Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame is not antisemitic, an accusation leveled against the 69-year-old musician most recently for a stunt at one of his concerts.
Waters beamed a Star of David symbol onto a flying inflatable pig during The Wall Live Tour concert in Belgium. That might not seem like too much on its own, but count that along with his call for a boycott of Israel earlier this year, and you might say that Waters has earned some of the criticism pointed his way.
The harshest is from Simon Wiesenthal Center official Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who called Waters an “open hater of Jews” and called for his peers to “denounce his anti-Semitism and bigotry.”
But Waters himself insists that he’s not antisemitic, and that his art isn’t meant to target Jews.
On his Facebook page, Waters posted an open letter to his critics at the Wiesenthal Center which read, in part:
“I also use the Crucifix, the Crescent and Star, the Hammer and Sickle, the Shell Oil Logo and The McDonald’s Sign, a Dollar Sign and a Mercedes sign (in the show)…”
Waters also wrote that his social circle includes Wiesenthal’s nephew as well as his daughter-in-law.
He did make it clear, however, that he does disagree with a number of Israeli policies.
“In a functioning theocracy it is almost inevitable that the symbol of the religion becomes confused with the symbol of the state, in this case the State of Israel, a state that operates Apartheid both within its own borders and also in the territories it has occupied and colonized (sic) since 1967.”
But his political criticism of Israel doesn’t make him antisemitic, he argues.
“The Star of David represents Israel and its policies and is legitimately subject to any and all forms of non violent protest. To peacefully protest against Israel’s racist domestic and foreign policies is NOT ANTI-SEMITIC.”
Do you buy Roger Waters’ antisemitism apology? Is protest of Israel different from antisemitism? Sound off!
[Image via: Facebook]