May 30, 2013
The Simon Wiesenthal Center today denounced a published letter by former Pink Floyd member, Roger Waters (pictured), to singer Alicia Keys, urging her to cancel her scheduled July 4th concert in Tel Aviv, because doing so would, “give legitimacy to the Israeli government policies of illegal, apartheid, occupation of the homelands of the indigenous people of Palestine.”
"Roger Waters' letter to Alicia Keys is really unworthy of a response," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and two-time Academy Award® recipient. "When Ms. Keys sings in Israel on July 4th, she will be singing in the only free country in the entire Middle East, where women enjoy equal rights with men and Israeli Arabs have more rights than any of their brothers and sisters in the Arab world,” he added.
Equating Israel with apartheid South Africa is a sinister distortion of the truth,” Rabbi Hier said, adding, “Just look at what is happening in Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. “Israel has said countless times that it is willing to sit down with the Palestinians without pre-conditions. But Israel cannot be expected to make peace with Hamas, a terrorist organization committed to Israel's destruction, just as African-Americans cannot make peace with the KKK," Hier concluded.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).