believe it or not, I still work.
I had reason last December to write a letter to Stevie Wonder to encourage him to withdraw from an engagement in LA. It was a Gala to raise funds for the Israeli Defense Force. I wasn’t the only one to write, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the great advocate of peace and reconciliation, was among many, many others who wrote as well. To Stevie’s great credit he withdrew.
We are all part of the same old story, nothing has changed since the bad old days of apartheid South Africa and Segregated America. We must stand united with all our brothers and sisters against racism, colonialism, segregation and apartheid.
Please, Alicia, do not lend your name to give legitimacy to the Israeli government policies of illegal, apartheid, occupation of the homelands of the indigenous people of Palestine.
Others may try to persuade you that by playing in Israel you may magically effect some change; we know that this is not true, appeasement didn’t work with South Africa and it has not worked in Israel. I know I tried it ten years ago, things have only got worse.
I appeal to you to join the rising tide of resistance. Join the many millions of us in global civil society who stand together on the side of justice and peace for all humanity. “We shall overcome one day.”
With love and respect,
(Waters’s letter is also posted at PACBI)