The 79-year-old’s This Is Not A Drill Tour opens with Waters imitating a plummy British announcer and telling the audience: “If you’re one of those ‘I love Pink Floyd but I can’t stand Roger’s politics’ people, you might do well to fuck off to the bar, right now.
Waters has repeatedly insisted his problem is Israel, not with Jews more broadly.
However, as we discuss the subject during our interview, Waters argues that some Jewish people in the U.S.
Waters wants his public to accept him — his music, politics, and all, and to take it seriously — and so Rolling Stone dispatched me, an investigative journalist, to interview him. (To hear an audio version of the full interview, press play above or listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.).
Waters says most of us are fed our narratives instead of being able to independently come to our own conclusions by the “completely controlled” media, which is “monopolized by the powers that be and by the government … oh, my God, Rolling Stone must be part of it.”.
“Of course, we — when I say we, I’m now speaking as a taxpayer in the United States — are not.
This factor of 10 idea, I suggest, might not play all that well to any citizen of Ukraine right now — especially given the mounting evidence of war crimes we’ve seen, including mass graves, the use of rape as a weapon of war, targeting humanitarian convoys, and more. .
This does not go far with Waters.
I’m on the fucking list, and they’ve killed people recently.… But when they kill you, they write ‘liquidated’ across your picture.
The site, which has been roundly internationally condemned — but not taken down by the Ukrainian government itself — claims not to be a kill list but rather “information for law enforcement authorities and special services.”.
And Russia should not have been encouraged to invade the Ukraine [Waters insists he is not making a political point by saying “the Ukraine”] after they tried for 20 years to avoid it by suggesting diplomatic measures to Western governments.”?
Waters has repeatedly condemned U.S.
Reminding myself that Waters professes that the core of his political philosophy is the U.N.
But we are quickly back to the suggestion that chemical attacks in Syria against the opposition were staged — partly because Waters claims Assad would have no motive to do so, as it would encourage the West to intervene, even though in reality it didn’t.
“And I’m sure I’m right about that
The rest of it, your mate who was tortured, I’m sure you are right
I’m not sure you are right, but I would be prepared to believe you.”
As we flounder, I ask Waters what his politics actually are — what unifies these often extreme and incongruent views
Beyond the 30 articles of the U.N.’s declaration of human rights, Waters professes only one more core political concept — that of “the bar,” a “safe place” where people can “exchange our feelings and ideas freely and frankly without fear of retribution.”
If Waters and I are in the “bar,” it’s a pretty fractious dive bar, at best
Waters is charming and courteous, but our conversation repeatedly generates into animated shouting and interruption — and that’s before we inevitably get to the issue of Israel
“I’m absolutely not antisemitic, absolutely not,” Waters says
Does the state of Israel have a right to exist
“Saying Israel does not have a right to exist as an apartheid state, any more than South Africa did or anywhere else would, is not antisemitic,” Waters counters
Waters says what he criticizes is “the fact that they are a supremacist, settler colonialist project that operates a system of apartheid.” This quickly descends into ancient history — the Jewish people have a history in the region of Israel that goes back millennia, I say
They are not the descendants of indigenous people who’ve ever lived there.” This is not only untrue for many Israeli citizens, it also serves to minimize the horror and suffering that came before the founding of Israel, and the desire for a Jewish homeland that instilled
In 2020, Waters sang the lyric “We’ll walk hand in hand and we’ll take back the land, from the Jordan river to the sea.” Was Waters aware that “from the river to the sea” is a term often used to describe either the destruction of Israel or the relocation of all of Israel’s Jewish population to somewhere else — and thus received with horror by many Israeli people and Jewish people alike
Roger Waters and I have managed to avoid having a bar fight
Here is a lightly edited transcript of the full conversation between Roger Waters and James Ball, which touched on multiple additional topics