Roger Water is in hot water once again after his latest show in Berlin, Germany included the rocker wearing Nazi-like uniforms, a black pig adorned with a Star of David, and a not so subtle comparisons of Israel to the Nazis. It is no wonder that Jews around the world are calling him antisemitic and the German police are investigating the concert for hate crimes.
If you don’t know who he is, Roger Waters shot to fame as a rockstar in the 1960s and 70s as part of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. Waters was a bassist and vocalist for the band and one of its key creative visionaries, helping to create hit songs such as “Another Brick in the Wall”, which Waters wrote, and their albums such as “Animals” and “The Dark Side of Moon”.
Waters split from the band in the 1980’s and has been making his way as a solo artist since that time, releasing his own music and touring the world, including Israel believe it or not, although he wouldn’t do that again today. In the past few years Waters has become known more for his controversial viewpoints, most notably his anti-Israel stance which has on occasion crossed the line into antisemitism such as his assessment that the “Jewish lobby” controls American politics.
To think that his Berlin concert would be anything other than an attempt by Waters to spread his political views would be naive. The concert was almost scrapped before it began due to a legal challenge. However, a court in Frankfurt ruled the concert could go ahead as planned, citing artistic freedom. The judge noted that aspects of the show were “tasteless”, but that the show could go on.
Roger Waters is a self proclaimed anti-fascist. His dressing up in Nazi-like grab was not to show himself as a Nazi, but an attempt to show the evils of Naziism and how easy it is for normal people to turn to hatred. He held a gun that was connected up to pyrotechnics and theatrically shot into the crowd, likely depicting the evil actions of Nazis as they gunned down their innocent victims.
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) May 25, 2023
However, while Waters understands the evil of Naziism on one level, he fails to understand it fully. The Nazis tried to systematically wipe out the Jewish people and they ultimately managed to murder six million Jews throughout Europe. It was the largest genocide in history, far greater in the number of victims than any other genocide, and there are still less Jews alive today than before the Holocaust because so many were murdered.
What Waters fails to understand, however, is that the spirit of antisemitism that drove the Nazis during World War II is still alive today. That spirit of antisemitism has infected the hearts and minds of people around the world, including Israel’s enemies such as Iran and Palestinian terrorists. But it has also infected the minds of those who hate the Jewish state of Israel.
Waters unfortunately aligns himself with modern day Jew haters who seek nothing more than wiping out the Jewish state. In fact, it’s fair to say that Roger Waters is himself one of those infected by antisemitism.
Waters knew what he was doing in Germany. He was performing in Berlin, the capital of Hitler’s Nazi empire. He dressed up in garb depicting Nazi-like fascists. He adorned a pig with the Star of David, not the flag of Israel, but the Jewish symbol itself. And then he spelled out the names of victims of what he would term fascist regimes.
The names he projected included Anne Frank, a Jewish child who was murdered at the hands of the Nazis. And Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist for Al Jazeera who was accidentally killed by Israeli forces during a gun battle with terrorists. Something Israel has apologised for.
There was nothing subtle about Waters’ message. He was conflating Israel with the Nazis.
Let’s think about that for a moment. He was conflating Israel, the Jewish state, the people who were the largest victims of the Nazi regime, with the Nazi regime itself. It is shameful and it is antisemitic.
Israel’s official Twitter account did not held back, charging Waters of desecrating the memory of both Anne Frank and those murdered in the Holocaust.
“Good morning to everyone but Roger Waters who spent the evening in Berlin (yes, Berlin) desecrating the memory of Anne Frank and the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust,” Israel’s foreign ministry tweeted.
Likud MK Danny Danon blasted him for the comparison to the Palestinian Al-Jazeerah journalist, who, he pointed out, was “shot while in an active combat zone.”
“Waters seeks to compare Israel to the Nazis,” he added. “He is disgracefully one of the biggest Jew haters of our time.”
An online commentator, Ari Ingel, agreed, saying, “Roger Waters as antisemitic as ever, as the message he is pushing is quite clear, Israelis are like Nazis.”
Berlin: Roger Waters compares the tragic death of a Palestinian journalist covering a fire fight bw Israeli forces & Palestinian militants to the death of Anne Frank who was led to the slaughter w/ over 6 million others Jews at the hands of the Nazis. (1/2 – thread) pic.twitter.com/KOzIqlEyPH
— Ari Ingel (@OGAride) May 23, 2023
In addition to everything that went on inside the arena, outside anti-Israel activists were allowed to spread their hatred against Israel. Concert goers were handed flyers on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which seeks Israel’s destruction. Meanwhile a Jewish group (not Israeli) were reportedly stopped from handing out flyers, despite the fact they were outside the venue.
The result of all of this is that the Berlin police have now opened an investigation into the whole situation. And now, British politicians are calling on an upcoming concert by Roger Waters at the AO Arena in Manchester to be cancelled.
Roger Waters has shown himself, time and time again, to be hateful of Israel and having contempt for the Jewish people. He has no shame in what he’s doing, but he is a popular voice in this world and he is using his voice for evil.
We must pray he turns away from his antisemitic hatred of Israel.
This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.
We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.