Five state affiliates of Germany’s ARD network on Tuesday pulled out of their commitment to broadcast concerts by former Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters in Berlin and Cologne next summer “in reaction to anti-Semitism accusations against him,” according to a statement by Berlin and Brandenburg public radio (RBB).
“Taking a clear position here is an important signal for RBB to the Jewish communities in Berlin and Brandenburg,” RBB director Patricia Schlesinger said in the statement.
Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, praised the move, calling it a “quick and decisive reaction” and “an important signal that rampant anti-Semitism against Israel has no place in Germany.”
Waters is arguably the biggest world celebrity supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
The Hollywood Reporter quoted Australian singer Nick Cave, who recently appeared in Israel, who said his tour was a direct, defiant response to the BDS movement which he said tries to “bully” and “silence” musicians.
Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren has also taken a stand against BDS.
Marek Lieberberg, Waters’s tour director, told the Mannheimer Morgen that German Jews were right to be concerned about “clearly visible and growing anti-Semitism” in Germany – from the far right’s surge in the recent elections. He called the broadcasters’ decision “absolutely ridiculous.”