Pink Floyd founder, Roger Waters, a vocal advocate for boycotts of Israel, came under heavy criticism for promoting “Russian propaganda” after asserting that the rescue organization, White Helmets, that operates in Syria, were “fake” and encouraged terrorists, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.
In a video posted by a group called Hands Off Syria, Waters spoke of an audience member who wanted to come up on stage and speak about the chemical weapons that had been used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad against civilians earlier this month in the Damascus suburb of Douma.
“He is one voice, I personally think he is entirely wrong, I believe the organization that he purports to represent and who he supports, the White Helmets, are a fake organization that is creating propaganda for jihadists and terrorists, that’s what I believe,” Waters said. He also warned that listening to the “propaganda of the White Helmets and others we would be encouraged to encourage our governments to go and start dropping bombs on people in Syria.”
A website, The New Arab, noted that “Russia, one of the main backers of the Syrian regime, has claimed the attack was faked by the White Helmets – on orders from the British government.” Russia also has denied that the attack had even taken place.
Shortly after the concert, the United States, United Kingdom, and France launched a coordinated attack against several chemical weapons installations located inside Syria.
Idrees Ahmad, a professor in Scotland’s Stirling University and a signatory of a letter in February calling on the world to end the destruction in Syria, called Waters “a conspiracist crank promoting racist slurs against Syrian first responders.”
A once respected musician, @rogerwaters debuts new career as a conspiracist crank promoting racist slurs against Syrian first responders. Earlier he told an audience to read the ramblings of an alt-Right supporting Aussie loon. https://t.co/6lD9sAl5mt
— Idrees Ahmad (@im_PULSE) April 14, 2018
Janine DiGiovanni, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations accused Waters of “promoting Putin’s propaganda.”
This is incredibly disappointingly… I loved Pink Floyd as musicians. But WTF does Roger Waters know about #Syria ? He once promoted the #Palestine cause. Now he’s promoting #Putin’s propaganda SyriaCivilDef https://t.co/ugKAlGUCIv
— Janine di Giovanni (@janinedigi) April 14, 2018
Waters is known for pressuring other artists from performing in Israel. Most like Nick Cave of the Bad Seeds, defy the pressure. Cave said of performing in Israel last year, “It suddenly became very important to make a stand, to me, against those people who are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians and to silence musicians.”
Acclaimed filmmaker Ian Halperin, who produced a documentary about Water’s campaign to isolate Israel last year, characterized the musician’s efforts to boycott Israel as “anti-Semitic,” and described the efforts as “deplorable, baseless and unfounded.”
[Photo: Dmitry Zolotarev / YouTube ]