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Floyd men tell Stones: Don't play Israel

Roger Waters and Nick Mason say visit to controversial state would be like supporting apartheid

Pink Floyd men Roger Waters and Nick Mason have called on the Rolling Stones to cancel their plans to perform for the first time in Israel.

And they say visiting the controversial state at the moment would be like supporting the South African apartheid regime in the 1980s.

Israel is continuing to generate headlines over its behaviour towards Palestine, leading many artists and other businesses to take part in a boycott.

The Stones recently confirmed they'd perform in Tel Aviv on June 4 – but Waters and Mason have urged them to reconsider.

They say in a statement: "We, the two surviving founders of Pink Floyd, have united in support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), a growing, non-violent human rights movement initiated to end Israel's occupation, racial discrimination and denial of basic Palestinian rights.

"Key figures who led the South African freedom struggle, like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela's associate Ahmed Kathrada, have come out in support of BDS.

"The movement does not advocate a particular political framework — one state or two — and neither do we. Rather, we call for a resolution that upholds freedom, justice and equal rights for all, irrespective of identity, and does not cause additional suffering for either people."

Waters and Mason say the world is reaching a "tipping point" in respect of global awareness and attitudes to the issues in Palestine. They continue: "Playing Israel now is the moral equivalent of playing Sun City at the height of South African apartheid. Regardless of your intentions, crossing the picket line provides propaganda that the Israeli government will use in its attempts to whitewash the policies of its unjust and racist regime."

Their direct message to Mick Jagger and co is: "If you wouldn’t play Sun City back in the day – as you, the Rolling Stones, did not – then don’t play Tel Aviv until such time as freedom reigns for all and equal rights is the law of the land."

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