Jewish groups around the world pile pressure on Bertelsmann to drop Waters

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Jewish groups around the world pile pressure on Bertelsmann to drop Waters

A letter coordinated by Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), a non-profit entertainment industry organisation, has attracted the support of 14 of the highest-profile Jewish organisations across the developed world.

Roger Waters on stage
Roger Waters on stage

The world’s biggest Jewish organisations have signed an open letter calling on a music group to end its relationship with Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters.

The English musician, 79, is represented by Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG), and has made a habit of offending Jews around the world, often appearing to stray beyond his support for Palestinian rights.

Now, a letter coordinated by Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), a non-profit entertainment industry organisation, has attracted the support of 14 of the highest profile Jewish organisations across the developed world.

In it, the signatories took issue with Waters’ performance in Germany in May, when he donned a Nazi-like uniform and compared Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian journalist killed covering the conflict, to Anne Frank.

“We believe that artists, given their massive influence in the world today, have a unique and important responsibility to speak out against bigotry,” said the CCFP signatories.

“Mr. Waters has repeatedly shown that he’s determined to do the opposite – and would instead use his voice, his platform, and his public microphone to fan the flames of hatred.”

The letter has support from the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, B’nai B’rith International, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Canada, the UK’s Community Security Trust, the Conference of European Rabbis, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF), European Jewish Congress, Simon Wiesenthal Center, South African Jewish Board of Deputies, World Jewish Congress, and Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland (Central Council of Jews in Germany).

The US State Department has said that Waters’ recent concert “contained imagery deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust” and that he has “a long track record of using antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people”.

Waters has defended his appearance as a fascist demagogue at his concerts, adding that Anne Frank “became a permanent reminder of what happens when fascism is left unchecked”.

In a statement, he said he had been the subject of “bad faith attacks from those who want to smear and silence me because they disagree with my political views and moral principles”.

However CCFP director Ari Ingel said Waters “has peddled and promoted antisemitism and leveraged his immense platform to spread his hateful views to millions worldwide”.

Ingel added that the letter “demonstrates the Jewish community’s concern that corporations cannot sit idly by while their business partners promote hate”.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: