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November 27, 2018 11:29 am

Top US Jewish Groups Call for Sponsors to Pull Support of Roger Waters’ Mexico Tour

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Roger Waters. Photo: Jethro via Wikimedia Commons.

Top US Jewish groups are urging sponsors of anti-Israel activist and ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Water’s upcoming concert tour in Mexico to withdraw their support.

In recent years, the aging rock star has spoken out against Israel’s West Bank security barrier and become a vocal proponent of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Waters is set to perform seven times over the next two weeks in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. He has spent the past month and a half touring South America and Central America, including stops in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Costa Rica.

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) Chairman Arthur Stark and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said their appeal to the sponsors was based on the “hostile, bigoted, and antisemitic comments made by Mr. Waters on numerous occasions.”

“He continues to espouse these offensive views — and should not be given a stage to spread his anti-Israel and anti-Jewish messages,” Stark and Hoenlein declared.

They continued:

“In the aftermath of the events in Pittsburgh and with the rise of antisemitism globally it is essential that we speak up clearly and demand zero tolerance of intolerance, no excuses and no exceptions. Those who purchase tickets should know the nature of the person they are supporting. And we believe the vast majority would not want to do so. Mr. Waters has not only espoused his views but he has pushed other entertainers to boycott Israel, often using extreme methods and pressure. His comments are not based on a criticism of a particular policy, but of Israel’s right to exist.”

“We call on elected officials in all the countries where Waters will appear to make clear their rejection of his offensive and inciteful comments.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) Associate Dean and Global Social Action Agenda Director Rabbi Abraham Cooper singled out Citibank in his own statement on the Waters tour, saying, “In 2018 Jews in the Americas and Europe have to deal with surging and even deadly antisemitism. Against this backdrop it is inconceivable that a global corporate giant would be a financial enabler of a musician whose concerts’ trademark is a giant floating pig with a star of David and who daily demeans the largest Jewish community in the world — the Jewish state of Israel. We expect Citibank to be responsive to our community’s justified concerns and fears. At the minimum Citibank should suspend all future sponsorship of this bigot.”

Citibank face similar pressure ahead of a Waters tour of North America two years ago, prompting the company to clarify that it was not a sponsor of the tour, but had simply offered a “limited time pre-sale of tickets for cardmembers for select shows,” a Citibank public affairs official said at the time.

“We have no plans to work with this artist in the future,” the official added.

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