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Ed Driscoll

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Drops the Mask

July 26th, 2013 - 5:04 pm

“Even as Waters is a known activist pushing for the boycott of Israel, Israelis were still amazed to see that the show included a blatantly anti-Semitic display,” Israel’s Ynet News reports, describing his recent concert in Belgium:

Toward its end, a black balloon in the shape of a wild pig was released to the sky, on it a Star of David, in the company of symbols of dictatorial organizations and regimes from around the world.

Rogers’ concert took place as part of the music festival in the city of Werchter, and it opened his European tour. Next to the Star of David, on the wild pig balloon, there was also a sign of oil conglomerate Shell, and a graffiti message stating, “Everything will be okay, just keep consuming,” and “What’s wrong with people?”

I assume that when Waters trashes those who “keep consuming,” he’s not referring to the people in the audience who’ve bought The Wall over the past 23 years on LP, CD, VHS, LD, DVD and Blu-Ray, not to mention tickets, tour books, and T-shirts at his concerts.

At Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin adds:

The video, which can be seen here at the Elder of Ziyon website, shows that you don’t have to be looking for proof of anti-Semitism to find it at Waters’s show.

In the past, Waters has insisted that his displays as well as his opinions are not anti-Jewish but just a criticism of Israeli policies. But the use of a Star of David interchangeably with recognizable symbols of tyrannies can’t be reasonably interpreted as anything but an attempt to portray Israel as the moral equivalent of the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. To associate it with symbols of greed is to play on traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes that were freely used by the Soviets and the Nazis and undermines any idea that what Waters is doing is in support of human rights. To display a Jewish symbol on the side of a large pig balloon adds insult to injury.

Even if we were to leave aside the obvious evidence of anti-Semitism in Waters’s use of these symbols, his basic argument that Israel’s security fence is a violation of human rights is itself not merely wrong but a demonstration of his lack of interest in the survival of Jews. The fence was built, after all, not to fence in the Palestinians but to keep terrorist suicide bombers who were sent into Israel to indiscriminately slaughter men, women, and children out. To demand the fence be torn down is an implicit call for Jewish blood to begin to flow again.

Particularly in the movie version of The Wall, produced under Waters’ complete control, the Pink Floyd lyric writer makes it rather clear that he’s not too upset over their blood having flowed the first time around. While it’s tragic that Waters lost his father at Anzio, much of The Wall seems to imply that he wishes that England have never entered the war in the first place. (In The Final Cut, his even more elegiac follow-up to The Wall, and the last album Waters recorded with the Floyd before his bandmates found him interminable to work with, Waters also condemns Margaret Thatcher for defending the Falkland Islands. Presumably, in Waters’ opinion she should have simply let the Argentinians steal them, a curious stance by someone who maintains an army of lawyers and security guards to protect his personal interests.)

“Let’s hope this latest incident ensures that Waters never again is welcomed into any Jewish community or any place where people of good will have any say,” Tobin concludes.

Posing as an intellectual rock star means never having to think, as there are no consequences to your actions. Sadly, I don’t think there will be any serious repercussions to Waters’ latest incident, do you?

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