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Last Updated: Friday, 10 March 2006, 11:52 GMT
Floyd star told to boycott Israel
Roger Waters
Roger Waters recently performed his new opera Ca Ira
A group of artists has called on Roger Waters of Pink Floyd to back a campaign against Israeli barriers in the West Bank by dropping a concert in Israel.

Bassist Waters was asked to cancel the show in Tel Aviv by the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art.

He told the Guardian he would "not rule out" going to Israel even though he disapproved of its "foreign policy".

Waters has previously criticised the barriers, which Israel said are needed to stop would-be suicide bombers.

Waters, who wrote the hit song Another Brick in the Wall, said: "I would not rule out going to Israel because I disapprove of the foreign policy any more than I would refuse to play in the UK because I disapprove of Tony Blair's foreign policy."

He added that his fans in Israel included "many refuseniks".

The network of fences and concrete barricades is a temporary measure intended to prevent Palestinian militants entering Israel to carry out attacks, Israel's government has said.

'Bridge-building'

The Palestinians are angered by the effects of the barrier, which restricts tens of thousands of people's access to schools, hospitals and agricultural land.

They also argue that the barrier is an attempt to grab West Bank land.

Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd reunited to play the Live 8 concert last year

Association member Sliman Manour, who signed the letter, criticised Waters for agreeing to perform in Israel.

He said: "How can someone who wants to look like a leftist in the world - fighting against the Berlin Wall, for open borders, and for love between people - come to Israel while they are still building their wall and hold a musical event?"

Mr Manour called on Waters to cancel the concert or put on a separate performance for Palestinians.

Concert promoter Shuki Weiss said Waters was persuaded to come to Israel after it quit the Gaza Strip territory, on which Palestinians want to build a state, last year.

"His message is about peace and coexistence, that walls should be replaced by bridges," said Mr Weiss.

Palestinians claim all of the West Bank for a future state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Waters has previously criticised the barriers



SEE ALSO:
Q&A: What is the West Bank barrier?
15 Sep 05 |  Middle East
Pink Floyd bassist performs opera
26 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Pink Floyd's ups and downs
13 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
Pink Floyd reform for Live 8 show
12 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
Floyd star to rock countryside
02 Oct 02 |  Entertainment


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