Former Pink Floyd frontman and bassist Roger Waters has been a prominent pro-Palestinian activist, publicly advocating the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign to boycott Israel, and more recently has been called “an open hater of Jews” because of a prop in his The Wall Live Tour.
Video taken at one of his shows depicts a giant pig emblazoned with a Star of David which was destroyed by the audience at the end of the concert.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the human rights group Simon Wiesenthal Center called it a “grotesque display of Jew-hatred,” telling the Jewish news site The Algemeiner, “With this disgusting display Roger Waters has made it crystal clear. Forget Israel, never mind ‘limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.’ Waters is an open hater of Jews.”
So Waters took to Facebook and posted an open letter spelling things out from his perspective, most notably calling Cooper’s claims “wild and bigoted” with an “entirely predictable resulting rant.”
Waters notes that the Anti-Defamation League has ruled his work has no anti-Semitic intent. “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],” writes Waters.
But Waters doesn’t backpedal on his criticism of Israel, either:
…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 since 1967.
Like it or not, 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. Your contention that because I criticize the Policies of the Israeli government I should be lumped in with the Muslim Brotherhood is risible, and again a personal affront. I have spent my whole adult life advocating separation of church and state.
Here’s video of the pig prop with the Star of David, as well as other symbols:
(H/T: Rolling Stone)