An upcoming Rogers Waters show in Frankfurt, Germany has been cancelled after the city council described the Pink Floyd musician as “one of the world’s most widely-known antisemites”.
The gig was due to be held on May 28 at Festhalle in Frankfurt, a publicly owned venue. However the municipal government announced that the gig would be cancelled over the musician’s views on Israel.
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the cancellation notice cited Waters’ boycott of Israel – also known as the BDS campaign – talks with Hamas-affiliated media, comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa and anti-semitic imagery at shows.
It also referenced the sensitivity surrounding the venue, which was used as a detention centre for some 3000 Jewish people before being deported to concentration camps in 1938.
Waters has not yet officially commented on the cancellation, but he re-shared a TikTok video of US-Palestinian journalist Ramzy Baroud who defended the musician as an “anti-racist”.
“Thanks Ramzy! You tell’em my brother,” Waters said, with three Palestinian flag emojis and a dove. “Love R.”
Thanks Ramzy! You tell’em my brother.🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸🕊️
— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) February 26, 2023
Water’s views on Israel have sparked controversy over the years. Earlier this month, David Gilmour attacked his former Pink Floyd bandmate on Twitter, continuing a decades-long rift between the pair over claims of anti-semitism.
Gilmour’s wife, the author Polly Samson, shared a tweet in which she accused Waters of being “antisemitic to [his] rotten core”.
She continued: “Also a Putin apologist and a lying, thieving, hypocritical, tax-avoiding, lip-synching, misogynistic, sick-with-envy, megalomaniac. Enough of your nonsense.”
Gilmour then re-shared Samson’s tweet, adding that “every word [is] demonstrably true”.
Shortly prior to Gilmour’s post, Waters himself issued a statement in which he called Samson’s comments “incendiary and wildly inaccurate” and said he “refutes [them] entirely”. He added that he is currently “taking advice as to his position” regarding the claims.
NME contacted Waters’ spokespeople for a further response.
Samson’s comments came after Waters recently interviewed with German newspaper Berliner Zeitung, in which he discussed his views on Israel and the Russian-Ukraine war, among other topics.
Per a translated version of the interview on the musician’s website, Waters was asked if he still believed that the state of Israel was comparable to Nazi Germany. “Yes, of course,” he replied. “The Israelis are committing genocide. Just like Great Britain did during our colonial period.”
During an interview with Rolling Stone in October last year, Waters also referred to Israel as “a supremacist, settler colonialist project that operates a system of apartheid” for its continued occupation of Palestinian territories.
Waters also insisted he was “absolutely not antisemitic”, and argued that “saying Israel does not have a right to exist as an apartheid state, any more than South Africa did or anywhere else would, is not antisemitic”.
Next month, Waters will embark on the European leg of his ‘This Is Not A Drill’ farewell tour, kicking off in Lisbon, Portugal on March 17. He will then come to the UK from May 31, with stops in Birmingham, Glasgow, London and Manchester.
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