Having just read the interview that appeared last week with Roger Waters [“Q&A: Rock Star Roger Waters Talks About His Connection To South Fork, And The Shinnecock,” 27east.com, July 28], we think he should stick to what he knows about: playing bass guitar.
We are delighted that Mr. Waters has made a $300,000 donation to the impoverished and unduly victimized Shinnecock Nation. Unfortunately, his concern for the Shinnecock people and their land ends at the first tee of both local golf clubs of which he is a member, the National Golf Links and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. The hypocrisy of his maintaining membership in two private elite country clubs that provide recreation to the consternation of the Shinnecock, whose land they occupy, is as outrageous as his criticism of Israel and his antisemitic rant that does not belong in a publication such as this one.
The Jewish people have a right to the nation of Israel. They lived there for thousands of years before others took their land away from them. Fortunately, the nations of the world, through the United Nations, in 1947, restored the ancient Jewish homeland, notwithstanding the Arab and Palestinian refusal to acknowledge or accept their state. Mr. Waters conveniently chooses to forget thousands of years of history.
According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Association definition of antisemitism, which is Suffolk County policy, when one demonizes Israel, holds Israel to double standards or delegitimizes Israel, that is antisemitic. Mr. Waters does all three.
I invite Mr. Waters to walk the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with us to find out more about Judaism, the situation in the Middle East, antisemitism and human rights in the region.
We are not writing to blindly defend Israel and its government. Israel and its leaders are far from perfect. Before criticizing Israel and/or joining us for a trip to the region, Mr. Waters should read Amnesty International’s report on the region — including: freedom of expression and assembly; excessive use of force; torture and other ill-treatment; women’s rights; rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people; death penalty; justice system; economic, social and cultural rights; and abuses by armed groups — and really understand where human rights in the region are being violated.
Other misinformed entertainers, such as Nick Cannon, also have spewed antisemitic rhetoric. However, after much criticism, Mr. Cannon sought to be educated about Judaism, Israel and antisemitism. He subsequently apologized and retracted his prior antisemitic statements.
We invite Mr. Waters to do the same. I trust his remarks in your paper resulted from a lack of information and education rather than antisemitism, per se.
Mr. Klausner and Mr. Leavitt are co-presidents of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor — Ed.
One fine body…