German public broadcaster WDR has cancelled plans to air concerts next year by British ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters over accusations of anti-Semitism, Ben Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
Malca Goldstein-Wolf launched a petition campaign — “No support for the antisemite Roger Walters with public funds of the WDR” — to prevent the television outlet from using taxpayer money to fund a “Jew-hater,” which garnered nearly 1,400 signatures.
The activist accused the WDR of spreading anti-Semitism by televising Waters, who is a prominent supporter of the anti-Semitic, Palestinian-led Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) campaign.
Tom Buhrow, the chairman of the Cologne-based TV outlet, responded in a Facebook post to Goldstein-Wolf on Saturday, stating that “I sense that not many words and arguments will convince you, rather only clear action. The cooperation with the concert was ended.”
Goldstein-Wolf also referenced an earlier WDR scandal, where the broadcaster initially sought to censor “Chosen and Excluded – The Hate for Jews”, a documentary film about contemporary anti-Semitism in Europe. Public pressure, however, compelled the news organization to show the film.
Five state television and radio affiliates of the national network have now pulled out of broadcasting concerts by Waters in Berlin and Cologne scheduled next summer “in reaction to anti-Semitism accusations against him.”
RBB, part of the ARD network, said it wanted to take a stance against Jew hatred. “Taking a clear position here is an important signal for RBB to the Jewish communities in Berlin and Brandenburg,” the network’s director Patricia Schlesinger said in a statement.
“The quick and decisive reaction by the broadcasters …is an important signal that rampant anti-Semitism against Israel has no place in Germany,” said Josef Schuster, president of The Central Council of Jews in Germany.
Last week, Australian rocker Nick Cave spoke about his admiration for Israel and his decision to perform in the country as a stance against BDS, singling out Waters for criticism. “If you do come here….you have to go through public humiliation from Roger Waters and his partners and no one wants to embarrass themselves publicly,” he stated. “For 20 years, I said, ‘let’s give it up,’ before deciding to perform in Israel.”
A long list of artists, including Metallica, Madonna, Elton John, Rihanna, Ozzy Osbourne, and others have also ignored the pressure and performed in Israel in recent years. Other top artists performing this year include the legendary American rock band Guns N’ Roses finished their world tour in Tel Aviv this summer, as well as Rod Stewart, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, and Aerosmith.
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