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