Mandela legacy and Pink Floyd fallacy
It's almost impossible to find a way through to the mind of an Israel hater like Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters. But here's trying with a little context about life and death for Jews, Palestinians and South Africans
A one time rock idol is a man true to a faith newer than monotheism, yet stronger. Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd fame believes that Israel is guilty of the worst crimes men can inflict: genocide and ethnic cleansing.
Faith, that unshakeable belief in something without proof, acts like that upon devotees. The inner heart and soul talks to men like Waters.
And what they hear they hold fast to and never let go. Jews today treat Palestinians no differently to how Nazis treated Jews back in the days of Hitler. Jews carry out genocide and ethnic cleansing. Right up to the moment of death the retired rock idol will hold fast to such beliefs:
“There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on from 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario; except that this time it’s the Palestinian people being murdered.”
Now, before we put the rock idol’s faith to the test, I’d like to pick out two words in his statement: ‘oppression’ and ‘murdered.’ The Jews were oppressed (not too fatal), while Palestinians are murdered. Why is that important?
Because Waters, being a faithful Israel boycotter, would die before he acknowledged that Jews can be victims. They can only be a ‘demonic abstraction,’ to coin the phrase of Professor Robert Wistrich. The people of Israel, for the rock idol as it was for Hitler, are a force of unequalled malice. So how can they ever be murdered?
In any case Palestinians own the victim brand, and a most valuable one it is. Billions of dollars pour into the brand, so that Palestinian leaders, if they declared their assets, would comfortably make the Forbes Top 100.
So the rock idol believes in Israel the monster. Like Mrs Micawber, who never will desert her husband, Waters will never desert his faith. In a belief system facts are never apposite, they’re more a threat.
But let’s throw facts at the man of faith anyway. For our own understanding of how watertight is the idol’s belief system, let’s give Waters a table to chew on. “Parallels with what went on in …Germany are so crushingly obvious,” he says. Parallels with South Africa are a good place to start: Palestinians ‘murdered’ under Israel’s watch vs. South Africans murdered under Mandela’s (though not by him, of course).
Table 1 Fallacy and Legacy
1988 – 2011 1994 – 2012
Palestinians killed Israelis killed The Legacy of Mandela
(Militants + Civil) (IDF + Civil) South Africans murdered
1st Intifada 1 549 *
2nd Intifada 3 196 *
3rd Intifada 1 290 *
Def Shield 240 **
Cast Lead 1 385 **
Total 7 660 1 496 * 300 000 +
+ Ilana Mercer: ‘Into the cannibal’s pot'
Now if Waters can put rock music aside for a while to allow numbers to enter his head, he will see and calculate the following:
After what Jews "inflicted" on Palestinians, let’s look at what Hitler inflicted on Jews, followed for good measure by what Arabs inflicted on Jews. We'll use the big picture numbers here, relating to how populations were destroyed or thrived.
Table 2 Who did what to who?
What the Jews What the Nazis What Arabs
did to Palestinians did to the Jews did to the Jews
Population in the World Jewish Jewish population
West Bank & Gaza * population in Arab countries (000)*
1968 1,1 m 1939 15 m 1948 2004
2013 4,4 m** 1945 9 m Aden 8 0
Morocco 265 5
Iraq 135 0,03
Algeria 140 0,1
Tunisia 105 0,1
Egypt 75 0,1
Yemen 50 0,8
Libya 38 0, l
Syria 30 0,02
Lebanon 5 0,01
Source: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries. The American- Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2011.
* Source: Palestinian Bureau of Statistics
** PA governed West Bank 2.7m
For the left-hand column there are no population figures for 1948 to 1967 when the West Bank and Gaza were under Jordanian and Egyptian control.
We must again ask the rock idol to put aside music and imbibe numbers.
The rock idol ‘believes.’ And what a belief it turns out to be. A wholesale program of murder – of six million Jews burnt, executed, gassed, buried alive, worked to death, drowned at birth, and processed into usable products; and Roger Waters equates that with a Palestinian population under Israeli watch growing to 4.4 million in 2012 – up from 1.9 million in 1990.
How many member countries of the United Nations can claim a growth rate of 132% in a short two decades! And so we illuminate the rockhard quality of an old rock idol’s faith.
Steve Apfel is director of the School of Management Accounting, Johannesburg. He is the author of the book,'Hadrian's Echo: The whys and wherefores of Israel's critics' (2012) and a contributor to, "War by other means." (Israel Affairs, 2012). His articles and blogs are published in several foreign journals and his new work, 'How the West was won' is due out next year
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