Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, sharply criticized Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters Tuesday after Waters “doubled down” on his support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel with a new call for supporters to embrace a “cultural boycott of Israel.”
In an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner, Rabbi Cooper, whose recent criticism of Waters has been singled out by the musician, said that a letter Waters published, addressed to his “colleagues in Rock and Roll” calling on them to boycott Israel shows a “complete disconnect from reality,” in light of the ongoing renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the mounting death tolls last week in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, totaling some 1,700 dead.
“If I were a musician looking to protest human rights abuses today, I would be looking at Syria, at Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, everywhere but Israel,” Rabbi Cooper said. “The fact that Roger Waters would call for a boycott against Israel, when Israelis and Palestinians are actually meeting today, shows a complete disconnect from reality, and probably really just a disinterest in even the headlines of today’s newspaper, and certainly, a fundamental bias; I guess you could call it a hatred.”
“You can dress it up anyway you want, but how can Waters come down on the side of BDS, when the two sides are sitting down in negotiations, which was allegedly the original reason for creating this movement, and doing so given that the entire neighborhood of the Middle East, with the exception of Israel, is boiling over in bloodshed?” Rabbi Cooper asked.
In the open letter, Waters says he has been a supporter of the BDS movement for seven years, but made no reference to the angry outcry from human rights organizations, Jewish groups and even the Vatican newspaper, condemning a pig-shaped balloon prop emblazoned with a Star of David that appeared during his recent concerts.
Rabbi Cooper added that “the notion that he might be performing in Berlin and Warsaw around time of the [Jewish] high holidays should be enough of an outrage that maybe some of the local politicians in Germany and Poland and every country on his tour will begin to speak out directly against this horrific anti-Semitic character.”
“Unlike him, Jews in these countries are not just worried about theoretical shooting of pig balloons, but they actually are required to have armed guards at their synagogues, because of the threat of real violence,” Rabbi Cooper said. “It would also be appropriate for Jewish communities and other religious groups in the cities where he performs to speak out against him now.”
On the first day of its publication, more than 1,900 Roger Water fans have “liked” his open letter calling for the cultural boycott. Rabbi Cooper said that the British musician must have known that his anti-Semitic stance would receive a warm response …read more
Source: The Algemeiner