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April 4, 2013 12:02 pm

Pink Floyd Member and Israel Critic Roger Waters Event Canceled at NY Jewish Venue

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Roger Waters, a member of the Russell Tribunal. Photo: Wikimedia commons.

A planned event with Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters, a vocal critic of Israel, at New York City’s 92nd Street Y has been canceled following opposition efforts from the pro-Israel community.

The 92nd Street Y, which was scheduled to host “A Conversation With Rogers Waters” on April 30, wrote to its email list Wednesday, “This event has been cancelled. We will be issuing refunds to all ticket-holders.” The bassist and co-lead vocalist of Pink Floyd, Waters accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid” and “international crimes” in a November 2012 address at the United Nations, and last fall was also at the forefront of efforts to boycott an Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

On Wednesday, the watchdog group JCCWatch.org issued a “Jewish Community Alert” email that asked supporters to voice their opposition to the Roger Waters event. Besides for the 92nd Street Y, JCCWatch.org asked supporters to contact leaders of the UJA-Federation of New York, which provides funding for the Y.

“It’s absolutely outrageous that Jewish community funds are going to help Roger Waters spread his anti-Semitic message,” Richard Allen of JCCWatch.org said in the email.

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David P. Steinmann, a Manhattan resident who lives around the corner from the Y, wrote in an email letter to UJA-Federation CEO John S. Ruskay, UJA-Federation President Jerry W. Levin, and 92nd Street Y Executive Director Sol Adler that, “Roger Waters is an Israel hater with a public anti-Semitic message. Because of his position as the lead singer of Pink Floyd, he has both high visibility and (undeserved) credibility.” Waters “has worked to persuade other artists to boycott performing in Israel, has led the efforts to boycott the Israel Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall and persuaded Stevie Wonder to cancel a benefit performance for Friends of the IDF—the very Israelis who risk their lives every day to preserve the Jewish state of Israel,” Steinmann wrote.

“To permit [Roger Waters] to appear at the Y with the implicit—and knowing of his anti-Israel activities— explicit approval of his hatred for the Jewish state and its Jews, would be a self destructive thing to do to the Y, to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel,” he wrote.

Ruskay, Levin and Adler did not immediately return requests for comment from JNS.org.

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  • dror, israel

    i saw waters performing in israel, also went to london to see “the wall” concert at the O2 arena.
    love the music, my favorite band, no doubt.

    i admire waters as an artist but he’s a politically moron who knows nothing about israel.

    waters, keep performing with playback and keep your mouth shut.
    🙂

    • Craig

      I agree about the music and also Waters being a moron, saw the Wall Live at Yankee Stadium last Summer. Got a $400 ticket for $100 from a girl whose friend didn’t show up, so none of my money actually went to Waters.

      I was disgusted by his anti-Israel imagery in the show including a red Star of David on a floating pig balloon, Stars of David falling out of airplanes like bombs and images of a young Jewish boy with the words “F— Y–” on the wall behind him. I took photos and video of this at the concert and would like to post them here if possible so more people can be exposed to the racism, hypocrisy and outright intolerance of Roger Waters.

  • Andrew

    For a has been Mr Waters is doing very well thank you. As for him drowning in a sea of oblivion….. over 3 million people have recently paid over $377 million to observe his oblivion.

  • But no doubt, the Anti Israel BDS community will take the credit

  • Gail Abramson

    What was the Y thinking? Doesn’t anyone in that organization look at who they invite? Waters may be good fodder for a Times retread piece on the evils of Israel, but the Y? We’re our own worst enemies. Enough already.

  • Shoshana

    The biter bit. I love it. What goes around, comes around, Roger you mamzer.

  • mh8169

    There are to many Jewish organizations who have a progressive bent will invite individuals such as Waters who support this nonsense of labeling Israel a racist and aparthied state. Their lack of knowledge and insight to what is actually occurring in Israel and adjacent countries is appalling.

  • Roger Waters is a has-been, in any case. He was finished long before this. and is simply trying to retain the attention of the press. When you’re drowning in the sea of oblivion, some people will say or do anything to retain the attention of the press. They can always say, “I was misquoted.”

    Yeah, right.

    Blub…blub….blub…

  • An American Jew

    I LOVE PINK FLYOD…. but I HATE ROGER WATERS!!

    Yes, this proves it is possible to love art made by an artist, but hate the artist’s bigotry.

  • David Scholem, Jerusalem

    Doesn’t anybody at the New York-Jewy cultural hub, the JCC, do their homework? But much worse, do they do their homework and not give a hoot? What is “Jewish” about this “Jewish” community centre?

  • richard sherman

    Roger Waters is a card carrying member of Al Queda….everyone knows that.

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