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Israel Hater Waters Washed Out of NYC 92nd Street Y

Given his role in attempting to block the Israeli Philharmonic from giving a purely musical performance at Carnegie Hall, it should be difficult for Waters' supporters to complain about efforts to prevent Waters from appearing to talk about his political views at the 92nd Street Y.

roger waters cancelled

So far no one is saying for sure how it happened or who made the final decision, but there are many supporters of Israel who are breathing a big sigh of relief that Roger Waters, former front man for the 1970′s rock band Pink Floyd, and currently best known for being a rabid hater of Israel, will not be performing at New York City’s 92nd Street Y on April 30th, as had been scheduled.

Waters is still a popular musician, particularly for the aging boomer crowd.  His one night appearance, “A Conversation with Rogers Waters” at the 92nd Street Y had been sold out for some time.  With a mere 900 seat capacity, however, the Kaufman Concert Hall is hardly the size of the mega-theaters Waters used to fill in his prime during his Pink Floyd days.

When news of Waters’ appearance at the 92nd Street Y first began circulating among Jews supportive of Israel, the man behind JCCWatch.org, Richard Allen, sent an email to Sol Adler, executive director of the Y.  Allen suggested perhaps Adler was not aware that Waters is a fanatical supporter of the economic warfare movement against Israel, known as BDS (Boycott of, Divestment From and Sanctions against Israel).  That email was sent on March 24, 2013.

Waters is not only a committed supporter of BDS, he bragged about having been instrumental in convincing Stevie Wonder to renege on his agreement to perform at a pro-Israel benefit in California that took place last year.  He also spoke at the United Nations on November 29, 2012, condemning Israel as an Apartheid state, and blaming Israel for denying the “Palestinian” people their “inalienable right” to “self-determination.”

In addition to these efforts to convince others that Israel must be shunned for committing “human rights violations,” Waters also was a leader of the effort to get Carnegie Hall to cancel the scheduled appearance by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in October of 2012.  Given his role in attempting to prevent the Israeli Philharmonic from giving a purely musical performance, it should be difficult for Waters’ supporters to complain about efforts to prevent Waters from appearance at the 92nd Street Y, where he was going to talk about his Israel-hatred.

The Y holds itself out as a center for Jewish life that offers learning opportunities, multigenerational holiday celebrations, and “talks on a broad range of Jewish topics encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their own special meaning in Jewish tradition and find joy in Jewish life and culture.”

92nd Street Y Concert of Roger Waters, huge promoter of economic boycott of Israel, has been cancelled.

92nd Street Y Concert of Roger Waters, huge promoter of economic boycott of Israel, has been cancelled.

The Jewish Press ran a story on March 25 about Waters’ scheduled appearance at the 92nd Street Y, noting that the Y had begun nearly 140 years earlier as the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, and how ironic it was that it was going to host one of the biggest haters of Israel west of the Middle East.

And then things became a little strange at the 92nd Street Y website.

On March 26th, the Waters event at the Y was listed on the website as “postponed.”  Then, sometime during the first days of Passover, all mention of the Waters concert was removed from the Y’s website, including from its calendar listing.  However, curious callers to the box office were told that the concert was going on as planned.  By late in the evening of March 28, the event once again was listed on the website.

On March 29, the box office staff told curious callers that they should keep their tickets and they would be called with information about a new date, but later that same day a new date for the Waters’ concert – June 19th – was posted on a British website.

The turmoil continued for the 92nd Street Y management, scheduling office, and webmaster, as the public outcry continued, reaching a crescendo on April 3.

Emails were sent to Adler at the Y and to John Ruskay, the chair of New York City’s United Jewish Appeal – Federation, asking how they could provide a forum at the Y to someone with such a visceral hatred for Israel, someone who has publicly stated his commitment to do everything within his power to destroy Israel’s efforts to protect its citizens from terrorism.

The NYC United Jewish Appeal-Federation provides more than $800,000 to the 92nd St Y.  JCCWatch’s Richard Allen told The Jewish Press that “it is unforgivable for someone who recently said ‘total BDS is the way to go,’ someone who is a clear cut enemy of Israel, to be given a platform at an institution paid for, in part, using Federation resources.”

Lionel Leventhal, a Manhattan healthcare private equity fund manager, explained to The Jewish Press why he sent an email to Federation’s Ruskay and Adler from the Y, asking them to explain, or better yet just undo, the disastrous decision to host Waters at the Y.

“How is it possible,” Leventhal asked, “that Israel, the only country in the region in which artists are given the total right of self-expression is the one being targeted for abuse…by an artist?!”

Leventhal was particularly incensed because he grew up in Manhattan, and has attended cultural events at the 92nd St Y for more than 40 years. While declining to categorize himself as a particular kind of Jew – “I’m just really proud to be Jewish,” he said, there were three things that he found particularly irksome about the Waters’ gig.

“First, Waters is engaged in an organized effort to misinform artists,” Leventhal explained.

“Second, Waters has his facts upside down – he is completely mischaracterizing Israel,” he continued, “and third, the 92nd Street Y is a center for education, a center for all things Jewish, to host someone like Waters is completely antithetical to the mission of the institution.”

Craig Dershowitz is another New Yorker in high dudgeon that the 92nd Street Y booked an Israel vilifier to appear at its venue.  Dershowitz is a graffiti artist whose organization, Artists 4 Israel, promotes positive information about Israel. Dershowitz was a bit less temperate than Leventhal or Allen in his suppositions regarding the role the Y and the NYC Federation played in this drama.

“The UJA, like so many other Jewish organizations, are not only simply consorting with the enemy, they are now justifying and even promoting what is in this case, at least, the metaphorical slaughter of our people.”

Dershowitz offered less benign explanations for the Waters event to have been scheduled in the first place.  While Allen believed that the Y leadership simply did not know about Waters’ Israel hatred, and Leventhal seemed pretty sure it was an error, Dershowitz had this to say:

“Either the Y did no due diligence, which is pathetic; or, because as an institution it is becoming more and more irrelevant the management decided to go for something controversial to draw attention to the venue; or, the leadership simply thought Waters was awesome, but then so was black and white television when it first came out, which reveals how irrelevant the Y is to contemporary arts and culture.”

Repeated phone calls by The Jewish Press to the 92nd Street Y media relations director over the course of the past week were not returned, but callers to the box office were told the event was cancelled because Waters has a “scheduling conflict.”

An article in the Jewish Daily Forward suggests the Y cancelled the event because of “heat” and quotes an April 3 statement issued by JCCWatch, but then reveals it has not received any official explanation for the cancellation.

A British Pink Floyd fan site, “Brain Dead,” seems to suggest that the event was cancelled because “certain parts of the Jewish community were not happy with the event, due to Roger’s views on Israel,” but then it links back to the Forward article which doesn’t contain any independent basis upon which to determine who was responsible for cancelling the event.

 

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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59 Responses to “Israel Hater Waters Washed Out of NYC 92nd Street Y”

  1. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    That the supposedly "Jewish" Y had him scheduled in the first place is onerous. Perhaps Jews should seek other venues now that we know what the "quality of the Y and its management really is. But we can be sure that the Forward (equal to the nazi owned haaretz in its venom against Jews) will editorialize condemnation of the cancellation.

  2. Beth Radtke says:

    If you had perhaps not written this article with such slanted language, it might have been taken seriously. As a journalist, you're supposed to know the facts and present them. But I guess quality journalism doesn't exist here.

  3. Doris Meadows says:

    He'll probably be shouting about free speech just as Vanessa Redgrave did when the Boston philharmonic cancelled her appearance. Sure wish that these celebrity activisits understood what free speech is – it guarantees that you won't be arrested for your statement, but it doesn't protect you from the CONSEQUENCES of your statement. He is free to say what he wishes about Israel, no matter how ugly. However, I am just as free to never, ever support his concerts and appearances.

  4. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Slanted? It's spot on. Waters is a committed Jew hater and has been for a while. The Y should be taken to task for booking him in the first place. Now, we do realize you have very low tolerance for thise you disagree with – like Jews. More evidence of Jew haters coming to Jewish media sites to spew forth.

    For example, a quote DIRECTLY from Beth's FB page: "I can't help mentally disregarding some people's opinions."

  5. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Free Speech to Jew haters is a one way street.

  6. The reason the right-wing government in Israel gets away with murder is because everyone is so scared of being called an anti-Semite. I’m not anti-Semite; I’m anti-murder.

    Support for Israel (aka right-wing corporate-owned government hiding behind the Zionist movement) equals support for war crimes against Palestine.

  7. The idea that being the victim of persecution ***doesn’t excuse persecuting others is completely valid.

    Norman Finkelstein, who for his writings has been virtually blacklisted, noted in "The Holocaust Industry" that the Jewish Holocaust has allowed Israel to cast itself and "the most successful ethnic group in the United States" as eternal victims.

    (um, shouldn't it be Native Americans being USA's biggest victims? Then the black slaves?).

    Finkelstein, the son of Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, goes on to argue this status has enabled Israel, which has "a horrendous human rights record," to play the victim as it oppresses Palestinians or destroys Lebanon. This victim status has permitted U.S. Jewish organizations (the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress and others) to get their hands on billions of dollars in reparations, much of which never finds its way to the dwindling number of Holocaust survivors.

    Finkelstein’s mother, who was in the Warsaw ghetto, received $3,500, while the World Jewish Congress walked away with roughly $7 billion in compensation moneys. The organization pays lavish salaries to its employees and uses the funds to fuel its own empire.

    For many the Nazi Holocaust is not used to understand and deal with the past, and more importantly the universal human capacity for evil, but to manipulate the present.

    Finkelstein correctly writes the fictitious notion of unique suffering leads to feelings of unique entitlement.

    http://www.armenews.com/article.php3?id_article=26124

    repeat –> The idea that being the victim of persecution ***doesn’t excuse persecuting others is completely valid.

  8. 'Israel is a Lunatic State'
    says Dr. Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish man banned from Israel since 2002
    5:24 min.

    The difference between both sides of this debate can be highlighted by this observation:
    Norman Finkelstein talks calmly and rationally, citing evidence for his claims. Raanan Gissin talks angrily and uses emotional blackmail to defend his position, whilst avoiding the evidence provided by Finkelstein in his responses. Clearly only one of these men is speaking rationally… that is what must be noted by all viewers.

  9. Movie "The Gatekeepers" is about ***six men who individually led Shin Bet*** (Israeli’s secret anti-terrorist intelligence) for the last 30 years. SIX INDIVIDUAL HEADS. Their remarkable consensus and their quite shocking candour are on display in a must-see documentary from an Israeli director. #freeGaza

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/friends-of-israel-including-harper-need-to-watch-this-movie/article10503849/

    That few Israelis understand Palestinians and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict better than these six, that they all agree on the road Israel must follow in its own self-interest, that they have such disdain for their own political leaders, that they believe Israel’s many extreme right-wing settlers, rabbis and ideologues are more dangerous to Israel’s future than any possible Arab threat – surely all this must trouble those who consistently offer uncritical support for anything an Israeli government says or does.

  10. THE CRISIS OF ZIONISM
    By Peter Beinart

    In an op-ed in The New York Times in March 2012, Beinart recommends what he calls "Zionist B.D.S." — a boycott of goods made in the Israeli settlements combined with renewed support for Israel within the Green Line, including East Jerusalem.

    The phrase "nondemocratic Israel" for the occupied territories "suggests there are today two Israels: a flawed but genuine democracy within the green line and an ethnically-based nondemocracy beyond it. It counters efforts by Israel’s leaders to use the legitimacy of democratic Israel to legitimize the occupation and by Israel’s adversaries to use the illegitimacy of the occupation to delegitimize democratic Israel".

    And he concludes: "If Israel makes the occupation permanent and Zionism ceases to be a democratic project, Israel’s foes will eventually overthrow Zionism itself. We are closer to that day than many American Jews want to admit. Sticking to the old comfortable ways endangers Israel’s democratic future. If we want to effectively oppose the forces that threaten Israel from without, we must also oppose the forces that threaten it from within".

    http://peter-beinart.com/bookshelf/the-crisis-of-zionism/

  11. Vladi Tskhai says:

    Tell that to the Fogel family, bitch.

  12. Vladi Tskhai says:

    4 out of 6 are politicians nowdays, so they'll tell anything to get a few more voices, just for the record

  13. Julane Jazzique says:

    Awesome. Finally perhaps the PC insanity will no longer be in control, and common sense will, again, start being the norm. PC is killing all that is good, right, fair, freedom, sane.

  14. Alice Lemos says:

    Too bad for old hipster Waters!

  15. Like all other ethnic groups, Jews have their share of haters of their own. During the Holocaust, there were American Jews in positions of great prominence who were either too cowardly or totally uncaring about the murder of the European Jewish population. The most influential newspaper of the era, the NY Times was owned by Jews and yet did virtually nothing to alert people to the slaughter by the nazis. Only secretary of the treasury Morganthau forced Roosevelt's hand in making an effort to rescue some of the survivors of the ongoing mass extermination. Things are no different today with despicable members of the Jewish community participating or approving of the delegitimization of Israel. These people whose actions stem from selfishness, mental illness sociopathy, or teenage rebellion do everything intheir poweer to hurt Israel and make no attempt to really understand Israel's predicament. Those Jews who would spend good money to support someone as bigoted as Roger waters are part of this group.

  16. Like all other ethnic groups, Jews have their share of haters of their own. During the Holocaust, there were American Jews in positions of great prominence who were either too cowardly or totally uncaring about the murder of the European Jewish population. The most influential newspaper of the era, the NY Times was owned by Jews and yet did virtually nothing to alert people to the slaughter by the nazis. Only secretary of the treasury Morganthau forced Roosevelt's hand in making an effort to rescue some of the survivors of the ongoing mass extermination. Things are no different today with despicable members of the Jewish community participating or approving of the delegitimization of Israel. These people whose actions stem from selfishness, mental illness sociopathy, or teenage rebellion do everything intheir poweer to hurt Israel and make no attempt to really understand Israel's predicament. Those Jews who would spend good money to support someone as bigoted as Roger waters are part of this group.

  17. Anya Khan says:

    Waters dons not just hate Israel, he hates all Jews.

  18. Yes, enemy aliens would of course say that when their heart's desire is outed.

  19. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Nadine Lumley Quoting a 1939 Berlins tyle kapo shows your true intent!

    "Beinart is a shame to the Jewish community – a self-hating Jew. Beinart doesn’t represent the Jewish community any more than a black member of the KKK would represent African-Americans."

    http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/03/18/peter-beinart-represents-zionism-like-a-black-kkk-member-represents-african-americans/

  20. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Nadine Lumley Interesting you keep quoting former Jews who are now atheists.
    Had they been around in 1939, they would be amongst the kapos faithful to hitler

    Here's some more quotes from your beloved modern age nazi finkelstein:

    Finkelstein describing the Shoah "as a fraud"

    "Articulating the key Holocaust dogmas, much of the literature on Hitler's Final solution is worthless as scholarship. Indeed, the field of Holocaust studies is replete with nonsense, if not sheer fraud."

    "The Holocaust Industry" p. 55

    Finkelsteing alleging no one was ever murdered by the nazis

    ‘If everyone who claims to be a survivor actually is one,’ my mother used to exclaim, ‘who did Hitler kill then?’”

    “The Holocaust Industry,” p. 81

    Keep posting nadine. With every one of your posst, you further admit and identify yourself as a promoter of genocide of Jews. I find it interesting how ilk like Nadine migrate to Jewish media to spew their venom

  21. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Nadine Lumley Interesting you keep quoting former Jews who are now atheists.
    Had they been around in 1939, they would be amongst the kapos faithful to hitler

    Here's some more quotes from your beloved modern age nazi finkelstein:

    Finkelstein describing the Shoah "as a fraud"

    "Articulating the key Holocaust dogmas, much of the literature on Hitler's Final solution is worthless as scholarship. Indeed, the field of Holocaust studies is replete with nonsense, if not sheer fraud."

    "The Holocaust Industry" p. 55

    Finkelsteing alleging no one was ever murdered by the nazis

    ‘If everyone who claims to be a survivor actually is one,’ my mother used to exclaim, ‘who did Hitler kill then?’”

    “The Holocaust Industry,” p. 81

    Keep posting nadine. With every one of your posst, you further admit and identify yourself as a promoter of genocide of Jews. I find it interesting how ilk like Nadine migrate to Jewish media to spew their venom

  22. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Curious Nadine: Weer you indoctrinated as a Jew hater from birth, or did some Jew dump you at the altar? Just curious.

    Perhaps you should read this: It's the OFFICIAL pali charter on file at the UN calling for the eradication of Israel and all Jews. I know you can relate to that. Go ahead – add it to your litany, along with your quoting from the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion – of which I am sure you have many dog eared copies

    http://www.un.int/wcm/content/site/palestine/pid/12363

  23. Cut the stale discredited c*ap hiding your racism and Naziism behind the Israel bogeyman Canadian neo-Nazi!

  24. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    WELL STATED Philip

  25. Arie's Pragmatic Politics He is a deranged Canadian neo-Nazi, probably the descendants of WWII war criminals who came, sneaked! into! right after it through the so-called rat lines. Apt, since they are 1st class rats anyway…

  26. Irrelevant to brainwahed and irrational zombies/ideologues like this.

  27. You bleeeping moron – there is nothing right wing about Netanyahu.

  28. there are psycopaths amongst us. finklestein, chomsky, tom friedman and the other token self-hat ing Jews at the New York Times. sad. why any Jewish organization would allow much less enable a jew hater like this sick Waters to spew his lunatic anti-semtism is inconceivable. btw, there is no "debate".

  29. Beth Radtke says:

    So apparently any Pink Floyd fan is now bad. Ok, and throw my quotes back at me? About disregarding people's opinions? Which was only relating to being annoyed at work? Did it take you long to scroll down past all of the animal charity work that I'm involved in? The lovely discussions with my friends and family? All because I feel that an article was slanted. Nice.

  30. Beth Radtke says:

    And by slanted I was referring ONLY to things such as: With a mere 900 seat capacity, however, the Kaufman Concert Hall is hardly the size of the mega-theaters Waters used to fill in his prime during his Pink Floyd days. The Wall was one of the largest tours of the last 3 years. That's what I meant by slanted. I have no interest in whatever fight you're all in.

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