In a move that is sure to evoke both controversy and debate, Roger Waters has announced that he plans to boycott Israel over the country's treatment of Palestine. In December of last year, Waters spoke at the U.N. and accused Israel of international crimes against Palestine's people. Waters says he is about to publish an open letter to all of his colleagues in the music industry urging them to join his cause, and noted that he has already convinced Stevie Wonder to cancel a performance in Israel.
“What caused me to write this public letter was an affair where Stevie Wonder was hired to play a gala dinner for the Israeli Defense Forces on 6 December last year. I wrote a letter to him saying that this would be like playing a police ball in Johannesburg the day after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. It wouldn’t be a great thing to do, particularly as he was meant to be a UN ambassador for peace. It wasn’t just me. Desmond Tutu also wrote a letter. To his eternal credit, Stevie Wonder called them up and said “I didn’t quite get it” . This happened one week after I made a speech to the UN. Neither of these events were reported anywhere in the mainstream media in the United States of America.”
Waters is also considering releasing a single urging musicians not to perform in Israel and plans to discuss the project with E Street Band guitarist and filmmaker Steven Van Zandt. Van Zandt was at the helm of the 1980's protests of South Africa's apartheid and founded Artists United Against Apartheid for the "Sun City" single in 1985.