Ex-Floyd frontman Waters in ‘new low’ with Nazi-Israel comparison on latest tour

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Ex-Floyd frontman Waters in ‘new low’ with Nazi-Israel comparison on latest tour

Graphics beamed onto the stage during Roger Waters concerts in Germany have compared the shooting of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh with that of Anne Frank, who died in a Nazi death camp.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Images used during Roger Waters concerts (pic Twitter)
Images used during Roger Waters concerts (pic Twitter)

Former Pink Floyd star Roger Waters has been accused of a “new low” after using graphics on his current tour that compare the death of Palestinian Al Jazeera  journalist Shireen Abu Akleh with that of Anne Frank, the Jewish girl diarist who died in the Belsen Nazi death camp.

In a stunt that appeared to link the actions of Israeli forces with those of Hitler’s Nazis, giant images of both females names were beamed onto the stage during Waters current concert tour in Germany, with the claim that Abu Akley had been shot for the “crime” of being Palestinian.

The graphics also state that Frank, known worldwide for her powerful diary written between 1942 and 1944, was punished with death for the “crime” of being Jewish.

Lucca, Italy. 11th july, 2018. Italy, Lucca: singer Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) performs live on stage at Lucca Summer Festival 2018 for ?Us + Them? tour 2018

Jewish Leadership Council co-chief executive Claudia Mendoza tweeted in response to the images: “I didn’t think it was possible but this is a new low for Roger Waters.”

The Community Security Trust’s Dave Rich added:”Appropriating the memory of Anne Frank to make an anti-Israel point is antisemitic. I shudder at the thought of this grotesque display being shown in British arenas when his tour comes here. ”

After the graphics were used during Waters gig in Berlin, the Israel foreign ministry platform on Twitter also wrote:”Good morning to every one 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.”

The images of Frank and Abu Akleh, likely to have been shot dead by an Israeli soldier near a refugee camp on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Jenin last May, were first placed on social media on May 17th, after the journalist Nicholas Potter attended one of Waters concerts.

They were used again at the Floyd co-founder’s more recent gig in Berlin.

The IDF has admitted there was a “high possibility” Abu Akleh was killed by a soldier, but maintains the shooting was accidental and a criminal investigation is not warranted.

At one stage in the gig, the ex-Pink Floyd star appeared on stage dressed in an SS uniform. The stunt was claimed to be a satirical one, challenging authoritarianism and threats to freedom of speech.

The journalist wrote:”An evening with Roger Waters in the mercedes-benz-arena. no counter-protest, only a few BDS supporters. inside over the system an announcement from mr waters: ‘the show will start in 10 minutes. and a court in Frankfurt has ruled that I am not an antisemite’. the arena cheers.”

Potter also tweeted:”Anne Frank, ‘criticism of Israel’ and SS uniforms – Roger Waters presents his ideological worldview in the Mercedes-Benz arena. a bizarre three-hour political performance with monotonous pink floyd cover versions and populist slogans.”

He added during the gig:”Now Roger has apparently disguised himself as a Waffen-SS with a red armband and opens fire with a dummy rifle.”

The journalist also claimed that a group of protesters against antisemitism were moved away from the concert venue by police, but demonstrators in support of the BDS movement were allowed to distribute material to fans attending the Waters gig.

Last month Waters  won his legal battle to perform a concert in Frankfurt after attempts to ban the event amid accusations of antisemitism.

Magistrates acting on behalf of the German city had instructed the venue two months ago to cancel the concert on 28 May, accusing Waters of being “one of the most widely known antisemites in the world”. 
Waters, who has always denied accusations of antisemitism, took legal action against the decision.

The legal action noted the location of the Frankfurt gig at  the Festhalle, in which, during the November pogroms of 1938, more than 3,000 Jewish men from Frankfurt and surrounding areas were rounded up, abused and later deported to concentration camps where many of them were murdered.

Waters has repeatedly claimed his anger is towards Israel, not Judaism, and has accused Israel of “abusing the term antisemitism to intimidate people like me into silence”.

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