December 19, 2018

German Broadcasting Station Ends Sponsorship of Roger Waters Concert Due to Waters’ Criticism of Israel

A German broadcasting station is revoking their sponsorship from a Roger Waters concert due to Waters’ frequent criticism of Israel.

Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), a public broadcasting station in Germany, was set to broadcast Waters’ concert in the city of Cologne in June until they received an email from Malca Goldstein-Wolf, who had garnered 1,500 signatures on a petition for WDR to pull their sponsorship.

In her email to WDR, Goldstein-Wolf accused the station of using taxpayer dollars to provide a platform to “a hater of Jews.” Tom Buhrow, the director of WDR, responded to Goldstein-Wolf that her petition convinced him to end the station’s sponsorship of Waters.

“Our cooperation for that concert is finished,” wrote Buhrow.

Buhrow added that the move is “a personal message of trust and understanding” between the station and the Jewish community.

Waters has come under fire with his vehement criticisms of Israel and embrace of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The former Pink Floyd bassist has featured the Star of David along with dollar signs on a floating pig at his concerts, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned as a “grotesque display of Jew hatred.” Waters has also attempted to pressure artists like Radiohead and Bon Jovi from performing in Israel.

In a 2013 interview with Counterpunch magazine, Waters compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews.

“There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on,” said Waters “From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except that this time it’s the Palestinian people being murdered.”

He also claimed that “the Jewish lobby is extraordinary powerful here” in the United States.

Waters’ remarks prompted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to criticize him for perpetuating “conspiratorial anti-Semitism.”

The musician is also planning on putting on a concert in Bethlehem in December to show solidarity with the Palestinians.