Roger Waters Labeled an 'Open Hater of Jews' by Human Rights Group

Musician condemned for depicting a Star of David on an inflatable pig, Disturbed's David Draiman also expresses anger.

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Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters caused an outrage from a Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, by depicting a Star of David on an inflatable giant pig during his July 18 performance in Belgium.

Center's Associate Dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, expressed repugnance with the musician's actions, calling him an "open hater of Jews."

"With this disgusting display Roger Waters has made it crystal clear," he said (via Algemeiner). "Forget Israel, never mind 'limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.'

"Waters is an open hater of Jews," Cooper stressed, "The video is beyond shocking. The only books this bigot should be getting should be with the Mullahs in Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood."

As one of the signature marks of Waters' concerts, the giant pig took various shapes and forms over the years, with the latest edition reportedly featuring a sign of oil conglomerate Shell and graffiti messages saying "Everything will be okay, just keep consuming" and "What's wrong with people?"

Concert goer Alon Onfus Asif described his experience to Yediot Ahronot, saying, "I came to the concert because I really like his music, without any connection to his political stance toward Israel. And I had a lot of fun, until I noticed the Star of David on the inflatable pig.

"That was the only religious-national symbol which appeared among other symbols for fascism, dictatorships and oppression of people," he continued. "Waters crossed the line and gave expression to an anti-Semitic message, beyond all his messages of anti-militancy."

The musician's behavior was also frowned upon by Disturbed frontman David Draiman, who asked the public via Twitter to condemn Waters. "I urge all my followers, colleagues and friends to condemn Roger Water's flagrant display of antisemitism," Draiman stated.

Former member of Pink Floyd publicly called for a cultural boycott of Israel back in March, describing it as "probably the most effective way to go."

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76 comments sorted by best / new / date

    VilliAsgeirsson
    Roger Waters has shown throughout his career that he despises war and oppression. He is unafraid to show it and uses whatever symbolism that works best. He has used the cross, star of David, the moon of Islam, the Mercedes star etc to make his point. Religions and corporations are tools to control the population and he understands this. He has openly criticised the wall closing off the Palestinian territories and compared it with the Berlin wall. He has compared the oppression of Jews in Nazi Germany with the oppression of modern day Palestinians. I have not once heard him celebrate what happened in Hitler's Germany. If he really hated Jews, he would be more accepting of fascism, I believe. I very much doubt that he hates Jews. I'm pretty sure he despises Zionists. But hey, taking things out of context is a fun thing to do when you want to further your own agenda. Using the anti-semetic stamp has long become an old and boring clique. It backfires. I love his music, but most of all, I admire a man of his status for not sucking up to the corporate world. People have been silenced for less. Keep it up, Roger! Keep fighting for a better world!
    Slackerbitch
    I was going to write something, but I believe this comment really sums up all of my thoughts about this incident. It's funny, this song (In the Flesh) was released back in 1979, and still today, almost 35 years later, people are ready to judge its symbolism without taking the time to really understand what the idea behind all of it is. Do your research before cursing Waters, because if you had done so, you'd know that this song, along with the show in this concert, is very much not against Jews. It is indeed against something, but I can tell you it is not Jews, or any religion for that matter.
    Mephaphil
    Some idiots can't separate opposition towards a state from opposition to people. They can be aimed at either or both. If he got offended its his fault for not picking the obvious one in a 50/50 situation.
    The_Dayman
    It honestly seems like it's ok to criticize any government except for Israel... Reading about the stranglehold they have on the Gaza Strip is shocking. "anti-semetic" is such an easy label to be given these days.
    coffinpilot
    Wish I had Rabbi Abraham Cooper's phone number , you'd be first choice to talk some sense into the man .
    deanwinchester0
    Israel isn't against palestinians, it's against terrorists who use their own people's situation to fight Israel because of their radical beliefs. Even during their last conflict Hamas was attacking Israel from within building of civilians and did nothing do defend their people. I live in Israel and I follow the situation from meters away, the media sells Israel as an aggressor, because no one wants to tell the truth that will lead to worldwide terrorist attacks. And for your information civilians in Palestine get limitless aid from Israel - medical, food, and any kind of aid. If you're a conscious human being, you're obligated to dig deeper into the situation and find out what's what, don't be a puppet of the media. I live in Israel and see this situation every day, my country does everything to protect me from terrorist threats, and I believe in it's right to do so. It's needless to say that expressing such hatred in the middle of a concert attended by Israeli fans is just disgusting. Love this artist or not, it's pure DISGUSTING.
    l0ld4v3
    Israel provided arms for latin american dictatorships. Dig in the history, it's well documented. That's the whole point Waters is trying to get across, no more countries going on war paths regardless of their reasons.
    fromzero
    I have Jewish friends. I have pakistani friends. I dont let either of those countries actions define the major religion of those countries. That being said the star of david is also the symbol of Israel. Israel is very corrupt but because they control the us media they can control the general mind set of the people and their side of the story. Ive seen pictures of israeli planes shooting rockets at American subs. Every government is corrupt, lies to its people and does horrible things.
    Sandman4991
    @deanwinchester0 1) You are a hypocrite. How can you tell us to "dig deeper into the situation and find out what's what" and be offended by Waters after seeing JUST A SIGN ON A GIANT PIG. You just didn't "dig deeper" into the lyrics of the song, of the whole album, and you don't understand the message carried by The Wall. I don't remember Waters expressing hatred of Jews there. There's no place to discuss the whole album here, but I'm sure you can find plenty of interpretations somewhere. 2) As for the Pig: it is used to express criticism, everything that appears on it, is there for some reason. And honestly, there's a lot of things that Jews should be criticised for. Example: every attempt to criticise is branded as anti-Semitism. Remember: not every Muslim is a terrorist, and not everyone, including Jews is a good man. 3) About symbols in general: It's a bit different situation, but I think it still can make a good example here. I'm Polish. The national flag of Poland is white-red. So is the flag used in The Wall. Does it mean Waters is an open hater of Poles? No. Nazi Germany also had a white-red flag and that's where the colours on The Wall came from. See what I mean? STAY OPEN MINDED, and yeah, "dig deeper", but it also applies to you, deanwinchester0 I didn't mean to offend anyone.
    solidrevolver20
    Stfu the media here in the US portrays Israel as the good guys but you are the same just like the rest of the middle east. People there get raped,killed,kidnapped, etc.
    jannick
    What a bunch of left-wing BS.
    VilliAsgeirsson
    What a lame comment. You have any kind of an argument or are you planning to stay stuck in this 20th century "us and them" nonsense? Left and right in politics is long dead. The world is in colour, not black and white.
    DifferentWorld
    I agree, except that you can totally be an antisemite without being a fascist. Hitler happened to be both but the two ideals are completely unrelated.
    Kavabangac
    There were Islam and Christian signs at show in Split on 23rd july. He is not aiming at Jews, but some religion ideals.At least thats what i think.
    JAHellraiser
    David Draiman seems to be the new Dave Mustaine in the last week or so. Throwing his 2 cents in even when it's not asked for.
    mohney66
    David Draiman has the right to express however he feels about a situation; it's up to the media to decide his opinion is worth noting in an article.
    Camron62\m/
    yeah, and David tends to usually know what he's talking about, and has interesting opinions.
    nick_b
    To be fair, Draiman is pretty devoutly Jewish, so it's kind of applicable for him to have an opinion.
    philippe.hellou
    It's so confusing to me that people rush to attack someone that is against Israel politics as anti-semitism. Don't mix religion and politic, then we'll be able to criticize one without touching the other.
    eatfresh1736
    While your confusion is justified, the star of David is both a political and a religious symbol. You can't use it to attack a country's policy without offending non-Israeli Jews worldwide.
    rcm93
    This reminds me of that simpsons episode when Homer gets hit in the stomach with the inflatable pig at hullabalooza and he becomes the cannonball guy, and then the doctor tells him to stop.
    Mkorn
    its not antisemetism. its about what israel is doing to people . i don't see how anyone can defend what they're doing in palestine/gaza
    dalejandro88
    Draiman, quit music and start your own talk show if you want to keep talking about anything but music. And everyone else, just get over it, there are worse problems in the world than getting "offended" by a flying pig balloon..
    Dalnor73
    You can hate Zionism and condemn the state of Israel without hating Jews. Do what you're doing and dont change a thing, Mr. Waters.
    Prostheta
    Oh, big ****ing deal. Join the big ****ing line of the over-sensitive faithful who cry out about persecution at any opportunity whether it is real or merely perceived.
    DickHardwood
    Waters practically gets off on being edgy,I doubt he's an antisemite for this..not that it was a cool thing to do, but still.
    stoltobot
    But what about the pigs? The innocent pigs whose image is used to associate with evil. Why does nobody ever consider the pigs?
    ivan_2894
    I drive a Mercedes and buy gas at shell, and I feel offended. Therefore i shall label RW as a "Mercedes Benz & Shell Hater"... God! It seems like this guy just arrived to planet earth. Doesn't he know what The Wall is? You cant label him as antisemitic for putting a star in an inflatable pig during a show amongst 23456 more symbols!
    conor.mcmillan.
    hes not being racist, hes pointing out the fact that the Israeli establishment are pigs because of their persecution of Palestinian people. very well put mr Bungle Bass
    Bungle Bass
    At a show called "The Wall" and he uses the symbol of Israel, with the situation at Gaza and the West Bank it does not really get much more obvious than that when it comes to political statements. Nothing to do with religious hatred, although paranoids and Zionists will try to spin it that way. Kind of ironic though how the Jewish people went from being treated like animals under the Nazis to treating the Palestinians like dirt in what is basically an occupation. If people like Draimen who are proud to be Jewish are going to go pseudo-political keyboard warrior on Twitter and other sites like that maybe they should point out that fact rather than a tiny symbol at a rock concert.
    The_Dayman
    I remember hearing the Gaza Strip being referred to as "the world's largest concentration camp". Maybe the wording was a little inappropriate, but considering the fact that Israel owns their waters, airspace, and nearly all the land connected to it, you can see why people feel that way.
    N7Crazy
    The Simon Wiesenthal Center - What a bunch of over-sensitive sissies. Waters was criticizing the state of Israel, not spewing hatred against jews. Israel openly oppresses the palestinian people, and Waters has criticized Irael about it for a long time. It's sad to see how some people will delibaretly misinterpret someone in order to distort their actual message.
    eatfresh1736
    Hamas oppresses their own people. Israel provides aid and full citizenship. They even gave a degree to a convicted terrorist a few weeks ago (not that I agree with that. They are also the only Democratic country in the Middle East (Egypt used to be a close second, but it's kinda confusing now)
    JamesCalla
    HAHAHA egypt a "democratic country"???? The egyptians HATED husni moubarak (the president before morsi) for all the shit he did, doing all kinds of shit to stay on his "throne" for 30-40 years!! robbing the country to have a sum of 70 billion dollars, Oh yeah, that's definitely democracy, that's what led gas stations in lebanon to be filled with egyptian workers to pump gas and wash cars
    l0ld4v3
    What if people don''t want israeli citizenship, but rather a palestinian citizenship? Democracy?
    kurtshapedbox
    I really wish David Draiman didn't exist.
    The_Dayman
    Seriously. What a ****in knob. It's obvious he didn't bother to look in to the story more.
    kurtshapedbox
    I could read many more articles about this story and it wouldn't change my feelings about David Draiman.
    enigmamtg
    I think the most unfortunate thing for Roger Waters here is the fact that the Star of David is not just the main feature of the flag of Israel, it's taken to be a symbol for Judaism more widely, so it's hard to tell what his real target is. I guess I have no proof that his target is Israel, rather than Judaism, but this is the explanation that makes sense to me.
    Haynus_aynus
    It's no surprise that a bunch of 14 year old guitar fanboys would defend Waters despite knowing nothing about the situation. First of all, he only added the cross and crescent moon to the pig AFTER Jews made a stink that the star of David was the only religious symbol on the pig. He also uses other anti-Jewish imagery including having planes drop "bombs" that look like stars of David, which is ironic considering it is the crescent moon that should be substituted for the bomb. I understand that most people here are probably quite young and don't actually know what has happened in the Levant over the last hundred years. They blindly accept ideas of "Israeli oppression" and "apartheid" and even more extreme terms like "ethnic cleansing" even comparing Jews to Nazis, which is pretty disgusting. The fact that a hero like Roger Waters promotes these ideas make them attractive, but they are ultimately fabrications of pro-Palestinian/radical left wing nutjobs. The truth is that Arabs in Israel have full citizenship, they vote, they serve in the Knesset, they hold all the same offices and jobs that Jews hold, they are even allowed to openly chant for the destruction of Israel, because of a nice little invention called "free speech". Compare this to the Palestinian refugees that are kept in squalid camps in neighboring countries like Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and others and are routinely denied citizenship by those governments to perpetuate their war against the existence of Israel. Jordan actually gave Palestinians citizenship (what a nice gesture in a country made up of 80% Palestinians), but revoked it in the late 80's once they gave up their claim to the West Bank. That brings me to the West Bank and Gaza, the "occupied territories". First of all, Israel withdrew their occupation/settlements/and population from Gaza in 2005. The people then "democratically elected" Hamas to "lead" them, a terrorist organization who uses women and children as human shields, in their one stated goal which is, not surprisingly, the destruction of Israel. As thanks for giving up the land, Hamas (and their Lebanese counter-part Hezbollah) routinely fire rockets at Israeli civilian centers, from a site in the immediate vicinity of a school or nursery, so that when Israel retaliates, they hit civilians. Then they can snap some quick photos and send it out to the world, which useful idiots like Waters parade around as undisputed fact. Entire events are often staged, photos from totally unrelated events are recycled, all in an attempt to win the public relations war, since as history will tell you, the Arab nation cannot defeat Israel militarily. There is actually a term for this, it is called "Pallywood", I'm not making that up. As for the West Bank (known as Judea and Samaria since the beginning of time up until 1950) no official sovereignty has ever been established over the area, by anyone. After the U.N. partition in 1947, in which the area west of the Jordan river was split, the Jews were going to receive three disconnected slivers of land, while the Arabs were going to receive Judea and Samaria, Gaza, and some other land in the north west, north of Tel Aviv. Of course, as we know from history, the Jews said YES WE'LL TAKE IT! The Arabs said NO WE WON'T LIVE NEXT TO A JEWISH STATE. Israel took the slivers and declared their independence and the very next day were invaded by the neighboring armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and others. Israel won and managed to capture just enough land to connect their three disconnected slivers of land. However, Jordan illegally annexed Judea and Samaria, renaming it the "West Bank" as in the west bank of the Jordan river and Egypt illegally annexed the Gaza Strip. It wasn't until Israel captured those areas in the 6 Day War, another war of Arab aggression with the intent of "driving the Jews into the sea" that the PLO and the Palestinian people "showed up" so to speak. They were simply Arabs living in Egypt and Jordan, but after 67, they were "the Palestinian people". Israel also occupied the Sainai, but ceded it back to Egypt for peace, a peace which cost Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat his life at the hands of radicals who didn't want peace with Israel. Anyway, I could go on and on about endless olive branches offered by Israel, only to be spit at by the Palestinians (and by spit I mean rocket fire). But the point is, that Roger Waters is an utter hypocrite who constantly bitches about the one country in the region who is a democracy, has freedom of religion, freedom of the press, free speech, and all those things we westerners take for granted, all while lauding actions of terrorists and thugs who practice REAL apartheid against women and people of other religious faiths. I mean, does no one really see the irony in a Palestinian woman chanting for the destruction of Israel?
    Adam1221
    I dont think Roger is antisemitic. I also love Pink Floyd. However his entire stance on Israel is absolutely based on ignorance and bending of facts. This isnt the place to open a discussion on Israel however, if a musician with millions of fans decides to speak his mind and be so forceful about it he has the obligation to know the facts first, which Roger certainly does not.
    SomeBlueKind
    Maybe Waters tried bacon for the first time and is trying to tell Jews that Christ cleansed the filthy mongrel, delicious pigs' bacon cause it is too good to live life without. Or something like that. Point being: bacon is delicious. If you disagree then you might as well be an impure, POS, cause I'm gonna put a jihad on you.
    EqualOfHeaven
    You have to be more tactful than that when making a statement against Israel, there's way too much anti-semitism tied up with the issue to go floating a pig with the Star of David on it. There's nothing Zionists love more than conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and there's nothing anti-Semites love more than twisting the facts to make their hatred seem popular and acceptable. I doubt Roger Waters is anti-Semitic, but he's making a strong statement in an arena where it's hard not be cast as a Zionist or an anti-Semite. The middle ground is thin and precarious, so a floating pig probably wasn't the best choice.
    Haynus_aynus
    Considering that "Zionism", which is the notion that the Jewish people have a right to self determination in their ancient home, not that Jews must replace everyone else, has been perverted these days, yes, by anti-semites, it is not coincidence that "zionist" is used today as a disparaging remark, like the words "kike" or "hebe" of past use, words that no longer seem politically correct because we are "casting judgment" against the Jews simply for being Jews, something people felt guilty about after many of them were massacred in the Holocaust. However, with the birth of the state of Israel (some might say rebirth), a convenient veil for anti-semitism now exists. Intellectuals who simply hated Jews could now confidently say they were "anti-zionist" or "anti-israel"... see we don't hate Jews, we hate the COUNTRY of the Jews... see the difference!? If I said "I hate Nestles, Hershey's, Nutella, etc..... but I don't hate chocolate", that would seem kind of stupid no? I agree though, that a lot of people who are anti-Israel are not necessarily anti-Jew, but they are sadly gullible and misinformed, and at the will of those who DO actually hate Jews.
    Raven_Flight
    I have a piece of that pig. On the concert I attended, it fell in the middle of the field at the end of the song and we had to destroy it. I think it had every other religious symbol on it, it's damn obvious he is not antisemitic. I'm really surprised that Draiman bought that.
    Blind In 1 Ear
    god people are dumb. i was just watching a documentary about them doing "the wall" at the berlin wall in 90' and waters said he think by now most people understand that he is being satirical and not really like that with some of the images and things said. he was worried the germans might see some of the imagery as anti german but it was more about those KINDS of people and oppression and dictatorship that the images are about. a2013, and this? get a damn clue people geez.
    Sleeping in
    It's so confusing to me that people rush to defend someone who speaks hatefully about a religion/people group. I don't see how this could be misinterpreted, it's blatantly obvious, no?
    zigras
    Being against a country's policies does not equal speaking hatefully about its religion. Not all Israelis or Jews agree with the suppression of the Palestinians and the theft of their land. You are the one who misinterprets.
    eatfresh1736
    Being against a country's policy, and singing about it is OK. Putting a religious and national symbol on a pig is not. Just because there is freedom of speech does not mean that everything that anyone says or does is ok. It just means that it's legal.
    niv0070
    Freedom of speech takes place as long as it doesnt hurt anyone... and putting a national symbol on a pig is beyond this freedom.
    Diatus
    Putting a symbol on a pig hurts people? Is that what you are saying? If so ... you are ****ing high
    rcm93
    Yea, its totally unacceptable to be offensive to people unless religion is concerned. If that's the rule then **** you, hypocrite wanker.
    niv0070
    Im always high.. but thats not the point. in Judaism the pig is a forbidden animal, you cant eat it or touch it. (I eat bacon and Im jewish...) so putting the shield of david on a pig is meant to be offensive. and BTW... I really dont give a **** about it.
    The_Dayman
    "freedom of speech takes place as long as it doesn't hurt anyone"? Seriously? Freedom of speech isn't there to protect popular and non-offensive views. Quite the opposite. He wasn't "beyond his freedom" at all, regardless if you agree with it, and regardless if he hurt people.
    AngelEyesRipper
    Fuck him, I'm quarter Jew.
    niv0070
    Fuck you, I'm a whole pure Jew and Israeli. and I hate religions! throughout the history all the wars broke because of religions.. so **** it... **** judaism, **** Islam, and **** christanity. because of religions we can't live in harmony! and BTW I dont believe that Waters is an antisemite because he did perform in Israel 8 years ago (if I remember good). I have been to that show being only 10 years old! the best time of my life.
    dr718
    It just amazes me the guy is still making a career out of one record. Plus, what a what a shock! A musician with an opinion on politics who has to be controversial so people will pay attention. These stunts are so boring the only surprise is that anyone pays attention to what they say outside of the music.
    denarni
    get your facts together, the show in belgium was on july 20 to start with and he used all sorts of religious and corporate symbols to make his point. (I was there)
    Grayglob
    The fact that so many people on here instinctively defend Waters is disturbing. I don't care how big of a Floyd fan you are, this was out of line period. It's a sad state of the world to see people condemn a country for defending its own people. How else would you recommend solving the problem of getting rockets lobbed on your head from a terrorist group that is unwilling to cooperate? HAMAS essentially killed it's own people by telling them not to evacuate and that Israel would not retaliate with force. Well a number of civilians dead later and they successfully manipulated everyone into believing they were the victims. And you wonder why they hate America...because we still have idiots here that actually believe all this nonsense!