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After CounterPunch Interview ADL Accuses Roger Waters of ‘Conspiratorial Anti-Semitism’

December 12, 2013 6:55 pm 23 comments

Roger Waters on The Daily Show. Photo: Screenshot.

After formerly defending rock star Roger Waters from charges of anti-Semitism, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has concluded that the former Pink Floyd bassist is an anti-Semite.

The latest stance from the ADL follows the publication by CounterPunch magazine of an interview with Waters in which he compared Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, and referred to the “Jewish lobby” as the reason why so few celebrities have joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

“Judging by his remarks, Roger Waters has absorbed classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and these have now seeped into the totality of his views,” ADL National Director, Abraham Foxman, told The Algemeiner. “His comments about Jews and Israel have gotten progressively worse over time.  It started with anti-Israel invective, and has now morphed into conspiratorial anti-Semitism.”

“How sad that a creative genius could become so perverted by his own narrow-minded bigotry,” Foxman added.

In July, when it emerged that Waters was using an inflatable pig emblazoned with a Star of David as a concert prop, the ADL defended Waters.

“This is the same thing he’s been doing for years,” said Todd Gutnick, Director of Media Relations at the time. “We believe there’s no anti-Semitic intent here in the use of the Star of David symbol.”

Other Jewish groups were less forgiving. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center called Waters an “open hater of Jews.”

In a public letter responding to Cooper, Waters cited the ADL in his own defense.

“First I direct you to an announcement by ‘The Anti Defamation League’ an American organization, who’s declared aim is to defend Jewish people and Judaism from attack. They recently said. ‘While we wish that Mr. Waters would have avoided using the Star of David, we believe there is no anti-Semitic intent here,'” Waters wrote.

Last week the Associated Press said that Waters was remorseful about being labelled an anti-Semite over the Star of David pig, and Foxman came to his defense.

“His shows deliver messages, breaking down wall, etc. He uses symbolism, and that’s one issue,” Foxman told The AP. “It’s artistic exuberance and crossing the lines of whatever, but he’s not an anti-Semite.”

In the CounterPunch interview, Waters 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.”

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 has long been an advocate of the BDS movement and has called on his fellow artists to boycott the Jewish state.


  • Sid Barrett was the first lunatic and Roger Waters the second.

  • What is Roger Waters? He is NOTHING!

    • Richtig.

      Just because somebody is a musician, does not make him a specialist on the issues he is talking about. If he has a problem with Hollywood and other industries, he could have built them himself, but then his name would have been Warner, Godwyn or Mayer maybe Geffen…

  • I have always loved Pink Floyd music. But I’m about to put my cd’s through the shredder. I know that this racist Jew hater waters won’t give a stuff, but it will make me feel better as playing his music would be like playing nazi marching songs. He will find he’s on the wrong side of history and humanity, but if he ever sets foot in Israel I hope he arrested and charged with racial incitement and promoting nazi anti-Semitism. Eichman, without the divisions to achieve his evil purpose.

  • Mort Angerstein

    I guess with all of this dialogue, we continue to give Waters all of the attention he craves. Most of us are just agreeing with one another, and I wonder if we are just having mental masterbation in the process?

  • Will Waters, if he is diagnosed with a terrible illness, forswear all medical advances to save his life which have been developed in Israel? He is a member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Will he also agree to cease using any product utilizing any of the technological advances developed in Israel?

  • I am so totally disgusted with Roger Waters. To think that I discovered Pink Floyd, my once favorite Rock Group in the 70s. Albeit I grew up with them, getting high listening to them, especially my all time favorite album, Dark Side of the Moon. I feel like throwing out every album, tape, and cd of the group b/c of Roger’s ignorance of Israel a country that is so humanitarian in the face of the Palestinians hatred and his hatred of Jews. He should be ostracized by all of his fans.

    • I still have the Pink Floyd CDs, but as for Roger Waters’ solo albums I broke them long ago. However, I still retain the lyrics of his solo albums, all of which contain secret terror conspiracies. As the year 2013 comes to a close, he feels compelled to alert his fellow conspirators abroad that he is in fact the character “Megatron” from the film “The Dark of the Moon.” Yes, that’s him clothing himself in an Arab cause (of which he has only a superficial knowledge of) since it makes him look like a psuedo-champion and not the morally bankrupt pervert that he really is.

    • Just through out Waters.

  • Roger Waters sick and hysterical accusations are reminiscent of Goebbels. He reveals himself as nothing more than a rabid Jew-hater.

    I hope he is shunned by the music business for the rest of his miserable, and hopefully short, life. He is a hate-filled pariah. Now wonder his former Pink Floyd colleagues want nothing to do with him.

  • Grgreat guitarist my foot. The late Jim Hall and any jazz guitarist show him up as very ordinary. ADL now decide he is anti Semite wow how late are they

  • I’m curious to know where Mr. Waters gets his information on Israel? Don’t think the Guardian or BBC would descend to such degrees of blood libel-type lies. Very sad that so many musicians and actors feel they have the right to spread such infamy about the only truly democratic country in the Middle East, where all citizens of whatever stripe have equal rights.

  • Roger Waters a “CREATIVE GENIUS”??? Hunnnnh?? Cre-A-A-A–tive??? GENIUS???

    You hafta be kidding!!! Waters is no creative genius…he’s a competent tp earn his living in the difficult and challenging music business. But a CREATIVE GENIUS he is certainly NOT! MOZART, BACH, RACHMANINOFF, COLE PORTER, IRVING BERLIN, JEROME KERN, SAMMY DAVIS,even ELVIS PRESSLEY were all CREATIVE GENIUS. But ROGER WATERS??? CREATIVE GENIUS??

    I could write more but my hands are getting tired!> CREATIVE??? …GENIUS??????
    pardon me while I fall over backwards laughing! ROGER WATERS WILL HAVE TO DIE, GO TO HEAVEN, AND COME BACK AGAIN AND BECOME AT LEAST FIVE TIMES THE MUSICIAN HE IS NOW before he rates being considered either Creative OR GENIUS!!!

    Roger Waters a —ohh my gawd…a…GENius??? Yeah…right. Him and my Uncle Jake who played the accordian at Jewish and Italian weddings…he made $15 a night and all he could eat!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Noel Herasfield

    If waters is like most rockers,full of booze,pot and speed,not surprising his thinking is irrational. besides who gives a damn about what entertainers think?Why do we care about these narcistic people do?They contribute nothing to society,and come and go with no permanent effect on civilization.

  • Waters’ antisemitism is so deeply embedded in his being that even when he tries to explain himself he trips over his own tongue/pen. In an open letter he has published on his website he tries to explain that he can’t be an anti-semite because his child (can’t remember if son or daughter) is married to a Jew and as a “consequence” his grandchild is a Jew. When I first read this in his newsletter the word “consequence” jumped out at me because that word has a negative impact connotation i.e. “being Jewish” is a negative result of one’s parent being Jewish. And that mindset of negativity related to Jewishness is where Water’s mind is at.

  • Stuart Handelsman

    I am embarrassed that the ADL defended roger waters. I guess they are ashamed of themselves now. I am a member of the ADL and I thought we were smarter. Now I have to review all of Abe Forman’s comments, which I should have been doing all along. Roger waters has exhibited antisemitism all along too.

    • Stuart
      You need to read the text . The ADL originally defended Waters from charges of antisemitism . It was borderline and requires substantive evidence . His most recent outburst was the tipping point where he crossed the line from political activist to overt antisemitism .
      For those who have monitored his obvious descent into antisemitism , this comes as nothing new . It has been apparent for some time . During the summer , he penned an article in defence of Nigel Kennedy criticising the BBC for censoring Kennedys political diatribe during his Summer proms concert at the Albert Hall
      Waters referred to the main complainant Baroness Deech as ( nee Fraenkel ) ie a sly nod to Deechs ethnicity , Fraenkel being a commonly used Jewish name .

      It was necessary for the BDS / PSC to adopt damage limitation by airbrushing Waters nee Fraenkel reference from his letter .

      So yes Waters is an antisemite . As with BDS it is couched in terms of antizionism , except that his heart rules his head from time to time , hence his lapse of concentration . BDS weekend boot camp would cure this but he probably thinks himself above the training programme .

  • This goes to show the ineptitude of Foxman. But there are many in leadership positions that continue to promote Obama, Kerry, and Clinton as Foxman did Waters thereby promoting anti-semitism. A person just has to be in the Democratic party to not only get a pass but actually be revered. Recently Dershowitz finally said Obama may not be able to fulfill his promise of defending Israel. However, he did not denigrate Obama just hinted that something may stop him from fulfilling his promise.

    History records that Israel would bring to the world the Messiah “unto us a child is born who is called the mighty God”. When the birth happened the leaders promoted their own and scorned Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew). So it is today, the leaders continue to defend, their prince Obama while he trashes Israel. In the early days they chose Barabbas as their hero.

    It took 40 years, but devastation ensued.

  • All I have to say about Waters is that he does not know his history. I used to think he was a great guitarist when I was growing up but now he has shamed himself beyond belief. Sad that he is like that. Pink Floyd was my favourite band when I was young here in the UK. If he read his history he would know that he views are wrong.

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