Tag Archives: Roger Waters

Open Letter to Nassau Coliseum Senior Vice President, Booking – Keith Sheldon Regarding Upcoming Roger Waters concerts

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Dear Mr Sheldon,

Although I am not certain you are the correct person to address regarding this matter, I will start with you and go from there depending on the response.  As I am sure you are aware, there are a large number of people, not only from Long Island but from all over the tri-state area, and the entire world for that matter, that find Roger Waters to be an offensive anti-Semite with views riddled with hypocrisy and hate.  While I agree with the concept of keeping musical performances separate from political ideology, in essence meaning an entertainer can believe whatever he or she chooses to believe without having concern for their right to perform, in the case of Roger Waters this very issue is what makes it imperative that his upcoming concerts at the Nassau Coliseum get cancelled.  Please allow me to explain why.

As a Jew and a Zionist my personal views for Roger Waters are anything but positive.  His unrelenting attacks on the State of Israel, much of it through his activism in the BDS Movement, attacks that border on obsession, are so filled with a one-sided hate for the Jewish element in Israel, I would believe that alone would be enough to have him unfit to perform at your venue.  I do not sit here writing you this letter to make an argument for Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians, but I will make a point of saying that anyone who refuses to even entertain at least some culpability on the part of Palestinian leadership is clearly biased in one direction.  Since that bias is directed towards the Jewish leadership in Israel it is clearly more than just anti-Zionism, it is unquestionably anti-Semitism.  In allowing his shows to go on, you are allowing an individual filled with hate to represent himself on your stage, a stage located in the midst of a vast Jewish population.

All that being said, there is a far more basic and solid reason to be made against his performance.  To quote his very own words, words he spoke in response to hearing of the efforts to stop his shows from going on,  Waters said his shows would not be cancelled, “insisting a performer’s rights should not be under attack because of his or her beliefs.”  This glaring hypocrisy from a man who has attacked and harassed some of the most established and successful musicians in the world for performing in Israel.  Here are a few examples of comments he made to fellow musicians.

 To Bon Jovi:

“You stand shoulder to shoulder with the settler who burned the baby. The dead can’t remind you of the crimes you’ve ignored.”

 

To Thom Yorke of Radiohead

“My answer to people who say we should go there and sit around the campfire and sing songs: No, we shouldn’t. We should observe the picket line.  Anybody who’s tempted to do that, like our friends in Radiohead, if only they would actually educate themselves. I know Thom Yorke’s been whining about how he feels insulted, people are suggesting he doesn’t know what’s going on.”

 

To the Rolling Stones

“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.”

Star like Paul McCartney, Alicia Keys and Neil Young have all been pressured by Waters to cancel performances in Israel.  Sir Paul and Keys even revealing being the victims of death threats and intimidation, all spurred on by the same Waters who insisted  “a performer’s rights should not be under attack because of his or her beliefs.”

You have an unprecedented opportunity here.  Rather than cancel his concerts, you can make them conditional.  Conditional on Roger Waters publicly declaring the same stance towards performers choosing to perform in Israel that he feels he is entitled to on Long Island.  That being as he said, the right to perform somewhere regardless of one’s beliefs. Should he accept the terms, he will be exposed further as the hypocrite that he is, but in doing so an enemy of the only democracy in the Middle East will no longer harass his fellow musicians. Should he refuse and cancel his own concerts, the message you will send to the people of Long Island and many miles beyond will solidify the Nassau Coliseum as more than just a building with a big hall, it will establish it as a place where true performers and artists are showcased.  It will unquestionably be better for business in the long run and will establish a close bond with the community.

I am sending this letter to you first, but also intend to attempt to work on having it signed and presented as a petition in the hope that the number of signatures gives you an indication of how important this is to many people wishing to be future patrons of your venue.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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New Year, same Double Standard

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I’d be lying if I said the 47 executions of what Saudi Arabia referred to as Shiite terrorists upset me, but when there are high-profile people in the world that go nuts when Israel takes out terrorists soon after they murder Israeli citizens, I can’t help but ask that same boring old question. Where’s the outcry?

Truth be told, if these 47 are actually terrorists, there should be no outcry. However, seeing how that doesn’t stop a Roger Waters or the United Nations from flexing their anti-Semitic muscles when Israel takes action the obvious question is, why is this not worthy of their protest?

It comes down to 2 things.  The first thing is money.  The Saudi government doesn’t get away with what it does because it’s run by a bunch of charming politicians, it gets away with what it does because it has gross amounts of money.  More than it can ever spend.  This kind of money yields great power. Whether individuals who attack Israel, possibly even by proxy, do so because of direct financial gain or not, the Saudi money certainly has the power to pull their strings and keep people quiet when it suits them, which they undoubtedly do.

The second thing it is based on is the hatred of the Jewish people.  It’s not the act that bothers some people, it’s the fact that the Jews dare to defend themselves.  Think of it logically. If you have someone who always speaks out against war and killing and the tragic deaths of innocent people then you can certainly make the case that you are dealing with individuals who have concern for humankind. But when it’s OK for Saudis to execute 47 prisoners but not OK for Israel to target and kill 2 or 3 terrorists who recently murdered women and children, there is no getting around the double standard.  As much as I have been at odd with Kenneth Ross, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch for his attacks on Israel, if I am to be fair and consistent in this piece I must give him his props.  When looking at his Twitter page he attacks these killings with vigor and goes after many he sees as committing acts that infringe on the rights of others.  I may see Israel’s acts as being necessary for its safety and existence, but I am far more willing to accept criticism from someone who gives equal time to all acts they see as unjust, not just acts committed by the Jewish state.

I still don’t accept the notion that we can compare what Israel does to what a nation like Saudi Arabia does, but my battle won’t be against those who call out everyone including Israel, it will be against those that call out no one but Israel.  The difference is not subtle at all.  The difference is blatant and obvious.  One person wants peace, the other wants weak, powerless, or even dead Jews.  I’m happy to have a spirited discussion with those who want peace for everyone, even if I feel they are missing key points, because at least I can hope that they put a value on Jewish life as well.  But to those who only see the wrong in what Israel does, know that not only do you not help the fight against terror, you hurt it, and you too have blood on your hands.

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Open Letter to Roger Waters

Robbie Williams

Dear Roger,

I wonder if you realize how transparent you truly are. You claim to be concerned about human rights when in truth your agenda revolves more around the fact that you clearly despise the concept of a Jewish government.   It is obvious to anyone listening that the only time you use your voice is to either rake in the cash on music written 30 plus years ago or to try to destroy the State of Israel.

It’s very sad really.  You could have used your fame and fortune for so much good.  Instead you’ve chosen the path of destruction against a country with the best human rights record in the Middle East.  The facts show how disingenuous you are in your persistent attack. As much as I believe Israel does the right thing, if your voice was proportionately loud in regard to true humans rights violations I’d pay less attention to you.  How come I don’t hear you going after ISIS?  Why do you remain silent about 200,000 dead in Syria’s civil war?  We all see how you are trying to bully Robbie Williams into not playing in Israel by speaking of the 500 children who were victims of the war in Gaza.  I saw an estimate that said at least 7,000 children have been killed in Syria.  Is that not worth your time Roger?  Even if the death of those 500 children are solely the responsibility of the government of Israel, something honest people know not to be the case, I still wonder why 500 children matter so much more to you than 7,000.  Maybe because it is not really about the children.

What about the thousands of women being raped and abused by ISIS? You are so quiet about that as well.  If you are such a humanitarian wouldn’t you be spending most of your waking hours fighting for causes that involved tens, even hundreds of thousands of victims. Victims of regimes and organizations making no bones about their intent to rape and murder their victims.

I noticed you played a few concerts in Russia.  Do you have anything to say about the treatment of gays and lesbians in Putin’s Russia?  Of course you don’t, because Russia isn’t the problem in your eyes, Israel is.

People like you are partially responsible for the change in discussion from those claiming to be Liberals.  They look at someone like you, a famous musician, and feel that you have a true understanding of moral and tolerant values.  In truth what you really are is a high-profile anti-Semitic con-artist.  You clearly hate Jews and subsequently hate the idea of a Jewish government. Your continuous onslaught makes it very clear that you will be happy with nothing less than the destruction of the State of Israel, and in your perfect world based on how you have behaved over the years, I assume you are more than happy to see it come along with as many dead Jews as possible.

Be aware that the only people who accept your crap are those who want to believe anything that hurts the Jewish people.  For a man whose music was once perceived as being so thoughtful and clever, your actions and words against Israel are remarkably ignorant and very obvious.  I would say that what you are really doing is making a fool of yourself, but unfortunately there are enough Jew-hating idiots out there for you to have quite a following.

You could have represented a modern-day growth and development of culture in society, but instead your hatred for the Jewish people has driven you towards a narrow and destructive way of thinking.  I have no problem saying that I would be very happy to see you so consumed by your hate that it ultimately destroys you.  It would appear to some extent that it already has. You are just too blind to see it.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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How being the son of Holocaust survivors made me who I am

Yom HaShoah

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we approach Yom HaShoah and remember the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, I can’t help but think about how being the son of 2 survivors helped make me into the person I am today.

In comparison to so many, I am a very lucky man.  I enjoyed having both my parents around till I was 45 when my 87 year old father passed away almost 8 years ago, and still have the blessing of a wonderful relationship with my remarkable 93 year old mother. Although they experienced their own brand of hell between 1940-1945 in Holland, they were fortunate enough that it did not reach a level that prevented them from moving forward and enjoying their life after the war.  Even with that said, the experiences of my parents made them who they are, which subsequently made me who I am, both for good and for bad.  But more significantly as I write this today, a day in which we remember those who did not survive, the deep emotions transferred to me and my siblings impacted every one of us.

Even when I was more moderate than I am today, I’ve never had tolerance for anything that resembled a lack of respect for Jewish life.  Of course as a normal human being I value all life, but I am always on the alert for any indication that the Jewish people are being attacked.  I won’t listen to Pink Floyd or Bryan Adams anymore.  I don’t like Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs merely because he once did the quenelle, a modern-day reverse Nazi salute in France, in a picture with a well-known anti-Semite even though he insisted he didn’t mean it to be anti-Semitic, and I almost got into a fight with someone at work who did the Nazi salute because he thought he was being funny.  He said he didn’t realize what it meant till his girlfriend told him later in the day.  That didn’t stop me from standing in his face and saying “never do that S#%#%t in front of me again.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I make no claims to be a tough guy, but my Dad of Blessed Memory was as tough as anyone, and my mother is one of the strongest people I’ve ever known.  I was raised by strong people who brought me up to be proud to be Jewish, and most relevant in this discussion, they always honored the 6 million.  As long as I can remember and as long as I was able to have a conversation I always knew about the 6 million Jews murdered by Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany.  And I have always tried my personal best to honor them.

Never Again, a phrase that often stems from or leads to political discussion may be 2 of the most important words in my life, as I am sure it is to many reading this as well.  However today is not about politics, it is about remembrance and honor. Something I learned from my parents, and thank them for from the bottom of my heart, for in the process they made me a better person, one that often stops and realizes the Jewish souls once sacrificed, and the importance of never forgetting them.

 

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If the World was Right

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If the world was right this never would have happened.  If the world was right 132 children in Pakistan wouldn’t haven’t been slaughtered by thug bastards.  If the world was right there would be worldwide condemnation.  If the world was right there would be people mobilizing in the streets preparing massive protests.  If the world was right people would realize that the war Israel and the West is fighting is against the same type of people who committed this act.

But the world isn’t right; it’s very wrong.  It is filled with evil and hypocrisy and those who choose to remain silent.  Those who speak out against Israel’s fight for security but remain silent today carry some of the burden of responsibility for what took place today in Pakistan.  So Roger Waters, Amal Clooney, Bryan Adams, Russell Brand, Penelope Cruz and Rosie O’Donnell, if you have nothing to say now you show once again how you are NOT only not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Your hypocrisy is contributing to humanity’s downfall.  Where are you now?

 

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Open Letter to Reggie Bush

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Dear Reggie,

I’m not even sure how to start this letter. Congratulations.  You’ve now entered the world of Roger Waters, Bryan Adams and George Clooney.  You are a high-profile celebrity I will no longer support in any way, shape or form. You’ve never had the ability or skill to stay healthy long enough to perform consistently as a professional, but you somehow had the intestinal fortitude to dig down deep and facilitate a comparison so dumb that you managed to insult the police, the Jews and the black people of Ferguson all in one shot. If only you were this good at football.

I do not like the fact that an unarmed man got shot. I recognize the tragedy of the situation and although I believe the grey areas in this case may very well have given credence to the Grand Jury’s verdict, this is indicative of some very serious problems that still exist in this country.  There are problems of race relations that can not be ignored as well as problems in the training of police officers that must be addressed.  If I am to be as objective as possible I may very well say that it is wrong that Michael Brown is dead and right that Darren Wilson was not indicted.  That’s a difficult statement to make, especially since it can bring on the wrath of both sides, but I am no coward and if, as I learn more facts I feel that way, I will be willing to make that difficult statement.  I don’t make simple divisive statements like: The Palestinian people know what mean to be shot while unarmed because of your ethnicity. #ferguson #justice.” 

Seriously Reggie? Do you realize how incredibly stupid that comment is? Apparently not because you posted a picture of a man holding that sign on your Instagram and followed with your own statement that read, “No matter who you are, what color skin you have, where you live, we are all in this together! This isn’t a Ferguson problem it’s a Global Problem! We need change NOW! What happened to humanity? #JusticeForMikeBrown.”

Well Reggie, you ask a good question.  What happened to humanity? These Palestinians you seem to feel comfortable comparing to the black people of Ferguson have thousands upon thousands of people looking to die in the process of murdering as many Jews and Americans as possible. Two Palestinians stormed a synagogue in Jerusalem last week and brutally murdered 4 Rabbis.  Palestinians have in their ranks people who blow themselves up with the hope, yes the hope of killing dozens of people.  They have people who drive into bus stops and murder a 4 month old baby girl. Let’s not forget how they celebrate in the streets after these murders.  Palestinian demonstrators throw rocks and Molotov Cocktails in the hope that they will injure or kill as many people as possible.  And of course let us not forget the additional Palestinian celebrations in the street after 3,000 Americans got murdered on 9/11.  Putting aside for one second how offensive your approach is to me as a Jewish man, if I was a black man in Ferguson who had knowledge of current affairs, I think I would be even more offended.  To even hint that there is a similarity between the people of Ferguson and the Palestinians may be the worst part of the message you are sending.

As a Jew I can not say I am surprised.  After all, it seems to be fashionable to criticize Israel and the Jewish people even when done by those who are clearly ignorant to the facts.  Abraham Lincoln once said,  “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”  Thank you Reggie for removing all doubt.

Incidentally,  I was such a fan I once had your picture as my icon during an entire Fantasy Football season.  All I can say now is that I am happy I didn’t trade for you this year when it was proposed to me.  Of course I didn’t because you are hardly on the field anyway.  I guess that is why you found the time to use social media to show the world your ignorance.

If you had merely made the comment you made I am certain no one would have had an issue with its intent.  Being someone who sees all Americans as being equal regardless of color or race, something everyone who knows me would corroborate, I might even have liked you more for the comment. After all, there is nothing wrong with expecting better of humanity.  But by showing the picture with that comment you went from portraying yourself as a man who cares to just another idiot with no clue.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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Open Letter to Bryan Adams

Brian Adams

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Bryan,

Earlier today I listened to what I considered to be my favorite song for one last time.  The song I listened to was your song, “Everything I do”.   You might say I am overly sensitive, even childish.  After all, just because someone holds views I don’t like it shouldn’t stop me from enjoying a song or a movie or a TV show.  I would answer, I see your point, but there is a lot at stake here. Something far more important than coming off as a big-time humanitarian who learns only half of the facts and opines on Twitter.  What I understand is at stake here, but you either don’t see or don’t care, is the survival of not only the Jewish people, but the very civilization you thrive in.  So once I know someone believes in something so harmful to the safety of Israel, the Jewish people and ultimately the entire planet, their “art” becomes distasteful to me. Just as I no longer enjoy listening to Pink Floyd because of my disgust for Roger Waters, I now have lost interest in listening to your music.

I will briefly address the following quotes you made on Twitter.

“I can’t speak for others, I only speak for myself: I say the war against Gaza was a crime against humanity”

Regarding the statement that the war was started in response to Hamas killing the 3 Yeshiva students you replied:

“it was never proved who was responsible, and it’s not justification for murdering 2000+ people…541 kids”

“and the Israeli blockade of Gaza just entered its 8th year, leaving its 1.7 million inhabitants destitute”

“Nobody here is anti-semitic – I’m / we’re just pro-people and pro-freedom”

Well you are right.  The war Hamas has waged on Gaza is a constant crime against humanity.  Learn the facts Bryan.  They’ve squandered and stolen billions from their people.

Never proved? They just admitted it.  And the cease-fire Hamas only now accepted was offered long before many of these deaths.  Deaths on the hands of Hamas for using their people as human shields.  Or did they not prove that either?

The blockade is not why they are destitute.  Their rulers stealing money is. Incidentally, the blockade is there to keep out weapons, not food and supplies.

And lastly, being pro-people and pro-freedom means being that for all people. If you look up the history you’ll see what Israel has had to endure from these terrorists.  Terrorists whose main objective has always been to murder Jews.  Israel’s objective has always been peace.  With that in mind to be quite blunt, if you support HAMAS it is anti-Semitic.  They have made it very clear that they won’t be happy till every last Jew on the planet is dead.  But you won’t look it up because you, like so many others don’t want to know the truth. And this Mr. Adams, makes your once beautiful music ugly to my ears.  Maybe it’s because while you attempt to come off like someone who cares about humanity, you know it’s true, everything you do, you do for you.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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