Pink Floyd star Roger Waters has written an open letter defending his pro-Palestinian campaign, insisting: “I am not anti-Semitic.”
Waters, who is a well-known supporter of the Palestinian cause, was criticized after he beamed a Star of David symbol onto a flying inflatable pig during his The Wall Live Tour concert in Belgium in August. The backlash mounted in December when he compared the modern state of Israel to Nazi Germany.
He has now penned an open letter to Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper defending his stance and insisting he has nothing against Jews.
An extract from the letter reads, “I am vociferous in my support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for basic human rights, including their right to self-determination. I believe all the indigenous people of Palestine, or for that matter anywhere in the world, deserve equal rights under the law. It is true that I oppose the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the maintenance of the siege of Gaza. It is not, however, true, that I am an anti-Semite or that I am against the Israeli people.
“I am neither of those… Because I am a critic of this Israeli government’s policies, and in the absence of this Israeli government producing cogent arguments to defend themselves from my criticism, I am instead routinely subjected to the accusation that I am an anti-Semite. This is a crude pattern, a part of the general tactic of ‘Hasbara’ – which means explaining or propaganda, to those of you with no Hebrew.”
Comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany is often cited as falling under the “demonization” category of the US State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism.