Pink Floyd tribute band pulls out of Israel shows

Cover band cancels gigs in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheba after Roger Waters urged them to pull out.

Roger Waters
Waters said he was 'aghast' that a Pink Floyd cover band had scheduled gigs in Israel [Silvia Izquierdo/AP Photo/]

A British Pink Floyd cover band has scrapped three of its concerts in Israel after Roger Waters, cofounder of the legendary rock band, called for their cancellation.

The UK Pink Floyd Experience was scheduled to perform in the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheba in early January.

Waters, a British singer and songwriter who performed with Pink Floyd from 1965 until 1985, routinely calls for boycotts of Israel during his own performances.

Taking to Facebook on Friday, Waters said he was “aghast” the cover band were planning to perform in Israel and posted a picture of the tribute act alongside an image of a wounded child.

“To sing my songs in front of segregated audiences in Israel, and contribute to the cultural whitewashing of the racist and apartheid government of that country, would be an act of unconscionable malice and disrespect,” Waters said. “The people you intend to entertain are executing their neighbour’s children, shooting them down in cold blood every day.”

Waters is a leading proponent of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and says that his support for a boycott of Israel seeks to force the country to change its policies towards Palestinians.

Established in 2005, BDS is a Palestinian-led international movement that calls for a boycott of Israeli goods, divestment from Israeli companies and governmental sanctions on the country in order to pressure the Israeli state to prevent human rights abuses against Palestinians.

The movement has been cited as a national security threat by the Israeli government.

In January, Israel published a list of BDS-supporting organisations whose members would be banned from entering the country.

The British cover band announced on Saturday that it had cancelled its scheduled shows in Israel.

The Egoeast Productions company, which had been set to coordinate the band’s visit, said on Sunday that the band disabled its Facebook page after receiving harassment, including the publicising of the band members’ phone numbers. The band apparently received thousands of messages from Israelis.

In August, American pop star Lana Del Ray had pulled out of a show at Meteor Festival in Israel after being unable to schedule a coinciding appearance in Palestine.

“It’s important to me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally,” she wrote on Twitter.

Her planned appearance at the three-day festival had drawn criticism from fans, who argued her presence would be used to legitimise Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

In December 2017, New Zealand singer Lorde cancelled a performance in Israel after sustained pressure from pro-Palestinian activists and fans.

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Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies