Roger Waters again calls for boycott of Israeli soccer teams

Ex-Pink Floyd member doubles down on call for boycott of Israeli soccer teams. Israeli soccer association's response? 'Use soccer for unity'

Dan Verbin ,

Roger Waters
Roger Waters
Reuters

After former Pink Floyd frontman and BDS promoter Roger Waters again called for a boycott of Israel’s soccer teams, the Israel Football Association called on the British musician to instead use soccer as a “bridge for peace and unity.”

“Dear @rogerwaters Instead of adding just another brick in the wall of hatred and boycotts, join us in turning football into a bridge for peace and unity,” the Israel Football Association tweeted.

Waters replied, “My Campaign is to remove THE BRICKS OF ISRAELI APARTHEID AND RACISM from THE BEAUTIFUL GAME. End The Occupation, and agree to full equal rights for all the people of the Holy Land then you’ll be welcome back in the playground.”

In response, Twitter user Yonathan Weiss pointed out to Waters the fallacy of his statement.

“You know that Israel's football team captain is Muslim? His name is Bibras Natkho and he is a great and beloved football player. The team includes also other great Muslim footballers such as Dia Saba, Mohammad Abu Fani, Mu'nas Dabbur and many more. Doesn't seem like racism for me,” Weiss tweeted.

The Israel Football Association was reacting to yet the latest boycott call from Waters. The bassist and singer, after watching a Twitter video by Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. and the United Nations Gilad Erdan opposing renewed funding for UNRWA, called on the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to ban Israeli teams.

“FIFAUEFA. Ban ISRAELI teams from international competition. SAY NO TO RACISM In SOCCER,” tweeted Waters, who has been accused by Jewish groups in the past of making use of anti-Semitic tropes, such as having a giant inflatable pig with the Star of David and the dollar sign at his concerts.

Waters also posted to Facebook on Saturday echoing his Twitter comments while hawking his “Live for Gaza” concert.

“I’m going to take this opportunity to reach out to ask EPL players to join me in an international campaign to persuade FIFA and UEFA to ban Israel’s national soccer team and Israeli football clubs from international competition until Israel stops its racist apartheid policies,” he wrote.

“You take a knee every Saturday? Well? You have a big voice, please join the choir in favor of human rights. The FIFA UEFA BAN ISRAELI TEAMS,” he added.

Waters called for a boycott of Israeli teams in March during a livestreamed event where Jews were blamed for anti-Semitism and offensive comments about the Holocaust were made by speakers.



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