Roger Waters: Bon Jovi stands Shoulder to Shoulder With Settler Who Burned Baby”

Bon Jovi’s lead singer Jon Bon Jovi performs during their “Bon Jovi Live!” concert at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Sept.11, 2015. The band is currently on their Asia tour.(AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

Roger Waters: Bon Jovi stands with ‘settler who burned the baby’

The former member of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, sent a letter to Jon Bon Jovi and his cronies before their concert on Saturday in Tel Aviv, reports the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

In his letter, Waters, a leading artistic figure of the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), said he often sends letters to other musicians “encouraging them not to support the government Israel and its apartheid policy by performing in Israel. ”

Waters did not try to persuade Bon Jovi and other members of the group David Bryan and Tico Torres to cancel the concert. Rather, in light of recent comments made by Bon Jovi himself, Waters understands that they are “determined to occur.”

However, he said in the letter that “you stand shoulder to shoulder with the colon that burned the baby and the driver of the bulldozer that crushed Rachel Corrie,” referring to American peace activist who was killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003 by a bulldozer of the Israeli army.


“You had a chance to stand on the side of justice,” he laments before proceeding to list other incidents in which Israel was accused of killing Palestinians.

He concludes:

“the dead can’t remind you of the crimes you’ve ignored. But, lest we forget, ‘To stand by silent and indifferent is the greatest crime of all.'”

Waters sat in August with Gideon Levy, a journalist for Haaretz, to talk about his political opinions, his tragic family history and its support for anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions).

It also came on the reasons why he became an activist and the conditions under which it would be happy to play again one day in Israel.


Here is the Full Letter:

Letter to the pop group Bon Jovi:

Dear Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, and Tico Torres,

Often in the past I have written detailed, and sometimes even persuasive, letters to colleagues in the music business, encouraging them not to give succor to the Israeli government’s apartheid policies by performing in Israel. Having read Jon’s comments last week in Yedioth Ahronoth, I won’t waste my time drawing parallels with Apartheid South Africa and the moral stand that so many artists took then and that thousands are taking now in the face of decades of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

So the die is cast, you are determined to proceed with your gig in Tel Aviv on October 3. You are making your stand.

You stand shoulder to shoulder

With the settler who burned the baby

With the bulldozer driver who crushed Rachel Corrie

With the soldier who shot the soccer player’s feet to bits

With the sailor who shelled the boys on the beach

With the sniper who killed the kid in the green shirt

And the one who emptied his clip into the 13-year-old girl

And the Minister of Justice who called for genocide

You had a chance to stand

On the side of justice

With the pilot who refused to bomb refugee camps

With the teenager who chose eight prison terms over army service

With the prisoner who fasted for 266 days until freedom

With the doctor banned from entry for saving lives

With the farmer who was cut down marching to the wall

With the legless child growing up in the rubble

And the 550 others who won’t grow up at all

Because of the missiles and tank shells and bullets we sent

The dead can’t remind you of the crimes you’ve ignored. But, lest we forget, “To stand by silent and indifferent is the greatest crime of all.”

Roger Waters