Days After Defending Star of David Pig, Roger Waters Laments ‘Power’ of ‘Jewish Lobby,’ Compares Israeli Policy to Nazis
Just days after defending his use of an inflatable pig emblazoned with a Star of David as a concert prop, rock star Roger Waters lamented the “power” of “the Jewish lobby,” and compared Israeli government policy to that of the Nazis, in an interview with CounterPunch magazine.
In the interview conducted by anti-Israel activist, Frank Barat, the former Pink Floyd bassist was frank about his opinions on Jews and Israel.
Asked why he was the only high profile celebrity to have joined the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, Waters explained that it was because people fear “the Jewish lobby.”
“This has been a very hard sell particularly where I live in the United States of America,” he said. “The Jewish lobby is extraordinary powerful here and particularly in the industry that I work in, the music industry and in rock’n roll as they say. I promise you, naming no names, I’ve spoken to people who are terrified that if they stand shoulder to shoulder with me they are going to get f*****.”
Accusing Israel of all manner of heinous crimes, Waters went on to draw parallels between Israeli policy and Nazi genocide.
“The situation in Israel/Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable,” he said.
Referring to Israel’s “right wing rabbinate,” Waters said “they believe that everybody that is not a Jew is only on earth to serve them and they believe that the Indigenous people of the region that they kicked off the land in 1948 and have continued to kick off the land ever since are sub-human. The parallels with what went on in the 30’s in Germany are so crushingly obvious that it doesn’t surprise me that the movement that both you and I are involved in is growing every day.”
Waters also described Israel’s concern over Iran’s nuclear program as a “diversionary tactic,” and claimed that Israel has never desired to make peace with the Arabs. “They’ve always had the Ben Gurion agenda of kicking all the Arabs out of the country and becoming greater Israel,” he said.
Waters said that he had been invited to preform in Israel by a top Israeli promoter, and admitted to having sent a letter to pop icon, Cindy Lauper, requesting that she cancel an upcoming performance in Israel.
“You know that Shuki Weiss (preeminent Israeli promoter) was offering me a hundred thousand people at hundred dollars a ticket a few months ago to come and play in Tel Aviv! ‘Hang on, that’s 10 million dollars’, how could they offer it to me?! And I thought Shuki are you f****** deaf or just dumb?! I am part of the BDS movement, I’m not going anywhere in Israel, for any money, all I would be doing would be legitimizing the policies of the government,” he said.
In July this year, Waters caused a stir when it was revealed that an inflatable pig released as a concert prop at his performances featured a Star of David. At the time, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group, described Waters as “an open hater of Jews.”
Responding to his latest remarks, Rabbi Cooper again described Waters as a “bigot.”
“We raised the alarm when Waters put a Star of David on a pig during his European tour. Now with this interview he confirms his status as one of the most virulent haters of the Jewish state. Apartheid, racist, murderers compared to Nazis,” Cooper said in an email to The Algemeiner.
“The Wiesenthal Center calls on his peers in the entertainment world to condemn him and to show through their continued visits to Israel that they share our contempt for this bigot,” he added.
Last week, following the conclusion of his three-year world tour for “The Wall,” Waters addressed the criticism he had faced over the use of the Star of David pig at his concerts.
“I worry about it every day. It’s a huge concern to me that I would be considered to be a bully,” Waters said about the accusations.
“Since then, because of the complaints from some of the Jewish community, we’ve added a crucifix and star-crescent,” he added.
In August, Waters’ active promotion of the anti-Israel boycott promoted a sharp response from Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli whose image was being used in his concert performances.
“Roger Waters, you should remove my picture from videos at your concerts. If you’re going to boycott, then go all the way,” she tweeted.
According to the United States Department of State, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” is considered anti-Semitic.