Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd bassist, continued his online screeds against Israel on Thursday with a Facebook post which implied that if civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would have been anti-Israel.
In the post, liked by 2,600 followers, the musician responded to online critics who attacked his condemnation on Sunday of Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson’s support for Israeli company SodaStream, for which she ended her eight-year involvement with the Oxfam charity.
In the new open later, published late Thursday, Waters said, “To quote both Dr King and the recently late and undeniably great Pete Seeger, ‘We shall overcome one day.’ Maybe, as relates to this particular issue, that day may not be that far off. As Dr King said, ‘I have a dream.’ And, had Dr King lived long enough to see how things have developed in Israel/Palestine, we all know for sure which side of this debate he would be on now.”
Forbes senior investigative reporter Richard Behar, in an interview with The Algemeiner last month, said members of the BDS movement, which Waters supports, that calls for “boycott, divestment and sanctions” against Israel, often try to twist King’s record to censure the Jewish state.
“BDSers often invoke King,” Behar said in January. “What they don’t do, however, is tell you that in 1968, shortly before he was assassinated, there was a dinner in Cambridge, MA, where someone was attacking Israel. MLK interrupted him and said, ‘Don’t talk like that. When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.’”
King is also known to have made other statements in support of Israel and Zionism. At the annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly in 1968 King said, “Israel is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security, and that security must be a reality.”
In the Facebook post, Waters responded to those who asked why, with all of the civil war, unrest and questions of life and death in many Middle Eastern countries, and the globe, was he so focused on vilifying Israel?
“Just so we are clear, I stand against any and all abuses of human rights when and where ever they may occur,” he claimed.
“This includes human rights abuses in Syria, Russia, the United States of America, Israel, China, Thailand, Burma, the ex colonies of the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, Holland and all the other colonial and imperialist powers of the last few hundred years. Sorry if I’ve left anyone out, I’m sure I have, the list is endless.”
“Fundamentally, I am against all violations of human rights, always, anywhere. One recoils in disgust at the warmongers, and stands in awe of the care givers, the U.N, Medicins Sans Frontiers, The Red Crescent, and all the other unsung heroes.”