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November 1, 2022 1:37 pm

Top German Official Calls for Cancellation of Upcoming Roger Waters Concert Tour

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Roger Waters on stage in Los Angeles. Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

One of Germany’s top officials charged with combating antisemitism has called on German music venues to cancel the forthcoming tour of Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd vocalist who has emerged as one of the world’s most vocal supporters of the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) campaign targeting Israel.

Speaking on Monday, Uwe Becker — the antisemitism commissioner in the central state of Hesse — commented that Waters had “developed more and more into a hateful opponent of Israel.”

“For years, Waters has been using his reputation to agitate against the Jewish state in a defamatory way and to question its legitimacy,” Becker said. “Waters is a bad example of aggressive, Israel-related antisemitism and he should therefore not be given an artistic platform in Hesse.”

Waters’ “This is Not A Drill” Tour in 2023 will see him playing at venues across Europe. Concerts in the German cities of Hamburg, Cologne, Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt. Becker called on the organizers of the May ’23 concert in Frankfurt, the largest city in Hesse, to cancel the event, echoing a similar call issued last month by Ludwig Spaenle, the antisemitism commissioner in Bavaria, for Waters’ concert in Munich to be canceled.

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Becker referred to the display of antisemitic tropes at Waters’ previous concerts, included balloons shaped like pigs and bearing a Star of David. “Roger Waters is not welcome in Hesse with his antisemitic worldview,” he said.

FKP Scorpio, an events production company staging Waters’ concert in Hamburg, claimed it had signed a contract with the musician without being aware of his outbursts regarding Jews and Israel. The company told the dpa news agency that it was conducting a “close dialogue” with Waters’ management.

As well as actively promoting the Palestinian cause, Waters has expressed support for Russian President Vladimir Putin since the invasion of Ukraine in February. An open letter he wrote addressed to the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, blamed “extreme nationalists in your country” for launching the war, to which she replied: “Roger Waters, you should ask for peace from the president of another country.”

As a result of his pro-Russian statements, all of the dates in Poland for Waters’ tour have been canceled.

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