MIAMI (WSVN) - Roger Waters is bringing his tour to South Florida, but he’s not getting the warmest welcome from the Jewish community.
Fans flocked to Waters’ concert Thursday night, but there’s fallout for the Pink Floyd co-founder over alleged anti-Semitic remarks. Major sponsor, American Express, pulled out and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation took out a full-page ad to say that the rock star is not welcomed. “The things that he says about Israel are going to be challenged with facts and truth,” said Sara Goldrafel of Stand With Us, a pro-Israel advocacy organization.
“He’s being very destructive,” said Carol Brick-Turin, of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. “Roger Waters is being very destructive. That kind of hate is not welcome in Miami.”
Brick-Turin has called on fans and sponsors to boycott the bassist and singer-songwriter. The organization took out a full page ad in “The Miami Herald” and launched an aggressive online campaign.
“It’s what he’s about. Roger Waters is all about having a statement to make,” said Pink Floyd fan Keith Lawson.
The issue stemmed from Waters’ vocal pro-Palestine and anti-Israel remarks, use of Jewish imagery in his act and support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions of Israel or the BDS movement.
“We couldn’t stay quiet. We couldn’t stay silent,” Brick-Turin said. “We believe that the ultimate motive of the BDS movement is to eliminate the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people, and when one wants to eliminate that homeland, we believe it’s tantamount to anti-Semitism.”
In April, Waters was one of 50 famous figures that led an unsuccessful campaign calling for Radiohead to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv.
In June, Waters told “Rolling Stone” magazine, “Fifty years living under military occupation. Fifty years for a people with no civil rights. Fifty years of no recourse to the law. Fifty years of apartheid.”
He also added, “The picket line exists to shine a light on the predicament of the occupied people of Palestine, both in Palestine and those displaced abroad, and to promote equal civil rights for all the people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, no matter what their nationality, race or religion.”
His statements didn’t sit well with Brick-Turin. “It’s a complete distortion and outright lie,” she said.
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation is not the only organization fed up with the rock star’s stance. In a statement, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in part, “The First Amendment allows Mr. Roger Waters and all Americans to voice their opinions on any topics. However, anti-Semitic remarks should never be tolerated.”
The Miami Beach Parks and Rec Department announced on Thursday that members of the teen drama club won’t take the stage with Waters as planned because of the controversy.
“Well, good for them! They’re taking a stand,” Brick-Turin said. “We really applaud them taking a stand.”
Some Pink Floyd fans are choosing to stand with Waters.
“I don’t know anything about any antisemitism with Roger Waters,” said Lawson.
Waters said he is not anti-Semitic but pro-human rights.
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