Pink Floyd's Roger Waters In Israel Storm

Singer accused of anti-semitism...
Roger Waters

Former Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters has been accused of anti-semitism after making comments on Israel's role in the Middle East.

Roger Waters has never shied away from his political motivations. The singer's work is littered with anti-war references, while a recent showcase of 'The Wall' led to the Pink Floyd songwriter grappling with new reference points.

At one point in the show, a pig shaped balloon was flown over the crowd adorned with symbols which included the Star of David. Speaking in an American online interview last week (via The Guardian): "The parallels with what went on in the 1930s in Germany are so crushingly obvious".

American based commentator Rabbi Shmuley Boteach then accused the singer of anti-semitism, writing in the New York Observer: "Mr Waters, the Nazis were a genocidal regime that murdered six million Jews. That you would have the audacity to compare Jews to monsters who murdered them shows you have no decency, you have no heart, you have no soul."

Clearly perturbed, Roger Waters spoke from New York at the weekend to dismiss the Rabbi's claims. "I do not know Rabbi Boteach, and am not prepared to get into a slanging match with him. I will say this: I have nothing against Jews or Israelis, and I am not antisemitic. I deplore the policies of the Israeli government in the occupied territories and Gaza. They are immoral, inhuman and illegal. I will continue my non-violent protests as long as the government of Israel continues with these policies".

"If Rabbi Boteach can make a case for the Israel government's policies, I look forward to hearing it. It is difficult to make arguments to defend the Israeli government's policies, so would-be defenders often use a diversionary tactic, they routinely drag the critic into a public arena and accuse them of being an antisemite."

Roger Waters added: "The Holocaust was brutal and disgusting beyond our imagination. We must never forget it. We must always remain vigilant. We must never stand by silent and indifferent to the sufferings of others, whatever their race, colour, ethnic background or religion. All human beings deserve the right to live equally under the law."

The new issue of Clash magazine is out right now. It's always on the money with breakthrough acts worth listening to. So, go and see.

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