Roger Waters Criticizes Senate Bill Criminalizing BDS & Radiohead’s Recent Concert in Tel AvivSTORYSEPTEMBER 14, 2017Watch Full Show 00:00 59:04ListenMedia Options2,826SharesThis is viewer supported news. Please do your part today.DONATETOPICSSenateCongressMusicIsraelIsrael & PalestinePalestineHuman RightsArt & PoliticsGUESTS
Roger Waters legendary musician who co-founded Pink Floyd, one of the most popular rock bands of all time.Sut Jhallyprofessor of communication at the University of Massachusetts and founder and executive director of the Media Education Foundation, which produced the film The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States.LINKSRoger Waters: Congress Shouldn’t Silence Human Rights AdvocatesLast week, Roger Waters wrote a piece in The New York Times titled “Congress Shouldn’t Silence Human Rights Advocates.” In the op-ed, Waters criticized a bill being considered in the Senate to silence supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel. The bill seeks to criminalize individuals who participate in the BDS effort. We speak to Waters and Sut Jhally of the Media Education Foundation. We also discuss criticism of the BDS movement and ask Waters about his public spat with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, whose band has rejected calls to join BDS.TranscriptThis is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue our conversation with British musician Roger Waters, founding member of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd. Nermeen Shaikh and I spoke to him and Sut Jhally of the Media Education Foundation about their documentary, The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States, and Waters’ support for the BDS movement, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Last week, Roger Waters wrote a piece in The New York Times headlined “Congress Shouldn’t Silence Human Rights Advocates.” In the op-ed, he criticized a bill being considered in the Senate to silence supporters of BDS. The bill’s author, Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, was recently questioned by The Intercept’s Ryan Grim.SEN. BEN CARDIN: We are very sensitive to maintain freedom of speech and expression. Nothing in our bill goes—hurts that.RYAN GRIM: The ACLU says that kind of the way that it’s written would lend itself towards felony penalties for people if they participated in these kind of —SEN. BEN CARDIN: I didn’t think we had criminal—if we had criminal sanctions in it, we’d go to Judiciary. I don’t think we have—I don’t think—RYAN GRIM: OK.SEN. BEN CARDIN: I just don’t think that’s in our bill. You know, you’re catching me without—RYAN GRIM: Sure, sure.SEN. BEN CARDIN: I think I know the bill fairly well. I don’t believe we have criminalized. I think our issue is U.S. participation in international organizations—RYAN GRIM: Right.SEN. BEN CARDIN: —speaking out against the U.N. actions. I think that’s the bill.AMY GOODMAN: So, Senator Ben Cardin, the co-sponsor of the bill. Roger Waters, you’re laughing.ROGER WATERS: Well, yeah. I mean, that is funny. You know, that deserves to be on a comedy show.AMY GOODMAN: Because, of course, there are sanctions and fines related to this.ROGER WATERS: The guy hasn’t even read the bill he’s sponsoring.AMY GOODMAN: But, interestingly, even some of the co-sponsors are changing their views. New York Senator Gillibrand responded to a question from her constituents at a Flushing town hall meeting by saying she wouldn’t support the bill in its current form and that she wouldn’t support it unless the bill’s authors add language specifying the punishments only extend to corporations and not to individuals. That’s according to Crain’s.ROGER WATERS: I know Kirsten Gillibrand a bit. I’ve met her a couple of times. And I was absolutely flabbergasted when I saw her name as a co-sponsor. She was a co-sponsor of this bill. So, but it—so, that points to something. And that is that when a piece of paper comes across your desk, and you’re a politician, and you go, “Oh, AIPAC. It’s from AIPAC. It’s been drafted by AIPAC,” you just sign it and hand it back. You don’t even read it. They don’t even read it. They just go, “Oh, that’s it. That’s a done deal. Whatever AIPAC wants, AIPAC gets. And that’s all there is”—which is bizarre, and wrong, obviously.And I’m really glad that Kirsten Gillibrand has taken her name off it. She’s still against BDS, but almost certainly, she—almost certainly, she doesn’t know. She hasn’t traveled enough, though she did say—to her credit, she did say that she had a meeting with Netanyahu when on a visit to Israel. And she asked him a question of what was his plan for what should happen in the future. And he went, “Next.” You know?SUT JHALLY: Well, because his plan is to never leave.ROGER WATERS: Yeah.SUT JHALLY: His plan is to take over the entire thing.ROGER WATERS: But they can’t
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