After the concert cancellations in Germany following Roger Waters‘ political statements, comedian Katie Halper started a petition to reverse the decision. Many famous names like Pınk Floyd’s Nick Mason, Eric Clapton, and former Genesis singer Peter Gabriel showed their support for the musician by signing the petition.
Roger Waters has been in the public eye for the last few months due to his political opinions and criticisms of the Israeli government’s actions towards Palestine. Because of his remarks, some have accused the musician of being antisemitic. However, he has denied these claims with extensive explanations and stood his ground. Still, the adverse comments have kept increasing, leading to the cancellation of some of his concerts, including the one in Frankfurt scheduled for May 28.
Opposing the German government’s decision, Katie Halper initiated a petition to defend Waters earlier this month, which quickly attracted significant attention. Many people from the industry, including Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd’s drummer Nick Mason, and Eric Clapton, signed the petition to support the musician.
Halper’s petition included a detailed text defending the vocalist and referred to the German government’s decision as unjust by explaining the real motives behind his words. By citing his former explanations, she stated that Waters’ words were aimed at the Israeli government, not the people.
The text read:
“Waters’ criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is part of his long-term advocacy on behalf of human rights across the globe. Waters believes ‘that all our brothers and sisters, all over the world, irrespective of the color of their skin or the depth of their pockets deserve equal human rights under the law.’ With regard to Israel and Palestine, he says, ‘My platform is simple: it is the implementation of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all our brothers and sisters between the Jordan River and the sea. Antisemitism is odious and racist, and I condemn it, along with all forms of racism, unreservedly.’”
After this, the comedian suggested that the officials were dangerously confusing Waters’ criticisms of the government with antisemitism. She stated that Jews were not ‘a monolith who blindly support Israel,’ and antisemitism should not be weaponized like this.
To explain her point, she wrote:
“The officials vilifying Waters are engaging in a dangerous campaign that purposely conflates criticism of Israel’s illegal and unjust policies with antisemitism. This conflation perpetuates the antisemitic trope, which presents Jews as a monolith who blindly support Israel. Some of Israel’s loudest critics are Jews. But those who weaponize antisemitism are fine contributing to it.”
Finally, Halper asked the governments and officials who canceled the Pink Floyd vocalist’s shows to stop listening to the groups who preferred to ‘see Waters’ music removed than engage with the issues his music highlights.’ She called on them to reverse their decision and consider how genocide, racism, and antisemitism ‘can be stopped today in other parts of the world, including in Occupied Palestine.’
The last part of the statement went as follows:
“Officials in Germany, concert organizers, and music platforms must not succumb to the pressure of those individuals and groups who would rather see Waters’ music removed than engage with the issues his music highlights. We call on those who have canceled Waters’ concerts to reverse their decisions and consider their own history of antisemitism, racism, and genocide and how instances of these can be stopped today in other parts of the world, including in Occupied Palestine.”
Roger Waters’ political views, which he does not hesitate to share, are still considered controversial and have led to a backlash. However, many people, including those from the industry, think these adverse reactions are unjust and demand the officials reverse their decision to cancel his shows through the ongoing petition.