The Shmooze

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Rebuffs ADL's Anti-Semitism Accusations

By Michael Kaminer

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Like the song on Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” says, “the show must go on.” That’s the word from ex-Pink Floyd honcho Roger Waters, who has forcefully rebuffed accusations his new solo stage show includes anti-Semitic imagery.

As the Shmooze reported this week, the Anti-Defamation League lashed out at Waters for an animated stage sequence where Star-of-David-shaped bombs and dollar signs fall from planes during the song “Goodbye, Blue Sky.”

Writing on Facebook, Waters called the ADL’s accusation “a serious charge that demands a response… There is no anti Semitism in ‘The Wall’ show…. ‘Goodbye Blue Sky’ describes how ordinary people, military and civilians alike, suffer trauma in the aftermath of war. The visuals that accompany the song show waves of B52 bombers dropping various symbols from bomb bays on a war ravaged landscape.”

Waters added that the Stars of David and dollar sign were accompanied — “in no particular order” — by a crucifix, hammer and sickle, crescent and star, Mercedes sign, and Shell Oil sign. “There are no hidden meanings in the order or juxtaposition of these symbols,” he added. “The point I am trying to make in the song is that the bombardment we are all subject to by conflicting religious, political, and economic ideologies only encourages us to turn against one another.”

According to the New York Post, the 67-year-old rock star has been “a longtime vocal critic of Israel.” In a statement to the Post, ADL national director Abraham Foxman said that “while [Waters] insists that his intent was to criticize Israel’s West Bank security fence, the use of such imagery in a concert setting seems to leave the message open to interpretation, and the meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money.”

Waters also asserted that Foxman should have rocked out at the show himself before reacting. “Had Mr. Foxman come to my show before passing judgement [sic] and commenting publicly he might, I hope, have held his peace,” Waters wrote in his Facebook post. He added that, “being from England,” he’d never heard of the ADL until this week.

Will Foxman show up in a “Dark Side of the Moon” t-shirt to catch a tour date? ADL officials didn’t return a request for comment.


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