A planned concert by Roger Waters in Frankfurt, Germany has been canceled after the city council called the former Pink Floyd singer/bassist “one of the world’s most well-known antisemites.” Waters was scheduled to perform at the city’s Festhalle on May 28, on the spot of what was a Jewish detention camp during WWII, where 3,000 Jewish men were held on Kristallnacht (“Night of the Broken Glass”) in Nov. 1938 before being sent to their deaths.
“The background to the cancellation is the persistent anti-Israel behavior of the former Pink Floyd frontman, who is considered one of the most widely spread antisemites in the world,” the council said in a statement according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “He repeatedly called for a cultural boycott of Israel and drew comparisons to the apartheid regime in South Africa and put pressure on artists to cancel events in Israel.”
The JTA reported that the city of Frankfurt made reference to the historic significance of the concert hall — which it partly owns — and said it was cancelling the show over Waters’ support of the controversial BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions). BDS is a Palestinian-led movement that calls for a boycott of Israel to force the nation’s government to change its policies toward Palestinians.
The JFA also noted that past Waters concerts have featured a flying pig balloon emblazoned with a Star of David (as well as a number of other corporate logos and symbols) and that he’s compared the actions of the Israeli government to that of South Africa under apartheid and Nazi Germany and questioned Israel’s right to exist.
At press time a spokesperson for Waters had not returned Billboard‘s request for comment; additionally, at press time the concert was still listed on Waters’ official site. Waters’ This Is Not a Drill tour is still slated to play a number of other gigs in Germany, including Hamburg (May 7), Cologne (May 9), Berlin (May 17) and Munich (May 21).
While Waters does not appear to have issued an official statement on the cancellation, he did retweet messages of support from an author and editor at the Palestine Chronicle who denied that the singer is an antisemite and an editor at the Delhi, India-based Marxist publishing house Leftword Books, who defended Waters’ stance on Israel. “Love you my brother,” Waters tweeted at Vijay Prashad, adding, “shoulder to shoulder. F–k em’!”
In Sept., Waters canceled planned shows in Krakow, Poland amid outrage over his stance on Russia’s unprovoked, yearlong war in Ukraine, which he has said was the fault of Ukraine and NATO. An official with the Tauron Arena in Krakow, where Waters was scheduled to perform two concerts in April, said they would no longer take place; the shows have been scrubbed from Water’s site. “Roger Waters’ manager decided to withdraw … without giving any reason,” Lukasz Pytko from Tauron Arena Krakow said in comments carried by Polish media outlets.
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