Thomas Wictor

Senile, angry alcoholic spreads childish lies

Senile, angry alcoholic spreads childish lies

When I was a music journalist, I tried multiple times to interview bassist Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. His manager always turned me down, saying that Roger was too busy. The scuttlebutt was that he didn’t actually play the bass on the records, but who knows? A deeply unpleasant man, Waters had deeply unpleasant toadies at the time. This was in the days before e-mail, if you can believe it, so I still possess the letter I got from his record-company publicity department. They claimed to not have his address or phone number. I’ve known many an angry alcoholic, being one myself. We don’t get better with age.

Waters published a letter to Jon Bon Jovi, trying to shame the latter out of playing in Israel.

Often in the past I have written detailed, and sometimes even persuasive, letters to colleagues in the music business, encouraging them not to give succor to the Israeli government’s apartheid policies by performing in Israel. Having read Jon’s comments last week in Yedioth Ahronoth, I won’t waste my time drawing parallels with Apartheid South Africa and the moral stand that so many artists took then and that thousands are taking now in the face of decades of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

So the die is cast, you are determined to proceed with your gig in Tel Aviv on October 3. You are making your stand.

You stand shoulder to shoulder

With the settler who burned the baby

With the bulldozer driver who crushed Rachel Corrie

With the soldier who shot the soccer player’s feet to bits

With the sailor who shelled the boys on the beach

With the sniper who killed the kid in the green shirt

And the one who emptied his clip into the 13-year-old girl

And the Minister of Justice who called for genocide

You had a chance to stand

On the side of justice

With the pilot who refused to bomb refugee camps

With the teenager who chose eight prison terms over army service

With the prisoner who fasted for 266 days until freedom

With the doctor banned from entry for saving lives

With the farmer who was cut down marching to the wall

With the legless child growing up in the rubble

And the 550 others who won’t grow up at all

Because of the missiles and tank shells and bullets we sent

The dead can’t remind you of the crimes you’ve ignored. But, lest we forget, “To stand by silent and indifferent is the greatest crime of all.”

Roger Waters

For one thing, beginning the day after 9/11, people like Roger Waters have screamed into my face for fourteen years that it would be unjust for me to hold an entire group of people responsible for the acts of a tiny handful. That’s their own psychological projection. On September 12, 2001, I went to my local liquor store as usual to buy my Diet Coke, and the Syrian clerk looked terrified out of his mind.

“I’ve been coming here a long time,” I said, “And I don’t know your name. My name’s Tom.”

“My name’s Ali,” he answered, and we shook hands. He seemed ready to cry.

“It’s a very sad day,” I said.

“Yes. My heart is broken.”

“Things will get better,” I told him.

“I know. Thank you, boss.”

For some reason all the Arab immigrants in my city call everyone “boss.”

On September 13, 2001, we went with my brother Tim to Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California so that he could have surgery to repair the lower esophageal sphincter of his stomach. It had blown out, leaving him with lava-like acid reflux and permanent nausea. His doctor was Namir Khatkouda, M.D., an Algerian.

Every member of the surgical team was an Arab, and so was the anesthesiologist. They all had Arab surnames. And there wasn’t the slightest tension in the air. My family didn’t need Michael Moore to tell us that the doctors and nurses at the University of Southern California had nothing to do with 9/11.

Yet Michael Moore and Rogers Waters hold all Israelis responsible for the actions of any Israeli. Not only that, Roger Waters spreads lies about Israel.

Rachel Corrie was not crushed by a bulldozer. She was interfering with an IDF operation to destroy smuggling tunnels in a military zone. When she knelt in front of the bulldozer out of sight of the operator, debris—including a slab of concrete—fell on her.

The Border Police—not “a soldier”—shot two Palestinians who were throwing explosive devices at them.

No sailors fired at children on the beach. The official story is that the Air Force accidentally killed the four Bakr boys with a missile. Who doesn’t know that?

No sniper killed any kid in a green shirt. It was a total fabrication. Even Max Blumenthal debunked that tall tale.


Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked never called for the genocide of Palestinians. She quoted Uri Elitzur, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that real justice would be if those who create terrorists share the same fate as their beloved martyrs.

However, Article Seven of the Hamas charter has this unambiguous threat to an entire religion.

Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).

And Roger Waters claims that Dr. Mads Gilbert was banned from Gaza for saving lives. No, he was banned for inciting the Muslim world by claiming—among other fantasies—that Israel was using nonexistent dense inert metal explosive (DIME) weapons. It’s a stupid accusation because real DIME weapons are being researched because they have the potential to cause less severe injuries, not more.

But what can you expect from this face except self-aggrandizing slander?


I used to really like the band Pink Floyd, but like Roger Waters, their music hasn’t aged well at all. It’s tedious, dull, and pretentious, like Roger Waters. When asked about Waters’s letter, Jon Bon Jovi had the perfect response.

Yes, I heard about that but it doesn’t interest me. I told my managers to give one simple answer: That I’m coming to Israel and I’m excited to come. There are a few places in the world that I haven’t been, Israel is one of them, so I’m thrilled to be coming. We want to stay for a few days and see as much as possible.

The last time I tried to listen to Pink Floyd was about three years ago. I turned off the song. Now when I want to revisit the 1970s, I listen to bands whose music remains timeless, reminding me that great art still exists, and not everything comes down to hating Jews.

This song is forty years old. Eat it, Roger Waters.

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