Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Ben-Dror Yemini's open letter to Roger Waters

Washed up rocker Roger Waters from Pink Floyd has been obsessed with Israel's separation fence, perhaps thinking that his album "The Wall" was somehow prophetic.

Anyway, Waters has come out in favor of BDS, using the usual pretentious and absurd arguments we are all too familiar with.

Ma'ariv's Ben Dror Yemini has a nice rejoinder:

Support for the boycott campaign against Israel in effect is support for the prolonging of the occupation and suffering of the Palestinians. An open letter to the rock star who is calling for a boycott of Israel.

To Roger Waters, Greetings.

Look Mr. Waters, the Jewish People is already used to blood libels. From using the blood of children for baking Passover matzah, to directing world Communism, to directing world capitalism, to controlling the media, and in the last generation, committing genocide, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. A generation passes on and a generation arrives, and the number of blood libels forever exist.

Israel, Mr. Waters, is not exempt from any criticism. We're the world champions of self-criticism. There isn't another nation in which, in every field - not just the Israel-Palestinian conflict - there is so much biting, roiling criticism - often false and vicious. But even to this we've grown accustomed. Usually we're proud of our democracy, even when it's biting. But sometimes, Mr. Waters, we're fed up. We've simply had it. Not from the criticism; it's essential for every community, every society, every nation, like air to breathe.

We're fed up with the lies. For most of us - if you can read a little beyond the slogans - were fed up with the occupation. So if that's your thing you would find lots of partners in Israel - most Israelis. But that's not the story - not for BDS, of which you've become a great supporter, and not for the Hamas in Gaza, which only a year ago you announced your support for those who went there to cheer them - another campaign of useful idiots.

Let's start with the occupation. Only in the last decade Israel announced its willingness to end it, again, again and again. Completely. This began with the Camp David talks. The Palestinians backed away from a serious discussion. Then Clinton offered his proposal, which would have granted the Palestinians a state on 95% of the territory. They decided to say"no". Right after that, at the Taba talks all the giants of the the Israeli Left showed up. They went another big step towards the Palestinians, but even that didn't help. Two years ago another generous offer was made by Prime Minister Olmert. He didn't even get a reply from Abu Mazen.

Back to the BDS. Listen to the leaders of the campaign. Read their manifesto. They don't want two states for two peoples. Not the end of the occupation, but the end of Israel. You can hear it in their own voices. Yes, there are Israels among us who support this campaign. That's how we are. Runaway democracy. Everything goes. So instead of marvelling at our unparalleled democracy, you take advantage of the fact that Israeli democracy allows demonstrations like this, and you go and join the gang that is fighting against the very existence of the national home of the Jewish People. That's the position of Ahmadinejad, Al Qaida and Hamas. Is that your position? Have you gone crazy?

Are you in the peace camp, Mr. Waters? Here's a simple test for you. Very simple. Ask your friends in the BDS one question: "Do you support an agreement of two states for two peoples?"

We've got news for you: They oppose it. They don't want a Palestinian state alongside Israel, they want a Palestinian state in place of Israel. That's what's written in the manifesto of BDS. Read it, it's in English. They write in it, "Right of Return", which, loosely translated means "Destruction of Israel". To remove any doubt, they have the right of return--to a Palestinian state alongside Israel, not in place of Israel.

You and your ilk, Mr. Waters, are simply prolonging the suffering of the Palestinians. You are encouraging the peace refuseniks among them. You are encouraging their illusions.You are creating a new chapter of the Palestinian disaster. Who knows, if it were not for this support - by so many useful idiots - the Palestinians would have emerged from their position of refusal. But when they see you, and you join up with them, they continue to refuse peace.

So this is an opportunity for you, Mr. Waters, to prove that you're a humanitarian and human rights activist. It's not complicated. Tell the Israelis and Palestinians and BDS people one thing: the end of the conflict will come only if the two sides recognize the two-state solution. The side that refuses is the side that must be pressured, even boycotted. Only when you say this simple thing to both sides will you truly be in the peace camp. If you continue to support BDS, you are supporting refusal and the continuation of occupation and suffering.

A reply from you Mr. Waters, will be greatly appreciated.

(h/t אורי פלג)