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Boycott Roger Waters!

by Larry Fishman, posted Nov 14, 2011

Fans of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd (myself included) were thrilled to learn that the band’s erstwhile writer/bassist/singer Roger Waters will be bringing his “The Wall” tour to Winnipeg in May, 2012. The concert will feature a typical Pink Floydian multimedia extravaganza presentation of the band’s 1979 album of the same name. Waters was the driving force behind that particular album which is best described as paranoid, self-indulgent and brilliant.

I saw Waters when he was last in Winnipeg a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed his concert which featured a full-length presentation of Pink Floyd’s classic 1972 release The Dark Side of the Moon.

But if I knew then what I know now about Roger Waters I would never have purchased tickets and I don’t intend to for his next visit. I encourage members of Winnipeg’s Jewish community to resist the temptation to attend his concert. I encourage them to Boycott Roger Waters!

Here’s why: Waters is an outspoken proponent of the BDS movement. BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions ie. against the State of Israel and anyone or anything connected to it.

You may rightly point out that Waters has plenty of artistic company in that despicable movement (Elvis Costello and Vigo Mortensen come easily to mind). You may argue that people are entitled to their own beliefs regarding as controversial an issue as relations between Israel and the Palestinians (no matter how misguided) and are free to use their fame to promulgate those beliefs. You can check out Waters’ thoughts on this by following this link

According to Waters’ worldview Israel’s sole motivation for building the “apartheid wall” was to further oppress the Palestinians. He expresses no understanding that it was constructed as a (highly effective) means of denying would-be suicide terrorists from entering Israel to murder Israelis. Nor does he acknowledge the ongoing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic provocation ubiquitous in Palestinian media, political discourse and most disturbing of all, schools.

The opinions expressed by Waters in the above piece are enough to convince me to have nothing more to do with him. If that was all there was to it, I would keep my opinions to myself and be content to let everyone else act according to his or her own conscience.

However on this tour Roger Waters has in my opinion crossed the line from anti-Israel to antisemitic.

As I mentioned above, his concerts are multimedia extravaganzas featuring impressive light shows, flying pigs and lots of film and animation. The animation accompanying the song “Goodbye Blue Sky” is what got my attention. The song is about the Nazi Blitz against English cities during World War II (based on Waters experiences as a young boy). The song is illustrated in the concert by an animated sequence showing bombers discharging their deadly contents on the city below. But these bombers aren’t just dropping bombs. They drop dollar signs, Mercedes insignias and Magen Davids. The implication is clear-those warmongering Israelis (Jews) are no better than the Nazis that dropped bombs indiscriminately on civilians in Waters’ youth.

 See for yourself:

In light of Roger Waters’ anti-Israel sentiments and antisemitic imagery in his concerts I urge Jewish Winnipeggers to join me in this boycott.

Editor's note: A couple of readers have written in to say that in th eimagery used Roger Waters also drops (Christian) crosses and (Muslim) crescents too. And a shell gasoline symbol.

When asked to comment on this fact, which Larry  Fishman did not mention in the article above, Fishman replied, " Just because Waters offends other religions doesn't excuse his anti semitic imagery."



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.