Roger Waters has written an open letter to British pop-star Robbie Williams, pleading with him not to play Tel Aviv on May 2nd. The ex-Pink Floyd front man told Mr Williams that his decision to play the gig “gives succor to Netanyahu and his regime, and endorses their exceptionalist and deadly racist policies” and “would be giving [his] tacit support to the deaths of over 500 Palestinian children last summer in Gaza”.
Mr Waters impassioned call for Robbie Williams to respect the picket line drawn by Palestinian civil society is the latest moment in a campaign initiated by ‘The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel’ (PACBI) and supported by BDS group London Palestine Action (LPA).
The campAs Pressure Rises on Robbie Williams and UNICEF over Israel Gig, Conflict of Interest Emerges between singer and NGOaign has drawn attention to Israel’s use of Mr. Williams as part of its ongoing attempt to rebrand itself. Concerned about ‘negative perceptions’ of the country – a reality of killings, land theft and a regime that discriminates so completely it constitutes apartheid – the Israeli state has made a concerted effort to exploit the appearance of foreign artists to promote a false image of Israel as a fun, vibrant, liberal democracy. The policy even has a name, ‘Brand Israel’.