“Russian diplomacy used to be serious. What next? Mr. Bean?”
By Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner
One day after he was denounced on Twitter as “antisemitic to your rotten core,” the former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters addressed a session of the UN Security Council last week, at the invitation of the Russian mission to the international body.
Claiming to speak on behalf of the world’s “voiceless majority,” Waters — a vocal supporter of the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) campaign targeting Israel — delivered a rambling address that denounced the international arms industry along with homelessness and poverty in wealthy and developing countries alike, peppered with references to the advice he received from his mother while he was growing up.
The singer’s appearance was first announced on Twitter on Tuesday night by Dmitry Polyanskyi, Russia’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, who posted, “for tomorrow’s UN Security Council briefing on prospects of peaceful settlement of crisis around Ukraine in the context of increasing Western arms deliveries to this country we invited as a briefer famous British Musician and rock-musician (sic) Roger Waters.”
Waters has been strongly criticized for supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin, opining in a CNN interview last summer that the Moscow regime had been provoked by western support for Ukraine’s democratically-elected government and accusing US President Joe Biden of a “huge crime” by allegedly “fueling the fire in Ukraine.”
In his speech to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Waters reiterated his belief that Ukraine was partially responsible for the Russian invasion, arguing that while Russia’s actions were “illegal,” it had been provoked by the Kyiv government. “I also condemn the provocateurs in the strongest possible terms,” Waters declared. “There, that’s out of the way.”
While Waters did not issue a call to boycott Israel during his speech, he emphasized that “universal human rights” belonged to Palestinians as much as Ukrainians. He urged an “immediate ceasefire” in Ukraine, insisting that the “voiceless majority” around the world backed this position, and that such a development would be greeted by “John Lennon pumping his first in the air from the grave.”
Ruminating on the possibility that the UN Security Council is a “toothless chamber” and not a center of power, he said this would mean “that I can open my big mouth on behalf of the voiceless majority and not get my head bitten off. How cool is that?”
Waters’ appearance at the UN drew sarcastic condemnation from representatives of western countries, with one unnamed UN diplomat telling the Reuters news agency, “Russian diplomacy used to be serious. What next? Mr. Bean?”
The 15-member Security Council has met dozens of times since Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine in Feb. 2022. But it is unable to take any action because Russia is a veto power, along with the United States, China, Britain and France.
Waters has been facing trenchant criticism from former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and his wife, the novelist and lyricist Polly Samson. Responding to an interview Waters gave to a German news outlet in which he accused Israel of waging “genocide,” the couple tweeted: “Sadly Roger Waters, you are antisemitic to your rotten core. Also a Putin apologist and a lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynistic, sick-with-envy, megalomaniac. Enough of your nonsense.”
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