Roger Waters Responds to Star of David Controversy
Roger Waters is fighting back after being called "an open hater of Jews." In an open letter to fans, the Pink Floyd singer refutes Rabbi Abraham Cooper's claims following Waters' use of the Star of David on a pig during a July 18 show in Belgium.
The Star of David was one of many symbols on the inflatable pig that circles the audience during 'Run Like Hell.' Once video surfaced, Cooper -- the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group -- admonished Waters with pointed comments. He asked entertainers to denounce "his anti-Semitism and bigotry" in an article on Algemeiner.com.
"Often I can ignore these attacks but Rabbi Cooper’s accusations, are so wild and bigoted they demand a response," Waters writes on his Facebook page before defending himself and his actions.
Waters refutes that he is anti-Semitic by pointing out that the Anti-Defamation League said they didn't believe Waters had "anti-Semitic intent." The crucifix, crescent and star, hammer and sickle, Shell Oil logo and McDonalds sign were also stamped on the pig.
As for being "Jew-hating," Waters points out his relationship with Simon Wiesenthal and his daughter-in-law, who he says is Jewish.
Rabbi Cooper doesn't use the word Nazi in the article Waters references at the start of his letter, but the singer goes on to strongly defend himself against being a Nazi sympathizer.
Not only did my father, 2nd Lieutenant Eric Fletcher Waters, die in Italy on February 18th 1944 fighting the Nazis, but I was brought up in post war England where I received the most thorough education on the subject of Nazism and where I was spared no horrific detail of the heinous crimes committed in the name of that most foul ideology. I remember my mother’s friends Claudette and Maria, I remember their tattoos, they where survivors, two of the lucky ones.
My Mother spent the whole of the rest of her life, involved politically to make sure the future for her children and grandchildren, in fact for everyone’s children and grandchildren, black, white, Gentile, Jew, Latino, Asian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, et al, had no Sword of Damocles in the form of the despised Nazi Creed hanging over their heads."
He ends by clarifying his intent. "In a functioning theocracy it is almost inevitable that the symbol of the religion becomes confused with the symbol of the state, in this case the State of Israel, a state that operates Apartheid both within its own borders and also in the territories it has occupied and colonized since 1967.
"Like it or not, the Star of David represents Israel and its policies and is legitimately subject to any and all forms of non violent protest. To peacefully protest against Israel’s racist domestic and foreign policies is NOT ANTI-SEMITIC."
Waters has been critical of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, calling for a cultural boycott similar to the one conducted against South Africa during the apartheid era. He spoke to the United Nations on the issue last November.