Airs Aug. 5, 2017 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube: https://youtu.be/7ZxLps4G8ZU
Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of August 6, 2017.
Today, my friends, I go swimming in foul waters. Brackish waters. Roger Waters! The former head of Pink Floyd is now a solo artist with delusions of relevance.
Waters has long been critical of Israel’s position vis-à-vis the Palestinians. According to Mr. Stink Floyd, Israel is always the bad guy: occupying land, denying Palis of their rights, existing. And Waters has made no attempt to hide his contempt for the only democracy—and sometimes the only civilized society—in the Middle East.
Who can forget the 2010 Waters concert, where his animated set design included B-1 bombers dropping mogen davids? Or, worse, the 2013 concerts, where, instead of launching beachballs and t-shirts into the crowd, he sent an inflatable pig with a Jewish star on it hovering over bewildered baby boomers, who just wanted him to shut up and play “The Wall.” And that’s the problem in a nutshell—or a nutcase. People still want to hear his old music, so that gives Waters a huge platform for his babble.
I’ll even grant that he thinks he means well. To Roger Waters, Israel is a torture state, an oppressive regime that doesn’t let a bunch of poor, bedraggled Arabs blow themselves up in peace. He’s not against Israel, he says; he doesn’t hate Jews; he’s merely a rabid anti-fascist. Except for someone who supposedly has nothing against Hebes, Waters takes every opportunity to savage our homeland. He equates Benjamin Netanyahu’s acceptance of Jewish settlements on Jewish land with South Africa’s apartheid and feels both should be countered the same way. As such, Waters has become the poster boy for BDS. You know BDS: Bondage, Domination, and Stupidity. Or more officially: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions against Israel. In other words, hurt Israel financially, and the Jews will just slink off into the Red Sea and let the Palestinians take over land that they’ll just turn back into desert.
At least BDS isn’t the usual Moslem protest. Instead of flying planes into office walls, they just want to build a commerce wall around Israel. As part of his responsibilities being the BDS butt boy, Roger Waters has called on other musicians to avoid Eretz Yisroel and cancel any concerts they have planned there. In response, Thom Yorke and Radiohead, bless their hearts, went to Tel Aviv and played their longest concert in eleven years. Now granted, even they equivocated: “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government,” Yorke said in a statement. “We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America.”
Well, okay, I’ll accept Radiohead’s defensive half over Pink Floyd’s ass whole. And lest we think Roger Waters is anything other than a Goebbels with a guitar, look no further than his interview with the blatantly anti-Israel CounterPunch magazine. Waters complained about the “extraordinarily powerful” Jewish lobby in America, which he says makes it hard for other musicians to back him in his fulminating foolishness. Waters also bitched about Israel’s “right-wing rabbinate” supposedly causing, quote “the ethnic cleansing and systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime.” Ethnic cleansing. Right. Because Arabs are systematically murdered by the Israeli government for no other reason than the towels on their heads. Sure. That they start riots, kill soldiers, and blow themselves to pieces in cafes has nothing to do with Israel’s distrust of their breed.
I’m not saying Israel is perfect, or that the Prime Minister is right about everything. After all, a couple of weeks ago I, myself, blasted Netanyahu for reneging on a plan to make a small bit of the Wailing Wall co-ed. But I also understand what Israel is up against: ongoing hostility from the very neighbors who should take in the miserable Palestinians but won’t. For 80 years, little Israel has made the best of a situation that the Arabs have consistently made worse.
And Roger Waters? He won’t play Milk and Honey City? Let’s take a look at the schedule for his 2002 world tour, shall we? We shall. Let’s see, he started in South Africa in February. Well, there’s a country with a glorious history of justice. Oh, and then he moved on to Chile—no problems there. Argentina, which at the time was run by that bastion of morality, Carlos Menem. Let’s see…Brazil (where I’m sure Waters felt at home with the other Nazis), Venezuela (ditto), Mexico (because drugs and rock and roll do mix), Japan—because hegemonic nationalism was never an issue there. Oh, and then it was off to Beirut. Uh huh. And Moscow and Warsaw and Munich and Frankfurt and Stuttgart and Oberhausen and Vienna. Because when have Germany and Austria ever had a race problem?
A million times I have said that Israel is a Jewish state, and it is also a teeny-weeny state, so if the Palestinians don’t like living there, they should gas up their camels and move to any other Arab country that would have them. Which is, of course, none. Which is the real tragedy that putzes like Roger Waters, Susan Sarandon, Amy Goodman, and Javier Bardem never acknowledge. There is no occupation. There is a miniscule Jewish country that every Arab wants to level, and when the Jews fight back, or get strategic with blockades, the lefties wring their hankies and blame the good guys.
If I sound especially grim and intolerant, understand that I am writing this only a couple of days after three Israelis were stabbed to death by Palestinians in the West Bank, and a day after Arabs attacked the Israeli embassy in Jordan. Why the violence? The Palis were pissed off because Israel put in metal detectors by the Temple Mount. That started a riot, and three Arabs were shot by Israeli police. Yes, using deadly force against rioters is unfortunate, but over metal detectors? Something designed to keep everybody safe no matter what the religion? When I go in an airport, I’ve gotta take off my coat, my shoes, my belt, my watch. It’s a pain in the ass, but do I riot? No. And let’s not forget the reason we all have to get naked at JFK in the first place: the Arabs!
So Roger Troubled Waters, feel free to stay away from Israel. Plenty of bands who have actually made good music over the past forty years will take your place. And if you want to be the change you hope to see in the world, howsabout looking in the mirror? You were in Pink Floyd where the lead songwriter turned into an insane recluse, and the guy who replaced him can’t get along with you. You’ve been married four times—and divorced four times. And you’re an atheist, so even God has washed his hands of you.
You are the Pooper at the Gates of Dumb. You are the Atom Heartless Motherfucker. You’re the Dark Side of the Moron. The Final Cunt. A More-Than-Momentary Lapse of Reason. All in all, you’re just another Prick in the Wailing Wall, and I wish you weren’t here.
This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches, in Great Neck, New York.
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