Roger Waters Concerts Dropped by German TV

Plans to air Roger Waters concerts on German television next year have reportedly been scrapped over concerns that the Pink Floyd co-founder’s outspoken support for Palestinian statehood constitutes antisemitism.

As The Guardian reports, the crux of the controversy rests on Waters’ participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS — specifically through his efforts to discourage other artists from performing in Israel. Calling their decision a “reaction to antisemitism accusations” against Waters, multiple TV and radio affiliates of Germany’s national broadcast network have stated they’re sending “an important signal” to Jewish communities, and it’s one that’s already been publicly acknowledged by at least one advocacy group.

Praising what he deemed a “quick and decisive reaction by the broadcasters,” president of the Central Council of Jews Josef Schuster called it “an important signal that rampant antisemitism against Israel has no place in Germany.” Naturally, Waters’ camp has a different point of view; reached for comment by The Guardian, tour director Marek Lieberberg — who, as the paper notes, is the son of Holocaust survivors — disputed the network’s interpretation of Waters’ stance.

While acknowledging that there’s a very valid concern for “clearly visible and growing antisemitism” in Germany, Lieberberg insisted that equating Waters’ support for Palestinian statehood — and working to end Israeli occupation of disputed territories — with a dangerous ideology is “absolutely ridiculous.” And while he noted that he personally doesn’t support the BDS, Lieberberg argued that a difference of opinion doesn’t necessarily preclude people from working together. “I cannot and do not,” he added, “want to deny [Waters] his right to freedom of opinion.”

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