In a strongly-worded open letter to Ronson that has been sent to Mandrake, Waters now says: “As your correspondent rightly states I am ‘vociferous’ in my support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for basic human rights, including their right to self-determination. I believe that all the indigenous people of Palestine, or for that matter anywhere in the world, deserve equal rights under the law. It is true that I oppose the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the maintenance of the siege of Gaza. It is also true that I am a supporter of BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions), a non-violent global movement that protests against the policies of this Israeli government, particularly with respect to the occupation and its racist policies.
“It is not, however, true that I am an anti-Semite or that I am against the Israeli people. I am neither of those. I am a critic of the policies of this government of Israel. In fact, a significant minority of the Israeli people, either on religious or on humanitarian grounds, shares my view of the Israeli government’s ill-advised policies. Because I am a critic of this Israeli government’s policies and in the absence of this Israeli government producing cogent arguments to defend themselves from my criticism, I am instead routinely subjected to the accusation that I am an anti-Semite.
“This is a pattern, a crude pattern, but nevertheless an identifiable and repeated pattern, a part of the general tactic of ‘Hasbara’, (‘Explaining’ or ‘Propaganda’ to those of you with no Hebrew). The escalation of this aggressive ‘Hasbara’ may well be a reaction to the fact that BDS is gaining ground, day by day and year by year, all over the world.
“A few years ago no one had heard of BDS. Now, because of the merit of its case, which has been taken up by informed and concerned civil society worldwide, it is on the lips of political leaders everywhere who have ignored it in the past. For example, Mr. Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, mentioned BDS 18 times during his speech to the annual AIPAC fundraiser in Washington, DC just last week. I am reminded of Gandhi’s famous saying explaining his non-violent resistance to British Colonial Rule in India: ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ Gerald Ronson’s mention of me in his speech suggests we are in the ‘Then they fight you’ stage.
“On a personal note, Mr Ronson: my father, the son of a coal miner from County Durham, pulled himself up by his bootstraps, eventually got a degree from Durham University, went off and taught divinity, history, and English in Jerusalem between 1935 and 1938, and subsequently died in Italy on February 18, 1944 fighting the Nazi menace. Do not dare to presume to preach to me, my father’s son, about anti-Semitism or human rights.
“Look to your own house and the human rights abuses and racism of the Israeli government you defend. If Jews and Palestinians are to live in peace then there must be a real acknowledgment of the fact that Israel is denying freedom to Palestinians and abusing the term “anti-Semitism” to intimidate people, like me, into silence simply because we seek a better and equal future for Palestinians and Jews alike.”
Once again, Waters puts the BS into BDS (with the remaining letter ‘D’ standing for ‘despicable’). He is not accused of antisemitism on the basis of his anti-Israel activities alone (although that is usually an indication of antisemitism, especially when Israel is singled out like in this case).
No, it is more than that.
There’s the inflatable pig with the Star of David on it.
So Roger, deny it all you want. Your father might have fought the Nazi menace, but you are certainly not your father.