‘Antisemitic’ Roger Waters Concert Tour Of Germany Under Threat as Munich Mulls Cancelation
by Ben Cohen
Nearly three weeks after the city of Frankfurt announced that it was canceling a forthcoming concert by former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters over his antisemitic and pro-Russian outbursts, the city council in Munich is seeking to do the same.
On Monday, a coalition comprised of the center and left-wing Social Democratic, Volt, Pink List and Green Parties issued a joint appeal for Waters’ May 21 concert at Munich’s Olympiahalle to be canceled. The group added that if contractual obligations were to prevent its cancelation, concert-goers should be greeted outside the venue by Israeli and Ukrainian flags, as well as handed information sheets detailing Waters’ offensive comments.
The proposal will be debated at Tuesday’s meeting of Munich council’s economic committee. If agreed, the Mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, would be mandated to instruct the venue’s management to cancel the concert, the German dpa news agency reported.
Waters’ scheduled stop in Frankfurt on May 28 — one of five German cities where he intended to appear as part of his “This is Not A Drill 2023” tour — was canceled by the city’s council following a Feb. 24 meeting. The council roundly condemned Waters for backing the campaign to subject the State of Israel to a regime of “boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS)” as a prelude to its elimination as a sovereign state, and for pressuring other artists not to perform in Israel. It also highlighted the use of antisemitic imagery in Waters’ past concerts, including a balloon shaped like a pig and embossed with a Star of David and various corporate logos.
In the same week, a cross-party group of politicians on the Cologne City Council called for Waters’ May 9 concert at the Lanxess Arena to be canceled. Similar appeals have been issued in Hamburg and Berlin, where Waters is also booked for concert dates.
Waters’ recent activities have included a Feb. 8 appearance at the UN Security Council. Invited to address the body by the Russian mission to the UN, Waters delivered a rambling speech in which he claimed to be speaking on behalf of the world’s “voiceless majority” while denouncing Ukraine’s democratic government as “provocateurs.”
The singer’s detractors number his former Pink Floyd bandmate, guitarist David Gilmour. Responding to an interview Waters gave to a German news outlet earlier this year in which he accused Israel of waging “genocide,” Gilmour and his wife, the novelist Polly Samson, tweeted: “Sadly Roger Waters, you are antisemitic to your rotten core. Also a Putin apologist and a lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynistic, sick-with-envy, megalomaniac. Enough of your nonsense.”