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  • British rock star Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd, walks along the controversial Israeli barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 2006.

    British rock star Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd, walks along the controversial Israeli barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 2006. | Photo: Reuters

Last week, Waters announced he will record a pre-Christmas show to be broadcast in Bethlehem’s Manger Square December 22.

Pink Floyd vocalist Roger Waters has been dropped by several German broadcasters over his support for the pro-Palestine Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, it has been reported.  

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A series of concerts by the former frontman due to be screened by Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting (RBB) and several other affiliates of the Consortium of Public Broadcasters in Germany (ARD), due to air in June, is being boycotted.

A spokesman for RBB told Al Jazeera the channel was acting in response to Waters’ call for other artists to cease performing in Israel. "Having a clear position here is an important signal for RBB and also for Jewish communities in Berlin and Brandenburg," Artistic Director Patricia Schlesinger told Al Jazeera.

Waters, a long-standing supporter of Palestinian rights and vocal critic of Israel’s conduct in the occupied territories, was among the signatories of an open letter sent recently to fellow musician Nick Cave, urging him not to perform in Israel.

"When international artists of your stature, despite the appeals of Palestinians, continue to turn up on Israeli stages, the government which promotes these crimes takes heart: whatever it does, it seems there will be no penalty," the letter said.

"You may say that you oppose [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, but it matters little whether or not artists endorse Israel's government. It's the fact they're willing to perform in Israel that is important. It is seen as public approval for the status quo."

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Last week, Waters announced he will record a pre-Christmas show to be broadcast in Bethlehem’s Manger Square December 22. He had been invited to play in person by Mayor Anton Salmon, but Israeli authorities ignored requests for access.

"After weeks of silence from the Israeli authorities who control the border into Palestine, I have to sadly accept the reality that I’m banging my head against the brick wall of the occupation," Waters told the Jewish Post.

Instead, he said he would perform in "another location and upon the biggest screen and with the loudest speakers we can find. We will be in Manger Square."

"We will show our unending support and solidarity with the Palestinian people, as they so bravely struggle, decade after decade, to survive on their land and give their children a hopeful future in which they, too, can enjoy freedom and equality in the Holy Land."

The Israeli government has made clear its stance against BDS, with some Israeli commentators calling it an "existential threat."


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