In a string of disturbing incidents, Roger Waters has once again taken advantage of his celebrity platform to advance his anti-Semitic views and genocidal ambitions to dismantle the State of Israel. Waters recently performed a song online that called for Palestinians to replace Israel “from the Jordan river to the sea,” a slogan long pushed by Hamas that calls for the destruction of Israel.
Days after Waters’ performance, he took to social media to complain about being banned from Pink Floyd’s website, presumably by his former bandmate David Gilmour.
“I think he thinks because I left the band in 1985 that he owns Pink Floyd, that he is Pink Floyd, and that I’m irrelevant, and that I should keep my mouth shut,” said Waters, referring to Gilmour.
Whatever the reason behind the ban, people are applauding the move.
In his promotion of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel, Waters has repeatedly sullied the good name of Pink Floyd.
For years, he has been a spokesman of the movement, obsessively seeking to prevent artists from performing in Israel by singling out the Jewish state for condemnation and publicly trying to shame Israel on social media and through open letters and petitions to the media.
Most recently, Waters appeared on a Hamas-affiliated television network where he outrageously claimed that Israel invented the police technique of kneeling on someone’s neck and is thus responsible for the death of George Floyd in America. In classic anti-Semitic fashion, he then accused Jewish businessman, Sheldon Adelson, of being a “puppet master” and manipulating global politics.
CCFP has always maintained that arts should be used as a bridge to bring people together, not to further divide and foment hatred. While Waters is free to have his opinion, by bullying other artists into silence (largely unsuccessfully), from Nick Cave to Radiohead, he has proven that he is not an advocate of artistic freedom, let along peace and reconciliation.
Cave has called Waters’ support of the BDS movement “cowardly,” arguing that “Israel is a real, vibrant, functioning democracy – yes, with Arab members of parliament – and so engaging with Israelis, who vote, may be more helpful than scaring off artists or shutting down means of engagement.”
Similarly, Thom Yorke of Radiohead pushed back on pressure from Waters’ and director Ken Loach, another BDS supporter: “There are people I admire like Ken Loach, who I would never dream of telling where to work or what to do or think.”
Indeed, Waters’ BDS rhetoric resembles that of Nazi Germany, where Jewish businesses were boycotted. The parallel lead Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter to state in 2018, “Roger Water is responsible for growing, intolerable anti-Semitic statements that are couched in the form of BDS. The anti-Semitic propaganda of Roger Waters is neither welcome in Munich nor will it remain unanswered.”
Waters’ rhetoric is also reminiscent of Soviet era-style censorship, where strict limits and punishments were placed on artistic expression, including public smear campaigns that would render the artist irrelevant.
David Draiman, frontman of the metal band Disturbed, pointed out the dictatorial nature of Waters’ stance: “The very notion that Waters and the rest of his Nazi comrades decide that this is the way to go ahead and foster change is absolute lunacy and idiocy.” He added, “It’s only based on hatred of a culture and of a people in a society that has been demonized unjustifiably since the beginning of time.”
Draiman is far from the only one to have pointed out his anti-Semitic tendencies. During a recent tour, the Anti-Defamation League condemned Waters display of a flying pig emblazoned with a Star of David. They stated at the time: “[the animation played into the] worst age-old anti-Semitic stereotype about Jews and their supposed obsession with making money … the images he has chosen, when put together in the same sequence, cross a line into anti-Semitism.”
Waters has also been the subject of a damning documentary exposing his anti-Semitism by New York Times best-selling author and award-winning filmmaker Ian Halperin.
“There are less than 2 million Jews left in Europe, which is very alarming—a place where Jews have long been an integral part of society and whose valuable contributions to the culture are immeasurable,” said Halperin.
“I couldn’t believe [Waters] was singling out Israel when there are so many truly egregious violators of human rights in the world…. You can argue with some of Israel’s policies, no problem. But to call for a universal boycott of Israel is deplorable, baseless and unfounded.”
For now, it appears that the boycotter has been boycotted. One would hope that being banned from his own website would cause Waters to question his ideological prejudices and shameful behavior.
Unfortunately, as we can see from Waters’ appearance on Hamas TV last weekend, it is clear Waters is beyond salvation.