Waters is working with lawyers to ensure the concerts happen
In February, Frankfurt, Germany city officials instructed a local venue to cancel a show with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, calling him “one of the most widely known antisemites” in the world. Authorities appear to be referencing Waters’ criticism of Israel’s activity in Palestine. He has described Israel as an “apartheid state,” yet maintains that he is critical, not of Judaism, but Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
A coalition of prominent artists, musicians and journalists have signed a Change.org petition asking that Waters be allowed to perform in Frankfurt, Germany. The list includes the likes of Peter Gabriel, Susan Sarandon, Eric Clapton, Brian Eno, Tom Morello, Nick Mason, and countless others.
The petition author, journalist Katie Halper, cites this quote from Rogers, “My platform is simple: it is implementation of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all our brothers and sisters between the Jordan River and the sea. Antisemitism is odious and racist and I condemn it, along with all forms of racism, unreservedly.”
She adds that “The officials vilifying Waters are engaging in a dangerous campaign that purposely conflates criticism of Israel’s illegal and unjust policies with antisemitism. This conflation perpetuates the antisemitic trope which presents Jews as a monolith who blindly support Israel. Some of Israel’s loudest critics are Jews. But those who weaponize antisemitism are fine contributing to it.”
She concludes, “Officials in Germany, concert organizers, and music platforms must not succumb to the pressure of those individuals and groups who would rather see Waters’ music removed than engage with the issues his music highlights. We call on those who have canceled Waters’ concerts to reverse their decisions and consider their own history of antisemitism, racism and genocide and how instances of these can be stopped today in other parts of the world, including in Occupied Palestine.”
The outspoken rocker shared an update with fans on social media this week, demanding, “Hey Frankfurters, leave my free speech alone.” Waters has instructed his lawyers to “ensure concerts in Munich and Frankfurt in May 2023 take place as contracted.”
“Human rights and freedom of speech for all peoples under German law must prevail, which is why I’m taking this stance to ensure the will of the few will not prevent me from performing in Frankfurt and Munich,” Waters writes.
“I am taking the unprecedented step of appealing to the law to protect me from the unconstitutional actions of two authorities which seem to rely upon the fundamentally false accusation that has been made against me; namely that I am antisemitic.
“I want to state for the record and once and for all that I am not and never have been antisemitic and nothing that anyone can say or publish will alter that. My well publicized views relate entirely to the policies and actions of the Israeli government and not with the peoples of Israel. Antisemitism is odious and racist and I condemn it, along with all forms of racism unreservedly.
“I am not going to and do not need to keep making my position clear on this issue. I am confident that truth and the law will prevail and that these authorities will not succeed in denying any of my basic human rights.”
Waters addressed the controversy in November, stating, “I wouldn’t miss my gigs in Germany for anything!” He claims that “The Mayor of Munich and some members of the Green and SDP political parties and some other mouthpieces for the Israeli lobby have been slandering me, accusing me of being an anti-semite and also a Putin apologist. I am neither of those things. Never have been and never will be. I am however well-known for being a passionate supporter of peace movements in general and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as signed in Paris on the 10th of December 1948 in particular.”