Pig Balloon at Roger Waters Concert Features Star of David; Wiesenthal Center Calls Him ‘Open Hater of Jews’ (VIDEO)
Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has taken the hammer to British rock musician and anti-Israel activist Roger Waters after a giant pig shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David was released into the sky at a July 18th concert in Belgium.
“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,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the center in an email to The Algemeiner.
“The video is beyond shocking. The only books this bigot should be getting should be with the Mullahs in Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood,” Cooper added.
“I came to the concert because I really like his music, without any connection to his political stance toward Israel,” Alon Onfus Asif, an Israeli living in Belgium told Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot. “And I had a lot of fun, until I noticed the Star of David, on the inflatable pig. That was the only religious-national symbol which appeared among other symbols for fascism, dictatorships and oppression of people. Waters crossed the line and gave expression to an anti-Semitic message, beyond all his messages of anti-militancy.”
“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?’” Yediot reported further, calling the incident “a blatantly anti-Semitic display.”
The pig’s hind quarters appear to feature a silhouette of a man giving a Nazi salute.
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center urges other entertainers to denounce his anti-Semitism and bigotry,” Cooper concluded, calling on others to similarly respond to the offensive imagery.
Another Jewish watchdog, the Anti Defamation League which criticized Waters in 2010 for “using imagery long associated with stereotypes about Jews and money as part of a segment of his 2010-2011 ‘The Wall Live’ Tour,” said that Waters’ pig was old news and in context was not anti-Semitic.
“This is the same thing he’s been doing for years,” said Todd Gutnick, Director of Media Relations. “We believe there’s no anti-Semitic intent here in the use of the Star of David symbol.”
“The song is ‘Run Like Hell’ from Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall.’ The song is written from the point of view of the anti-hero, ‘Pink,’ during a hallucination in which he becomes a fascist dictator and turns a concert audience into an angry mob. True to form, Waters appears dressed for the part. It is a concert tradition going back years that during this song an inflatable pig is released into the air. For this most recent tour, the pig appears to have numerous symbols, including a hammer, dollar signs, and sickle and a small Star of David,” Gutnick explained.
“In the film version of “The Wall,” the mob raids and destroys the homes of Black and Jewish people, so the use of the Jewish and other symbols on the pig is consistent with the lyrics of the song,” he concluded.
The inflatable pig is a staple at Waters’ concerts, and has taken on different shapes and forms over the years. The Algemeiner was unable to immediately confirm if the pig has appeared before in this precise form.
Waters is well known as a vocal activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid” and “international crimes” in a November 2012 address at the United Nations. Last fall he was also at the forefront of efforts to boycott an Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
El Al Israel Airlines recently canceled a promotional package that appeared on its website for an August Roger Waters concert.
At the time of publication no reply was received to The Algemeiner’s request for comment via Waters’ website.
Watch a video of the pig at the concert below.