The Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) Greater Philadelphia chapter criticized performance arenas and concert facilities throughout North America for giving a platform to anti-Semite and anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) advocate Roger Waters, a rock musician and a founding member of Pink Floyd. The ZOA also criticized radio stations across the nation who are promoting Waters’ concerts and giving away tickets to them, thereby encouraging more people to be exposed to his lie-filled, hateful anti-Israel rants.
Waters is currently on a 46-city tour, playing 61 concerts throughout the United States and Canada. Many of the venues at which he is playing are named for major corporations, including Wells Fargo, Staples, AT&T, American Airlines, Verizon and Prudential. These corporations are tarnishing their reputations by allowing their names to be associated with a vicious anti-Semite who promotes lies about Israel and the Jewish people.
The ZOA calls on these corporations to reject and condemn Waters and his hateful attacks against Jews and the Jewish State of Israel. We also call on radio stations across America – including Philadelphia’s WMMR – to stop promoting Waters’ concerts and cease their ticket giveaways so that fewer people are exposed to his Jew-hatred.
Waters’ record makes it crystal clear that he is an unabashed anti-Semitic bigot:
- Waters supports the anti-Semitic BDS movement against Israel, which singles out for condemnation and punishment the one and only Jewish state in the world and the only democracy in the Middle East. He ignores the horrific human rights abuses in China, Russia, North Korea and virtually every other country in the Middle East except Waters routinely urges other recording artists not to perform in Israel.
- Waters falsely and outrageously compares Israel – where Arab citizens live freely and with more rights than in any Arab country – to Nazi Germany.
- At a July 2013 concert in Belgium, Waters wore a Nazi-like uniform and pretended to fire a fake machine gun while standing underneath a giant pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with the Star of David.
- Waters has falsely accused Israel of being “racist” and “apartheid” even though Arabs have equal rights and protections in Israel, and serve on the Supreme Court and in the Israeli government.
- Waters has made false and ugly claims about Jews and their attitudes toward Palestinian Arabs, accusing “the right wing rabbinate” of believing that “everybody that is not a Jew is only on earth to serve them and they believe that the Indigenous people of the region that they kicked off the land in 1948 and have continued to kick off the land ever since are sub-human.”
- Waters has made stereotypical anti-Semitic allegations about the power of Jews in the U.S.: “The Jewish lobby is extraordinary powerful here and particularly in the industry that I work in, the music industry and in rock’n roll as they say. I promise you, naming no names, I’ve spoken to people who are terrified that if they stand shoulder to shoulder with me they are going to get fucked.” Recently, Waters narrated a film (“The Occupation of the American Mind”) which promotes the same dangerous and demonizing anti-Semitic stereotype. The film holds itself out as “explor[ing] how the Israeli government, the U.S. government, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor.”
Morton A. Klein, the ZOA’s National President, and Steve Feldman, Executive Director of ZOA’s Greater Philadelphia chapter, urged the venues hosting Roger Waters, the corporations that the venues are named for, and the radio stations that are promoting his concerts, to speak out and condemn Waters and his anti-Semitic bigotry: “Roger Waters is an unapologetic Jew hater and hater of the Jewish State of Israel. He is using the platforms he is being given to promote his lies and encourage hatred of Jews and Israel.
“If Waters was viciously attacking another minority with lies and factual distortions, there’s no doubt that he would be a pariah and not welcome at a single concert venue. Corporations would not associate themselves or their names with him, and radio stations would not be promoting his concerts and encouraging people to attend them. Waters’ vicious attacks against Jews and the Jewish State of Israel should be just as abhorrent. Shame on him and on any venue, corporation or radio station that is currently associated with or promoting him and that fails to call him out and condemn his disgusting and destructive Jew-hatred.”