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B’nai Brith Urges MLB to End Advertising for Roger Waters

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January 31, 2020
VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 06: Roger Waters walks the red carpet ahead of the “Roger Waters Us + Them” screening during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 06, 2019 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

B’nai Brith International President Charles O. Kaufman and Executive Vice President and CEO Daniel S. Maraschin urged Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred to stop advertising for Roger Waters’ upcoming North American tour.

Kaufman and Maraschin wrote in a letter Jan. 29 that Waters, the former bassist for Pink Floyd, is openly anti-Semitic, pointing to his support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and arguing that Waters frequently demonizes Israel.

“[Waters] has blamed ‘the Jewish Lobby’ for intimidating anti-Israel critics like him,” they wrote. “And he has falsely labeled the Jewish state a ‘racist apartheid regime’ and claimed Israel is guilty of ‘ethnic cleansing.’”

Kaufman and Maraschin stated that such statements fall under the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. They also pointed to concerts where Waters has displayed the Star of David on a floating pig as an example of his anti-Semitism.

“Major League Baseball has figured prominently in the advancement of civil rights and the struggle against hatred, most notably with the integration of the sport in 1947,” Kaufman and Maraschin wrote. “B’nai Brith is saddened and outraged that baseball – the sport of Jackie Robinson, Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax, and Roberto Clemente – would use its online resources to publicize an individual with an alarming history of anti-Semitic hatred.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center echoed B’nai Brith’s letter in a tweet.

“.@rogerwaters is a major league #antiSemite – @MLB should shut him out,” they wrote.

MLB told the Associated Press that they would send a private response to B’nai Brith.

Musicians like David Draiman, the lead singer of the heavy metal band Disturbed, have been critical of Waters and the BDS movement in the past.

“The very notion that Waters and the rest of his Nazi comrades decide that this is the way to go ahead and foster change is absolute lunacy and idiocy,” Draiman said in a May 30 interview with a Disturbed Facebook fan page. “It makes no sense whatsoever. It’s only based on hatred of a culture and of a people in a society that has been demonized unjustifiably since the beginning of time.”

Waters’ This Is Not a Drill tour starts on July 8 in Pittsburgh, Penn. and ends on Oct. 3 in Dallas, Tex.

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