Roger Waters responds to Aussie singer: Boycott of Israel ‘isn’t about music – it’s about human rights’


Roger Waters responded to criticism from Australian singer Nick Cave over the former Pink Floyd frontman’s prominent advocacy of an artists’ boycott of Israel, telling him it “isn’t about music – it’s about human rights.”

Cave and his band, The Bad Seeds, played to sold-out crowds on Sunday and Monday in Tel Aviv.  

Prior to his concerts, Cave told a news conference that he was performing in Israel to take a stand against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, or BDS.

He took a dig at Waters, saying, “If you play Israel, you have to go through a sort of public humiliation from Roger Waters and Co., and no one wants to be publicly shamed. It’s the thing we fear the most, in a way, to be publicly humiliated.”

Waters has been active in urging fellow artists to boycott performing in the country.

“Nick thinks this is about censorship of his music? What?” Waters wrote in a statement following Cave’s concerts in Israel. “Nick, with all due respect, your music is irrelevant to this issue. So is mine, so is Brian Eno’s, so is Beethoven’s. This isn’t about music – it’s about human rights.

“We hurl our glasses into the fire of your arrogant unconcern, and smash our bracelets on the rock of your implacable indifference,” Waters also wrote, adding that “if at some point in the future you want to climb out of the dark, all you have to do is open your eyes, we, in BDS will be here to welcome you into the light.”

Eno, a British musician, also commented in a statement posted with Waters’ on the website of the Artists for Palestine organization.

“I admire Nick Cave as an artist and I know he has been generous in his support for Palestinian humanitarian causes. I think he has every right to come to his own conclusions about whether or not he supports BDS,” Eno wrote. “However, I think I also have the right to present him with another side to this argument.”


12 thoughts on “Roger Waters responds to Aussie singer: Boycott of Israel ‘isn’t about music – it’s about human rights’

  1. I doubt Nick Cave will ever recover from this. Cast to the looney-bin with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, and other super celebs who have no conscience.

    These times, they can’t help but show us who everybody is.


  2. Under the bar code of any product purchased commercially (?) has the numbers for country of origin or UPC the Universal Product Code. Anyone can shop wisely. Keep the list with you MEMORIZE WHAT YOU CAN AND SHARE IT. the EAN -13 numbers. The first 2 or 3 numbers read left to right under the vertical bar code is country of origin. Find the list shop wisely. 000-100 made in the USA….380-390 Bulgaria…729-739 (?) Israel etc.etc.etc. Anyone can shop this way thinking …really thinking.450-459 Japan 460-469 Russia. Get the point.

    1. I will not buy any “729” product unless another country has that same Product ID number (once I bought something with “729” because it was from Chile or something, can’t remember.) Won’t buy Sabra Humus, either (I buy from Lebanon).

  3. Nick who? These “musicians” nowadays have no idea what real writing /playing/editing/production is. I have quit at least a dozen different bands because they would rather record at a “pro” studio instead of taking the time to do it right and do it ourselves. It’s as if they would have to put some effort and thought into it or something dreadful like that. Just one small example- listen to Pink Floyds “Money”…Roger spent countless hours splicing the intro of the cash sounds by hand with reel to reel tape and a razor blade.

    More talent in his little pinky than 90% of these quacks. David Gilmore is still my favorite guitarist of all time-his solos are sublime-each one is played with care and passion and doesn’t play a thousand notes where there should only be three. But he IS right…is isn’t about the music… it’s about the mistreatment of human beings in the worlds largest open-air prison known as Palestine. Tear down the wall.

    1. Pat, it was actually Alan Parsons who did all that recording and splicing. Alan went to a clock shop in London and had them set all the clocks to chime at once and recorded it, too. In my opinion, Mr. Parsons hasn’t been given the credit he is due given his influence on the music industry. For instance Pink Floyd…listen to an album prior to Dark Side and they sound like a so-so garage band. It was under Parsons’ guidance that the Floyd developed their own sound that stayed with them through the rest of their career and even the solo projects that followed. Parsons did the same for Al Stewart (producing Year of the Cat and the following album Time Passages) as well as many one-hit-wonders. Remember the song “Whoa-ho-ho it’s magic”? The band Pilot had it’s only radio hit with that…the only song done by Parsons. It’s a long list…the guy was/is musical genius!
      Oh, and I agree with you and others here…these new “musicians” don’t have a clue what music is!!

  4. These freakin’ no-talent sell-outs don’t have a clue what’s going on in the world!! Thank you, Mr. Waters, for NOT doing/saying what’s expected of you, but what’s right and truthful. Only dead fish go with the flow.

    And for those who thing there aren’t many REAL musicians out there anymore, I invite you to discover this group from KY that I came across about a year ago. I’m always blown away with each new video. Try this one and search for more..I think you’ll like it!

    1. Excellent rendition of this song I will say, BUT I want to hear some original stuff. IMO, most anyone can copy an already written and played song, mimic it well or not so well. The true test for me is original music. I will say I watch The Voice on youtube and am forever disappointed at these singers because they re-do others music, some do it well others not. I’d like to see a production with musical talent that must write and develop their own instrumentality to go with the lyrics, if any. One of those talent shows had a young, 12 yr. old gal that played ukulele and wrote her song. She won the show. Imo, her voice isn’t great, yet it’s original. I think she won because she was original and there was nothing to compare her music with as no one had done it prior.
      Anyway, if you know of any originals by this band I’d like to hear it. Again, excellent performance on this already excellent musical piece.

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