Roger Waters urges Stevie Wonder: Say no to Apartheid Israel

13 Mar

Video by USACBI, 13 March 2021

Famed musician Roger Waters of Pink Floyd issued a video appeal (above) to Stevie Wonder, urging him to reject the Israeli Wolf Prize and say no to Israeli apartheid.

Waters’ appeal came as over 700 organizations, artists and individuals around the world joined the US Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel’s appeal to Wonder, urging him to “Say No to this “Prize”, say No to the normalization of Israeli Apartheid, and stand with Justice, Equality and Freedom for all Palestinian people.” Both appeals recalled that Wonder declined to perform at a fundraiser for the “Friends of the IDF” in 2012 as well as his long history in standing against apartheid in South Africa.

The appeal was signed by a diverse group of supporters, including visual artist Samia Halaby, graphic artist and Black Panther veteran Emory Douglas, composer Raymond Deane, artist Freda Guttman and songwriter Dave Lippmann. A wide range of organizations endorsed the call, including the Canadian BDS Coalition, the South Africa BDS Coalition, South African Jews for a Free Palestine, and Boycott from Within, the alliance of Israeli citizens for BDS.

Read the appeal below — and add your name to join the open letter:

Stevie Wonder Please Say No to Apartheid Israel: An Open Letter

Dear Stevie Wonder:

Along with the undersigned, the Organizing Collective for the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) writes to urge you to hold strong to your opposition to Apartheid by declining Israel’s Wolf Prize.We’d like to begin with our acknowledgement and thanks for your past thoughtful and steadfast support for human rights and dignity throughout the world, and your actions as both a world-class musician and your status as a U.N. “Messenger of Peace.”

By your refusal to perform at a fundraiser for the Friends of the IDF in 2012, you were clear in continuing your opposition to the Apartheid regime in South Africa. At that time, you recognized the impact of something Desmond Tutu did as well—that Israel’s Apartheid regime was worse than South Africa’s.

We’re sure your being given the “Wolf Prize” may seem a great honor, but we ask you to please consider what you’ll be sanctioning if you accept this: the occupation and  suppression of the Palestinian people; their infinitely renewable incarceration without charge or trial in Israeli jails; the illegal collective punishment Palestinians suffer on a daily basis throughout Occupied Palestine; the denial of Palestinians’ right to return to their homeland – stolen and colonized in 1948; and ongoing practices of apartheid–including Israel’s refusal to vaccinate the Palestinian population under its military occupation for COVID while administering the vaccine to Jewish citizens.

All this is at the hands of the Apartheid Israeli regime, under whose policies this award is given.

We remain inspired by your actions in 1985, when in honor of your 35th birthday, you spoke and sang so righteously at the UN defending racial equality and denouncing South African apartheid.

We ask you to stand by those same commitments and demand justice and freedom for the Palestinian cause of national liberation.

Say No to this “Prize”, say No to the normalization of Israeli Apartheid, and stand with Justice, Equality and Freedom for all Palestinian people.

One Response to “Roger Waters urges Stevie Wonder: Say no to Apartheid Israel”

  1. Jill Ferguson March 15, 2021 at 4:20 pm #

    Do the righteous thing Stevie!

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