Through Hell and High Waters

On the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, while Germany’s Chancellor Merkel was condemning in a synagogue in Berlin resurgent antisemitism, BDS’s poster boy Roger Waters was contributing to it during his concert tour of South America

By Sidney V. Kaplan

While the imagery of Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”) in 1938 is of synagogues throughout Germany and Austria going up in flames, the image of Roger Waters’ concert 80 years later was of adding fuel – not ‘water’ – to that fire.

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80 years On. Commemorating Kristallnacht, Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel speaks during a ceremony at the Rykestrasse Synagogue in Berlin on November 9.

On the same evening that Angela Merkel spoke at Berlin’s Rykestrasse Synagogue – one of the 1,400 synagogues that were set ablaze that night in 1938 – condemning a “worrying” resurgence of anti-Semitism, Waters was giving a concert in Buenos Aires, using his platform to condemn Israel.

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Shattering Sounds Of Impending Holocaust. Jewish shops and businesses destroyed by the Nazis during Kristallnacht in 1938.


Was it coincidence?

There was Merkel reminding that Kristallnacht had “paved the way to the Holocaust” describing it as the “the greatest rupture of civilization,” and then there was Waters trying to delegitimize the state of Israel. Again, while Merkel was warning that “the terror of Nazism did not happen overnight but grew gradually,” and that the German public’s general acceptance of anti-Semitism is what allowed the Nazi regime to carry out the Holocaust, Waters reveled on stage in Buenos Aires stirring his audience to hate the Jewish state.

All this made me reflect back to June 2018 when I attended a Roger Waters concert in Dublin. I had agonised whether to go or not.

While I remain a huge fan of his music from the Pink Floyd era, my conscience played heavily on me in supporting a musician who uses his stardom to stir up hatred against the Jewish people.

Feeling conflicted, I nevertheless felt I needed to enter the lion’s den of one of his concerts if only to better understand how this Machiavellian musician is no less masterful in his crusade to delegitimize the state of Israel.

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Take My Word. Master manipulator Roger Waters rages against Israel


Machiavellian Musician

Attending the concert in Dublin meant more than crossing the Irish Sea but traversing a far more tempestuous ‘Waters’ who delivered like a ‘one-man band’, a skillfully scripted and choreographed visual tirade against Israel to a captive audience of over 50,000 fans.

First in the cross-hairs was Facebook’s pioneer visionary, one of the world’s youngest billionaires, and yes – a JEW!

Resist Mark Zuckerberg” read the giant message on the stage’s screen.

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Waters At His Worst. Seen here at the Dublin concert in June 2018, Waters singles out one of the most high-profile Jews in the world suggesting Jews of trying “to control the world” or “control the media.” How different is this from the Nazi caricatures of Jews in Der Stürmer, the weekly German newspaper published by Julius Streicher in the 1930s and 1940s?

This was followed by carefully crafted antisemitism by projecting messages such as “To discriminate against anyone on the basis of their religion or ethnicity is obscene”, to be followed by “Resist Israeli Anti-Semitism” and “Yes, Israel discriminates against Palestinians on the basis of religion and ethnicity.”

The ‘lyrics’ in Dublin were poison!


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Theatre Of The Absurd. The former Pink Floyd bassist, Roger Waters, is now nearly as famous for his promotion of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as he is for his music. Anti-Israel vitriol emblazoned on screen at concert in Dublin June 2018 attended by the writer.


Troubled Waters

In the parlance of Pink Floyd, Waters was off ‘The Wall” when he called Israel “an Apartheid state” comparing its Government to Nazis and accusing Israel of being the “worst human rights offender in the world.”


Does Mr. Waters read the newspapers or watch the TV and learn of what’s going on in Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, Turkey, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan to name a few.

Why single out Israel, and give a free pass to the world’s worst human rights abusers and mass murders? No message on the screen against President Assad for having manically massacred hundreds of thousands of his civilian population, many of them Palestinian, and at times, using chemicals characterized by the UN as a “war crime”!

Assad achieved this genocide not only with the armed support of Russia’s President Putin and the mad murderous mullahs of Iran but with the support by way of a deathly silence from much of the world – a silence that included the muted voice of Roger Waters.

However, silence is not ‘golden’ when it is selective silence that kills!

What explains why one of the smallest countries in the Middle East attracts the most attention?

Why is it that the most free, open, and democratic society in the Middle east provokes the most global derision?

Is it because Israel is a Jewish State – a country that a resurgent antisemitic world can still not yet come to terms with seventy years after independence and ratified by a United Nations that now appears to have second thoughts because of the change in the composition of its member states since 1948?

This may explain why Waters was so vocally abusive in Dublin – not against Assad – but against the Jewish state, a state whose military medical corps at the same time were whisking away under the moonlight severely injured Syrian men, women, and children across the hostile frontier into armored ambulances towards hospitals in Israel for intensive care.

As one Syrian patient remarked:

Israel is not the enemy. Bashar is the enemy.”


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Capital Offence. Israel’s capital is portrayed as dominantly Muslim in this imagery of Jerusalem and Roger Waters.


Bass Player Baseless

And the enemy of Israel today is an English songwriter, singer, bassist, and composer and anti-Semite and his name is Roger Waters.

We have seen dangerous men before; men in the 20th century who too used their voice to devalue people resulting in mass murder. I reflect on the 50,000 fans at the Dublin concert who came there out of love with many leaving charged with hate!

From Dublin to Buenos Aires, Roger Waters is on an itinerary of Jew hate.

The day before he performed in the Argentine capital where he displayed a pig with a star of David, he participated in an event of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.

Noting that medieval antisemites used an iconography that featured a Jewish pig or Judensau to humiliate and dehumanize Jews, the Simon Wiesenthal issued a statement that “Using this symbol treated with the technology of the 21st century, Waters contributes to the array of anti-Semitic hatred.”


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Hot Air. The inflatable pig floats above the audience during the Roger Waters’ performance of The Wall in Belgium


Waters came to Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina to promote BDS despite that the ‘Boycott Divestment Sanctions’ organisation has been declared illegitimate in a growing number of European jurisdictions based on the attacks in Nazi Germany on Jewish shops and enterprises to the cries of “Kaufen nicht bei Juden” (No Buying from Jews). “The timing of his hatefest tour,” said Dr. Shimon Samuels, the center’s director for International Relations, “led up to today’s 80th anniversary of ‘Kristallnacht’’.”


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The Artful Dodger. Roger Waters defends the use of a pig and Star of David while denying he is anti-Semitic.


Waters performed two shows in Buenos Aires, following concerts in Brazil and Uruguay.

And we can see the immediate terrifying impact.

Only two weeks later, Argentina soccer fans were chanting “kill Jews to make soap”.

On Thursday 23rd November, Atlanta, a professional Argentine football team from a Jewish neighborhood played All Boys at their stadium in Buenos Aires. After the game which was won by Atlanta 3-2, violent clashes erupted instigated by the All Boys fans who were waving Palestinian flags and T-shirts bearing Iranian symbols and chanting “kill the Jews to make soap”.

Some spectators sought sanctuary in the stadium’s locker rooms until police arranged for them to exit the area safely. All Boys fans also assaulted police, destroying property. Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director Samuels has called for the Argentine Football Association “to sanction the club for this anti-Semitic offense.”

Does Waters see himself in any way contributing for this antisemitic behavior having only a fortnight earlier, ranted against the Jewish state in the same city?

Of course not?

Focusing selectively on Israel, why does Waters not take heed what the head of his church has warmed? Justin Welby, the head of the Church of England wrote shortly before Christmas in The Sunday Telegraph that millions of Middle East Christians are on the verge of “imminent extinction.”

He lamented that “In the birthplace of our faith, the community faces extinction,” calling it, “the worst situation since the Mongol invasions of the 13th century.”

In the early 20th century, Christians made up to 20% of the population in the Middle East; that figure has now dwindled to around 5%. This has nothing to do with Israel; on the contrary, Israel is the only country in the entire Middle East where Christians are flourishing and free to practice their religion.

And in Iran that pledges to destroy Israel, ranks as the 10th worst country in the world according to World Watch List when it comes to the persecution of Christians.

Does this attract any interest in Mr. Waters?

Why does the BDS high-profile flagbearer not raise his voice against any of the many catastrophic human rights abusers in the Middle East and beyond?

Why, because Jews cannot be blamed!

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Counterpoint. Protesters exposing Roger Waters’ anti-Semitism in New York City.

It is little wonder why that the Simon Wiesenthal Center announced this week that Roger Walters comes in at 10th position in the list of ‘Top Ten Anti-Semites for 2018’. He was pitted against the likes of:

– radical African-American Islamist Louis Farrakhan

– the right-wing extremist Robert Bowers, who massacred 11 worshipers at     Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Congregation

– British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

– the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) for inter alia enabling “Hamas’s massive child abuse with a ‘peace’ curriculum that erases Israel’

Needless to say, I will not be attending another Roger Waters concert. Unless of course, he sees the light, and performs in Tel Aviv!



image012 (4).jpgAbout the writer

Sidney Kaplan is originally from  Cape Town South Africa and a founding member of ‘Manof’, a moshav founded in the Galilee in 1978. Today, he is retired, having been involved in marketing in Cape Town prior before coming to Israel, and in Israel, one of three partners involved in the flower growing industry for export.



(Feature picture credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP)



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