TEL AVIV – A leading U.S.-based pro-Israel group attempted to give former Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters a taste of his own medicine by slamming the owners of major stadiums for giving the Israel-boycotting musician a platform, and urging them to boycott his current tour.
The Zionist Organization of America on Friday addressed major corporations, including AT&T, Wells Fargo, Staples, American Airlines, Verizon and Prudential, that own stadiums and concert venues in the U.S. in a statement, saying they “are tarnishing their reputations by allowing their names to be associated with a vicious anti-Semite who promotes lies about Israel and the Jewish people.”
The statement called for the companies to “reject and condemn Waters and his hateful attacks against Jews and the Jewish State of Israel.”
Waters is currently on tour in the US and Canada and is expected to stop in 46 cities for 61 concerts over the next several months to promote his latest album Is This the Life We Really Want?
ZOA also criticized radio stations across North America for promoting the tour and giving away free tickets. The group described Waters as an “unabashed anti-Semitic bigot” and said he has no business spreading his “Jew-hatred” and “lie-filled, hateful anti-Israel rants.”
“If Waters was viciously attacking another minority with lies and factual distortions, there’s no doubt that he would be a pariah and not welcome at a single concert venue,” said ZOA’s National President Morton A. Klein and Steve Feldman, Executive Director of ZOA’s Greater Philadelphia chapter, who authored the statement.
“Corporations would not associate themselves or their names with him, and radio stations would not be promoting his concerts and encouraging people to attend them,” they wrote.
Waters, who has in the past compared Israel to Nazi Germany, uses bullying tactics to persuade other musicians not to perform in the Jewish state. His most recent target is Radiohead, who are scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv in July. He told the band to “think again” about playing in a country “where a system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people.” But the band ignored the call to boycott, with Thom Yorke telling Rolling Stone magazine that it was “deeply distressing” that Waters and other Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists “choose to, rather than engage with us personally, throw s**t at us in public.”
While a few artists, including Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill, caved to pressure from the BDS movement, most have ignored it, with Tel Aviv seeing concerts from the likes of Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Santana, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi in recent years. Britney Spears is also scheduled to play in the city next month.