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Floyd star switches concert venue

By the BBC

Former Pink Floyd star Roger Waters has switched the venue for a solo concert in Israel following pressure from dozens of Palestinian artists.
The bassist was to perform in Tel Aviv in June but will now play the mixed Arab-Jewish town of Neveh Shalom.

He was asked to change his plans in an open letter from musicians who claimed Israel was “oppressing” Palestinians.

Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall is used as a protest song by opponents of Israel’s barrier in the West Bank. However, the lyrics have been adapted to read: “We don’t need no occupation. We don’t need no racist wall.”

In an open letter to Waters after the concert was first announced, the Palestinian artists urged him to stay away “at a time when Israel continues unabated with its colonial and apartheid designs to further dispossess, oppress and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland”.

‘Encourage co-existence’

Neveh Shalom is a small community near Israel’s boundary with the West Bank which is seen as a symbol of peace. Organisers said that moving the concert there would encourage co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians. Waters himself has been unapologetic about playing in Israel, which is kept off the touring schedules of most bands due to security fears.

Last month, he told the Guardian newspaper: “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.”

Waters split acrimoniously from Pink Floyd in 1985 and launched his solo career, but he rejoined the band for the one-off Live 8 concert last summer.