Anti-Israel musician Roger Waters proved this week that he supports freedom of speech, but only as long as it is his opinion that is presented.
Waters published a post on his Facebook page in which he attacked actress Scarlett Johansson and Canadian musician Neil Young for their refusal to boycott Israel.
He directed most of his post at Johansson, who refused to back down from an advertising campaign for SodaStream, an Israeli company with a factory in Ma’ale Adumim, a Jerusalem suburb located over the 1949 armistice lines and which employs Palestinian Arabs.
Ben Red, who hosts a daily music program on Kol Yisrael radio station 88FM, responded to Waters in a polite post. He wrote:
“Music is supposed to act as a bridge between people and cultures and not create a gap between them. Your attitude doesn't help to break the wall, it only makes it higher.
“The impression you make is that you're not really interested in bringing peace and co-existence in the Middle East and that's too bad because many of us here are…
“Maybe you've succeeded in convincing Pearl Jam not to come here, because you're sort of a ‘father figure’ for them, but Neil Young is not a child and he will be here because he knows that music lovers are the same anywhere in the world.”
Red’s response to Waters received almost 3,000 “likes” from other Facebook users and was widely quoted in both the Israeli and international media. It was at that point, however, that Waters deleted Red’s comment from his Facebook page.
“This just proves that he understands that we can be a counterbalance to the boycott he is trying to impose on other artists...” Red wrote on his own Facebook page Thursday.
He encouraged other users to “click on share and distribute this all over the place, maybe it will reach foreign journalists again who will see exactly who Roger Waters is...”
In December, Waters compared Israel to Nazi Germany, saying in an interview, “The situation in Israel/Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable.”
He previously released a giant balloon pig bearing the Star of David during a concert in Belgium. Concert-goers said the Jewish star was among several symbols representing various corporations and fascist movements.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)