Roger Waters: I hate apartheid, not Israel

Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters is one of the highest-profile proponents of the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it “meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law.”

Ahead of his October 24 & 25 two-night run in Edmonton as part of his North American US + THEM tour, take the time to read this wide-ranging conversation with Israeli journalist Gideon Levy in Haaretz.

Why Israel, when there are so many other countries that do the same?

“Well, if you’re determined to stand on the side of truth, justice, liberty, human rights, individual freedoms, political equality, and freedom to worship whatever you want, all of that – from time to time, situations crop up that demand your attention more than other situations, because they’re blatant and they’ve been going on for a very long time. People also complain about anybody making comparisons between apartheid South Africa and Israel. But particularly in the occupied territories – but also in Israel, in my view – the comparisons are valid.

In the 1970s and ’80s, there was no question – we all focused on South Africa because it was the obvious place to focus. It was a place where it looked like all of us who took part in the Anti-Apartheid Movement, as it was called then, might have an effect, and might cause changes in policy in that small part of the world. Israel is that bit of the world now. Whether Israelis or anyone else like it or not, it just is.”

Mahmoud Darwish (1941 -2008) poetry night

Mahmoud Darwish (1941 -2008): Commemoration in Poetry
In conjunction with the Rouge Poetry Summer Slam
Tuesday, August 9 (9:00 – 11:00 pm)
Rouge Lounge
10111-117 Street
(Click here for map)

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On August 9, 2008 Palestine and the world lost a powerful and incomparable voice for justice with the passing of Palestine’s national poet, Mahmoud Darwish. His poetry explored life and politics, using words that sought to change history and to humanize. Join PSN in commemorating the life and words of Mahmoud Darwish and gaze into a selection of his classical Arabic-style writings, which have certainly not been lost in translation. A number of his poems will be presented as part of the Breath in Poetry Collective‘s Rouge Poetry Summer Slam on August 9.

The evening will feature a set of local poets performing original works of poetry, followed by 20 minutes of Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry and concluding with another set of original works. Accompanying the selected readings from Darwish will also premiere the first poem written by the late Dr. Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, the Islamic studies chair at the University of Alberta, which many mourned the loss of last month.

The evening is presented in collaboration with the Breath in Poetry Collective, and there is a $5 cover charge for the poetry slam.

If you are interested in competing in the poetry slam portion of the night by reading your own poetry, visit the Breath in Poetry Collective website for poetry slam rules and details.

Sorry, no minors.