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Roger Waters: Anti-Israeli Conspiracy Theories and Tantrums

Roger Waters, one of the co-founders of Pink Floyd, is 75 years old by now. Still he tours like crazy. With his own band, he recently did 156 concerts in 35 countries.

But making a lot of money and satisfying his fans is not enough for Roger Waters. He feels the inner need to attack Israel, the tiny and only predominantly Jewish state in the world, by accusing it of ignoring Human Rights, of Apartheid and oppressing “the people of Palestine” in opinion pieces even ‘The Guardian’ prints.

Waters loathes Israel so much, his face becomes a grimace when he talks about the “crimes” he wants the country to be responsible for. When he writes about his conspiracy theories, he often does so in CAPS, just to show how much he hates Israelis.

Making Hamas or PA chairman Abbas responsible for supporting terror, exploiting their own people, putting Palestinians in harms way or preventing any peace by refusing to even recognize Israel is something Roger Waters would never do. He obviously hates Israel too much to develop a more realistic view of the situation.

Recently, Waters was very angry about the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs’ ‘Fool’s Day’ joke. They had announced Roger Waters would “play in Tel Aviv on July 16th”. His reply, in CAPS: “HO! FUCKING HO! EXCEPT THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER. THE MURDER OF UNARMED CHILDREN AND PARAMEDICS AND JOURNALISTS (…) IS NOT A MATTER FOR JEST. YOU DISGUST ME.”

There is a word for accusing Jews of things they never did and being “disgusted” by them. There is a word for reviving the kind of hatred Jews were confronted with even in the Middle Ages, when they were accused of poisoning the drinking water. The latter is a popular reproach which the PA uses even today.

Waters puts himself in line with haters such as Hamas and Abbas, but also with parts of the European left, including Jeremy Corbyn. Neither them nor Waters would ever say they hated Jews. Nowadays, left-wing antisemites hide behind what they call “criticism of Israel”.

In 2009, Roger Waters started spreading his anti-Israeli propaganda. In 2011 he joined the so-called BDS movement. The latter organization’s official aim is to boycott Israeli products, while its actual goal is to delegitimize the State of Israel, according to observers. By now, Waters is one of the most prominent BDS members and one of their leaders. Experts say the BDS is indeed antisemitic.

“Judging by his remarks, Roger Waters has absorbed classic antisemitic conspiracy theories, and these have now seeped into the totality of his views,” Abraham H. Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, told ‘The Times of Israel’, years ago.

Roger Waters is known for his tantrums during which he spreads conspiracy theories about Israel. Photo: Andrés Ibarra

Waters’ hate speech against the only democracy in the Middle East made him an outspoken ally of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other terrorist organisations, also during the 2012 war between Hamas and Israel. The latter was provoked by Hamas, which fired thousands of missiles at Israel, using schools and civilian buildings as launch pads, and abusing Palestinian civilians as human shields. Waters seemed to be defending the attacks, by essentially accusing Israel of defending itself.

Even during his concerts, Roger Waters voices his hatred against Israel. On his stage backdrop, he used to have an artificial pig installed, with the Star of David printed on it. He is also known to pick out activists who fight antisemitism by calling out their names during his rants on stage.

As the star of the BDS movement, Waters bullies fellow artists who give concerts in Israel or who are planning to do so. He sends them letters saying they should cancel their gigs in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Elat, citing alleged “crimes” Israel was responsible for. When they disagree, he intensifies the bullying.

Waters gets two kinds of reactions to those letters. There are a few artists who give in to his rhetoric and actually cancel their Israeli gigs. But most bands, such as Deep Purple, Radiohead, Britney Spears and many others, refuse to do anything of the kind.

The Eagles Of Death Metal are the band which performed at the ‘Bataclan’ venue in Paris, when the Islamist terror attacks of November 13, 2015, took place. A total of 89 people in the audience were murdered at the ‘Bataclan’ alone. The band later went to perform in Tel Aviv, in spite of Roger Waters’ message. Jesse Hughes, the band’s front man, sent an answer back to Waters, which contained exactly two words. The first one started with an “F”, the second one with a “Y”.

Madonna now has the honor to be bullied by Waters, since she announced her participation in the European Song Contest (ESC) in Tel Aviv next month. The first few sentences of Waters’ piece on the matter in ‘The Guardian’ almost sound moderate: “Madonna having accepted Eurovision’s invitation (…) raises, yet again, fundamentally important ethical and political questions for each and every one of us to contemplate”, he writes.

A bit further down, he could not restrain himself anymore: “To perform in Israel is a lucrative gig but to do so serves to normalize the occupation, the apartheid, the ethnic cleansing, the incarceration of children, the routine slaughter of un-armed protesters, etc, etc…. all that bad stuff.” All of this might sound great to fellow Israel haters, but the so-called ‘opinion piece’ lacked something rather important, namely truth.

Since the BDS was revealed to be an antisemitic organisation, Roger Waters got into more trouble. The multi-national financial services cooperation American Express pulled out of a sponsorship contract with him, worth 4 million Dollars, because it refused “to be part of his anti-Israel rhetoric.”

An organisation called ‘We don’t need no Roger Waters’ recently made a documentary about Waters’ antisemitic-sounding tantrums, entitled “Wishing You Weren’t Here”, in reference to Pink Floyd’s song title “Wishing You Were Here”.

In Germany, part of the state-controlled radio and television network ARD pulled out of at least two cooperation contracts connected to Waters’ gigs last year, after viewers protested. Malca Goldstein-Wolf, a Jewish German activist, first convinced Tom Burow, a high-ranking ARD guy, to pull the plug.

There is no sign of any impending thrust reversal regarding Waters’ conspiracy theories. But he has been self-critical in one instance: In 1985, he left Pink Floyd and sued the remaining members David Gilmore and Nick Mason, since he did not want them to use the band name anymore. In 1987, they somehow reached an agreement, after fighting each other in several courts. Twenty-six years later, in 2013, Waters said “I was wrong. Of course I was.”

He is, again.