US intervenes in Roger Waters anti-Semitism debate, claims artist has long history of bashing Jews

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is weighing in on the controversy over Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, saying his recent performances in Germany were anti-Semitic, an assessment shared by many in Israel and the pro-Jewish community. Israeli.

The State Department said Tuesday that Waters had “a long track record of using anti-Semitic tropes” and that a concert he performed late last month in Germany “contained images that were deeply offensive to the people. Jew and minimized the Holocaust”.

The comments came in a written response to a question posed at Monday’s State Department press conference about whether the administration agreed with Rogers’ criticism of the U.S. special envoy to fight the coronavirus. anti-Semitism, Deborah Lipstadt.

“Lipstadt’s special envoy quote-tweet speaks for itself,” the ministry said.

“The concert in question, which took place in Berlin, contained images that were deeply offensive to the Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust,” the department said. “The artist in question has a long track record of using anti-Semitic tropes to denigrate the Jewish people.”

In a May 24 tweet after the concert in Berlin, during which Waters appeared on stage in a costume reminiscent of Nazi-era Germany, Lipstadt denounced the musician, echoing the comments of the anti-Semitism envoy. EU Katharina von Schnurbein, who is German.

“I totally agree with @EUAntisemitism the condemnation of Roger Waters and his despicable distortion of the Holocaust,” Lipstadt wrote in response to a tweet from von Schnurbein.

Von Schnurbein had taken issue with Waters’ performance in Berlin as well as his previous comments related to Israel and the Holocaust.

“I am sick and disgusted by Roger Waters’ obsession with minimizing and trivializing the Holocaust and the sarcastic manner in which he delights in trampling on the victims, systematically murdered by the Nazis,” von Schnurbein wrote. “In Germany. Enough is enough.”

Shortly after the concert, Berlin police said they opened an investigation into Waters on suspicion of incitement because of the costume he was wearing.

Footage on social media showed Waters firing an imitation machine gun while dressed in a long black coat with a red armband. Police confirmed that the costume could constitute glorification, vindication or endorsement of the Nazi regime and therefore a disturbance of the public peace.

Waters dismissed those accusations in a statement on Facebook and Instagram, saying “the elements of my performance that have been questioned are very clearly a statement of opposition to fascism, injustice and bigotry in all its forms.” .

He claimed that “attempts to portray these elements as something else are dishonest and politically motivated”. Waters has also drawn ire from the pro-Israel community for his outspoken support for the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel.

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