My Heart is Heavy: To Whom It May Concern, Please STOP – ROGER WATERS

Rock legend Roger Waters is a leading human rights advocate. (Image: PC)

By Roger Waters

The scream of each bomb that falls on Gaza is the dying scream of a failed state. My heart is heavy. Please stop!

The tripping of each electrical switch to turn off the lights; the squeak of each tap to turn off the water supply; the slamming of each door to trap the inmates of the largest open-air prison in the world; all these sounds together are the cacophony of the death rattle of the settler colonial, ethno-supremacist, apartheid, state of Israel.

There, I have said it, got that off my chest. But, obviously, they’re not going to listen to me, I’ve been banging this drum for nearly twenty years and they haven’t listened yet. It’s almost as if they’re deaf to mankind’s calls for equal human rights.

Perhaps, the so-called Liberal Western Democracies will step in to demand peace?

Let’s have a look.

‘Liberal’ Western Democracies

Oh, look, Joe Biden has sent an aircraft carrier to the Eastern Mediterranean. What’s the plan, Joe? Is the USA going to join in with the genocidal bombing of children in Gaza? No?

And what about the UK? Rishi Sunak? Ideas? Oh yes, Rishi does have one idea, “Criminalize the use of Boycott as a nonviolent means of political protest in England and accept the deeply flawed new IHRA definition of Anti Semitism as gospel.”

All right, in for a penny in for a pound. I saw a video from my friend Ramzy Baroud this morning, “Either stand with us or stand aside,” he says. Ramzy, I unequivocally stand with you and the whole of the oppressed Palestinian people, my friend.

No More War Crimes

Let’s address last Saturday morning. Did the Palestinian resistance fighters who broke out of the open-air prison that is Gaza have a legal right and a moral obligation to fight back against the occupier of their land? Yes, they did.

What followed is as yet unclear, if war crimes were committed, I condemn them. What is happening now in Gaza, however, is not unclear.

I have a Palestinian friend, Lama Al-Arian, living in Beirut. She texted me in the middle of the night to tell me that eleven members of her family including a two-year-old cousin were killed by an Israeli bomb as they sat in the dark.

A Proposal

Here’s my suggestion of what should be done. It is only an opinion, but it is shared by many. There must be an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

No more killing by anyone, Hamas and IDF included.

This would mean Israel accepting that the Zionist experiment has failed, because it can only be continued with more killing. It would also mean the end of Israel’s illegal military occupation of all Palestinian land.

To be clear, Zionists would have to accept that they have had their chance and failed to establish a viable State. If you go back and read the history and all the stuff that David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir, among many other, espoused, you can see that Zionism was always bound to fail in a world that agrees that religious or ethnic-supremacist ideologies are non starters in these recently enlightened times.

So… what next?

First, get round a big table and hammer out a one state solution.

This would be a New State with equal human rights for all its citizens irrespective of their ethnicity or religion or previous nationality.

So, this new state would be an actual, real, democracy.

They’d have to decide on a name? Good luck with that. What about The Holy Land?

The important thing is, the new constitution would need to include truth and reconciliation hearings, like they had in post-apartheid South Africa.

Second, a side issue: The Golan Heights

Obviously, The Golan Heights are not part of any of this and they would revert to Syria where they belong.

Persuading Israel

Would it be easy to persuade the current government of Israel to adopt this plan?

Presumably not. They will need a lot of re-education and a huge helping push from B’Tselem, and all the Western Liberal Democracies.

Unfortunately, the UK and France in particular have been deeply enmeshed in colonial agendas in Western Asia/The Middle East since well before The Balfour Declaration in 1917 and Mr. Sykes and Mr. Picot’s document dividing up the Ottoman Empire the year before.

Speaking of Lord Balfour, I can’t let the mention of his 1917 letter offering Her Majesty’s support for a homeland for the Jewish people pass without referring to a sentence from the second half of that letter which says, “….., it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities. in Palestine ..”

This is a part of Lord Balfour’s letter which is rarely quoted and has been completely ignored by Zionists since the 1930s.

My Heart is Heavy

My heart is heavy. I weep for all my brothers and sisters in the Holy Land: Muslims, Christian, Jewish, Druze, Agnostic and Atheist alike.

I weep for all their children. All those young minds being filled with fear and hate and division and despair.

The attacks on civilians, whether they have been by Hamas last Saturday or now the State of Israel on a massive scale in Gaza, have thrown into sharp relief the fact that Palestinians have been suffering violence, intimidation, and displacement for over seventy years and only now is the Western World beginning to wake up because of the events of the last few days.

Well, we, the Western World, are not waking up fast enough. Let’s be clear, the whole underlying question is not as complicated as we’ve all been led to believe.

The question is this, “Do we believe in Universal Human Rights or not?”

We either dream of a world where all men and women are equal under the law or we don’t.

My father (1914-1944) dreamed that dream. He died in Italy fighting the Nazis to defend that dream.

I dream that dream. No ifs, no ands, no buts.

I will not stand aside Ramzy Baroud my friend. I stand shoulder to shoulder with you. Today, in the Holy Land, there is an oppressor and there are the oppressed.

Who is to blame for the bloodshed? The oppressor is. No ifs, no ands, no buts.

To whom it may concern

Please stop.



– Roger Waters is a rock legend and the co-founder of Pink Floyd. Waters is a leading human rights activist. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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  1. I agree that this is the only solution that will work, a one democratic state for the Jews and the Arabs. That was true in the 1920s as much as it is true a hundred years later. The reality, however, is that both sides never have and unlikely ever will agree with it.

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