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December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘roger waters’

Wiesenthal Center’s Top Ten Anti-Semitic Slurs of 2013

Monday, December 30th, 2013

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has just released its top ten anti-Semitic/anti-Israel slurs for the year 2013.

The SWC saw the most extreme hatred exemplified by three Arab and/or Muslim leaders, a UN official, a Christian Canadian denomination, a far right-wing European party, an aging rock star, an aging formerly famous novelist, an overripe teenager, an American academic association, a small New York school district, and quite a few European athletes.

1. The very top of the list of outrageous insults comes from Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who referred to Israel as the “rabid dog” in the Middle East region. Successfully adding insult to injury, Khamenei also said that Israel’s “leaders look like beasts and cannot be called human.”

“The genocidal animus of Iran’s Supreme Leader against the Jewish state continued unabated throughout the secret and direct negotiations with the United States and the P5+1,[which] places him at the top of the list,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center’s Associate Dean.

2. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan placed second on the SWC’s most worst list. Erdogan achieved this dubious honor in a year characterized by a dramatic deterioration in relations between Turkey and Israel. Twice the Turkish leader blamed Israel – using the code word “interest rates lobby” for serious challenges to his authority by the citizens of his country.  First it was the Gezi Park uprising and most recently that same “interest rates lobby” was blamed for a huge, still ongoing corruption scandal that has profoundly affected his government, with more than a dozen ministers either resigned or being fired or reshuffled.

3. In third place is the first Jew on the list. It is the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Arab Territories, Richard Falk.  This year Falk described Israel has harboring Nazi-like genocidal intentions towards the Palestinian Arabs. The hatred he exudes towards Israel is, perhaps, summed up best in his justification of suicide bombings perpetrated against Israel as a legitimate means to inflict sufficient harm on Israel.  There is much more to make your blood boil on the SWC site.

4. In fourth place the SWC listed the economic and legal warfare against the Jewish state known as BDS.  BDS stands for the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel that is urged on by haters of the Jewish State.

In this BDS category, special mention is made of several practitioners. The first example offered is the American Studies Association.  Much has already been written on these pages about the ASA’s misguided effort to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

The good news, of course, is that the ASA appears to have done far more damage to its own organization than any harm that could possibly befall Israeli academic institutions because of the ASA’s stunt. With close to 100 universities condemning the ASA’s boycott and several withdrawing from the organization altogether, perhaps we should really place the ASA’s boycott on a list of efforts taken which resulted in nationwide solidarity in support of the Jewish State.  So, thanks, actually.

The other practitioners mentioned are Pink Floyd’s former frontman Roger Waters, and the United Church of Canada.Waters has also been the subject of several articles here at The Jewish Press. The United Church of Canada, however, merits special attention.

“As Christians suffer in Syria, ethnic cleansing in Iraq, and are threatened in Egypt, the United Church of Canada endorsed a boycott of Israel – the only Middle East state that guarantees full religious freedom and protection to all faiths,” is how the SWC describes the UCC’s folly.

5. The extreme far-right wing Hungarian party, Jobbik, is fifth on the list of most awfuls. The deputy leader of the Jobbik party called for a registry of all Jews in Hungary as a security measure last year.  He also alleges that Israel “runs a Nazi system.”

6. In sixth place is a meme that never seems to go away.  This is the “Hitler as Hero” meme, which was taken up by an alarmingly large and diverse group of Arabs and Europeans over 2013, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood’s Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Iraqi cleric Qays bin Khalil al Kalbi, Saudi cleric Muhammal al Farraj, a famous Lebanese singer, and several Turkish immigrants in Holland.

7. Several particularly egregious Cartoons That Defame Israel are seventh on the SWC list of most anti-Semitic/anti-Israel Slurs for 2013.  In what passes as an art form that has been around for centuries, this year’s entries into the pantheon of dehumanizing depictions of Jews (and the Jewish State) are prize winners.  Check the SWC site to see this ugly art.

8. The small upstate New York school district of Pine Bush has permitted ugly anti-Semitic abuse of its Jewish students. Parents have sued the school district for allowing the ugliness to continue. One school official allegedly responded that the complainants’ “expectations for changing inbred prejudice may be a bit unrealistic.”  Really? Let’s hope that official’s hope to keep his job is a bit unrealistic.

9. Two American authors, one a has-been and the other a never-been, are in the 9th place “poison pen” position on SWC’ list. Alice Walker, who easily could have appeared in the fourth place as a practitioner of BDS, appears here because her most recent book, The Cushion in the Road, is described by the SWC as being approximately 25 percent “a diatribe against the Jewish state.”

Walker was the author of a hugely popular and powerful novel, The Color Purple, albeit that was 30 years ago.  The second person in the poison pen category is mostly famous for having a semi-famous daddy, Sidney Blumenthal, a speechwriter for Bill Clinton. Max Blumenthal seems to have spent the past 20 years of his life attempting to be an enfant terrible, but now he’s mostly just terrible. His new book, Goliath, practically takes anti-Semitism to pornographic heights.  He refers to Israelis as Judeo-Nazis, and blames the Arab-Israeli conflict on “Israeli society’s nationalistic impulses.” Blumenthal is at least nominally Jewish.  So sad.

10. The Wiesenthal Center describes various European Sports Venues as having been “Hijacked for Hate,” and placed them in the final slot of its 2013 list of most egregious anti-Semitic/anti-Israel slurs. Of particular note were European soccer stadiums as the stage where a great deal of ugly anti-Semitism played out over the past year. Italian, English, Polish, Hungarian, Latvian and Croatian teams or their members were cited for anti-Semitic activity this past year.

In a late-breaking addition to the list, the Wiesenthal Center included its request that NBA Star Tony Parker apologize for using a Nazi-like salute which is currently widely used by neo-Nazis in Europe. The gesture is called a quenelle, or a reverse Nazi salute.  It has been denounced by French authorities and leaders of the French Jewish communities.

The Wiesenthal Center asks readers to share with it incidents of anti-Semitic or anti-Israel slurs so that such incidents can be explored and exposed, and the perpetrators held accountable.

Oh, Joy: Roger Waters Endorsing Anti-Israel Irish Education Package

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Aging British musician Roger Waters (founding member of Pink Floyd) has launched an education resource on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Dublin, in collaboration with the Irish solidarity group Sadaka – the Ireland Palestine Alliance.

Waters told a packed audience in Dublin that he “wholeheartedly endorsed” a teaching pack entitled “Palestine & Israel – How will there be a Just Peace?”

“Palestine & Israel – How will there be a Just Peace?” was produced as a joint initiative between Sadaka and the Curriculum Development Unit Education for Reconciliation Project. The resource is intended to support young people in critically exploring injustice and peace building within a framework of Human Rights and International Law. The resource meets Transition Year requirements in the Republic of Ireland and the Local and Global Citizenship curriculum in Northern Ireland.

Are you feeling that tingle of joy normally associated with love among peoples?

“I have studied the education pack.. it is extremely well laid out, extremely informative and eloquent in a way that kids will understand… all we can do is encourage our young people to approach life with open minds and to nurture the kernel that they all have within, which is concern for their fellow man,” Waters said at the event.

But wait, there’s more: Mairéad Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, co-founder Peace People, Ireland, wrote: “I believe when young people see the suffering of others, they have a natural instinct to help, but often don’t know what to do. This valuable resource will give them the knowledge, which brings confidence and courage, to seek solutions based on nonviolence and human rights. It is a necessary tool of education for young people living in an age fast moving from the false belief that violence and war works, to one based on the law of love, dialogue and International Law.”

Ah, the power of unbiased truth…

Marie Crawley, chair of Sadaka, said that Waters’ endorsement of the pack is “immeasurable in its importance and will be hugely influential with young people around the country as we encourage schools to use this resource.”

Here are some of the nuggets Irish students will get from this package of truth:

Lesson 3 includes a timeline of events. It actually acknowledges the Holocaust—which won’t sell so well in any Arab market—but it also does the dripping thing – entering small lies into the “information” to end up eventually with a seemingly ironclad case. It turns out, according to this timeline, that the reason there was disagreement on the part of the Arabs with the UN partition plan of 1947, was that it unfairly gave the Jews more land than they were entitled to, demographically.

The whole throw the Jew into the sea thing is miraculously absent here…

Here’s a link to the PDF version of the package – read it for yourself. But if you need a poignant example to take away from this educational experience, I would just offer here, verbatim, the complete list of recommended books for the truth seeking Irish student. It represents a gallant effort to present both points of view: the view that all Israelis are murderous monsters, vs. the view that all Israelis drink the blood of babies:

Books

Carter, Jimmy (2006) Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. New York: Simon and Schuster

Chomsky, Noam and Pappe, Ilan (2011) Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War against the Palestinians. London: Pengiun Books

Finklestein, Norman (2003) Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict. New York: Verso Books

Karmi, Ghada (2002) In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story. New York: Verso Books

Pappe, Ilan (2007) The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oxford: Oneworld Publications

Shlaim, Avi (2000) The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. London: Pengiun Books

Thomas, Mark (2011) Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel’s Separation Barrier. For Fun. London: Ebury Press

Yes, Virginia, a theme emerges…

Roger Waters to Present Award at Amnesty International Event

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

From Amnesty International:

Pakistani schoolgirl and education rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai and American singer, human rights and social justice activist Harry Belafonte were today jointly announced as the recipients of Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2013.

…Roger Waters will make the presentation to Harry Belafonte accompanied by a special guest.

Yes, when Amnesty wanted to choose someone to present its highest honor, they chose someone who demonizes Jews and Israel.

Besides including the symbol of Judaism on an inflatable pig at numerous concerts, Waters recently specified how someone he disagreed with was Jewish, as if that is all that is needed to explain her odious (to him) actions.

Waters also consistently calls for the boycott of the only country in the region to respect basic human rights. For Palestinians. (As I’ve documented numerous times, the human rights record towards Palestinian by Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria are particularly odious.)

This is the person that Amnesty chooses to present a humanitarian award.

Belafonte definitely deserves to receive humanitarian awards. But he should refuse to accept any from Waters. You can tell him that on his Facebook page.

Visit Elder of Ziyon.

German Jews Urge Boycott of Roger Waters

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Dusseldorf’s Jewish community is pushing for a boycott of a Roger Waters concert in their city.

Waters, the 69-year-old co-founder of the classic rock group Pink Floyd, has been widely criticized for his anti-Israel activities. At a concert in Brussels in July, Waters floated a giant pig balloon emblazoned with a Star of David, among other symbols. Waters has also called on musicians to boycott Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper called Waters “an open hater of Jews.” And the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman, in an open letter to Waters earlier this month, said his “views on Israel are in fact colored by offensive and dangerous undercurrents of anti-Jewish sentiment.”

According to German news reports, the Dusseldorf community is calling for a boycott of the concerts scheduled for Sept. 4 in Berlin and Sept. 6 in Dusseldorf.

Michael Szentei-Heise, the Dusseldorf community’s general manager, was cited in Der Spiegel as calling Waters “a spiritual arsonist who should not be given a forum in our city.” He said the stage set was reminiscent of Nazi Party rallies and propaganda. It would be “scary if tens of thousands attend this event and celebrate, dance and applaud to Roger Waters’ music despite the anti-Semitic and Nazi symbolism.”

Waters has told reporters that he uses numerous symbols on his set, and that he has many Jewish friends and even some family members. His sole concern is to protest war and fascism, he says. Earlier this month Waters drew some 28,000 fans to his Frankfurt concert.

Not long afterwards, Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli demanded that Waters remove her image from video art displayed at his shows. According to the Telegraph, she tweeted in Hebrew: “If you’re boycotting, go all the way.”

Frankfurt-based pro-Israel activist Sacha Stawski, in publicizing the Dusseldorf protest via e-mail, praised the community for taking a stand and suggested that Berlin Jews do the same, particularly given the venue. Waters is slated to play the huge Olympic stadium, which “is particularly reminiscent of the Third Reich party rallies.”

“One hopes,” Stawski wrote, “that there would be protests coming from Berlin, too, and maybe even charges filed [against Waters] for incitement of hate, because that’s exactly what’s going on here.”

Aging Rocker’s Failed Anti-Israel Crusade

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Back in 1976, when the burgeoning punk movement began transforming the rock’n’roll landscapes of London and New York, a young punk rocker named John Lydon scrawled the words “I Hate…” on his Pink Floyd t-shirt.

With this one stroke, Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, demarcated the past from the future: eschewing the lengthy and ponderous compositions of Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, Rotten and his mates set about delivering sharp, angry tunes in a compact three-minute format.

Almost 40 years later, popular music has undergone numerous other transformations, but Rotten (who now calls himself Lydon again) and Waters have remained polar opposites. And as Israelis know better than most, that’s true both inside and outside the recording studio.

Back in 2010, Lydon rounded on critics of his decision to play a gig in Tel Aviv by telling them, “I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won’t understand how anyone can have a problem with how they [the Palestinians] are treated.”

By contrast, Waters, outwardly, a much more refined and eloquent fellow, has firmly hitched himself to the movement pressing for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Waters’s support for BDS is thought to be the reason that his scheduled appearance at the 92nd Sreet Y in New York City was canceled back in April, while more recently he tussled with the Simon Wiesenthal Center over an accusation of anti-Semitism that stemmed from a feature of his live show, in which a Star of David is projected onto a flying inflatable pig.

In his response to the Wiesenthal Center, Waters denied he was an anti-Semite, coming out with the standard response that hating Zionism and hating Jews are completely distinct. But a subsequent letter written in August to “My Colleagues in Rock’n’Roll” – his legendary pomposity remains unaltered – is certain to revive the charge. This time, it’s hard to see how Waters can wriggle around it.

The letter begins by citing another British musician, the violinist Nigel Kennedy, who slammed Israeli “apartheid” during a recent concert that was recorded by the BBC. “Nothing unusual there you might think,” Waters wrote, “[but] then one Baroness Deech, (nee Fraenkel) disputed the fact that Israel is an apartheid state and prevailed upon the BBC to censor Kennedy’s performance by removing his statement.”

Why did Waters think it necessary to point out the maiden name of Baroness Ruth Deech, a noted academic and lawyer? The answer is obvious: before she was Deech, a name that resonates with English respectability, she was Fraenkel, a name that sounds positively, well, Jewish. And much as she might try to hide her origins, the intrepid Waters is determined to out her, along with her nefarious Jewish –sorry, I mean, Zionist – agenda.

Sarcasm aside, this is anti-Semitism of the ugliest, most primitive kind. Appropriately, Waters’s letter appeared first on the website of the Electronic Intifada, a U.S.-based outfit that has emerged as one of the prime organizing platforms of the BDS movement.

The Waters letter ends as follows: “Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”

In case it’s not clear, in the BDS movement, such elaborate formulations are code for “until such time as the state of Israel, which was born in a state of original sin, is finally eliminated.”

Here’s the rub, though: ten years ago, when the BDS movement was a relatively new phenomenon, statements like these would have set off a minor panic in the Jewish world. These days, we’re far more sanguine, and we’ve learned that Israel can survive and flourish no matter how many graying prog-rockers like Waters dedicate their lives to removing the world’s only Jewish state from the map.

As unpalatable as this may be for Waters’s digestion, the plain truth is that the BDS movement has failed. Its original aim was to replicate the massive outcry against South African apartheid during the 1980s, when songs like “Free Nelson Mandela” and “(I Ain’t Gonna Play) Sun City” ruled the airwaves. Instead, it has remained a fringe movement, a minor irritant that has had precious little impact on Israel’s economic life and garners media attention only when someone like Waters decides to shoot his mouth off.

Supermodel Bar Rafaeli Puts ‘Dumb’ Roger Waters in his Place

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli is not all bad. She dodged the IDF and romanced tie with a non-Jew, but she draws the line at Roger Waters’ using her photo for his Boycott Israel campaign.

Bar Rafaeli put Waters on the spot Wednesday after he once again appealed to artists to boycott Israel, even though he once used a picture of Rafaeli to promote one of his concerts.

Waters’ latest letter to entertainers, part of which can be read here, asked them “to declare a cultural boycott on Israel…and support all our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Israel who are struggling to end all forms of Israeli oppression.”

Among other things, Waters has accused Israel of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing,” but click here to see a bit of his own ethnic cleansing.

Bar Rafaeli tweeted, “Crazy thing … Went to the Roger Waters show in Paris, and saw a pic of myself on the wall!!! #respect!!! I’m honored” but after reading his letter, she let off steam.

“Roger Waters, you better take my picture off of the video art at your shows. If you’re boycotting – go all the way,” Rafaeli tweeted in Hebrew on Wednesday.

She called him “ comfortably dumb” on his boycott Israel campaign.

Rafaeli’s challenge, that if he really wants to boycott Israel he can boycott her pictures also, echoes the pathetic lack of commitment of previous Israeli boycotters, who forget that their computers, mobile phones, generic medicines and a ton of other products are Israeli-made or designed.

Bar Rafaeli is probably the last person one would expect to challenge the Boycott Israel movement and is another example of Israel’s always having a secret defense weapon.

She  has not been a favorite of the national religious crowd. She dodged the IDF draft requirement for women, reportedly by marrying, which granted her an exemption, and then divorcing him.

After a threat to boycott her “Fox” fashion chain, Rafaeli agreed to visit injured IDF soldiers on visits to Israel and encourage enlistment in the army.

“I don’t regret not enlisting, because it paid off big time,” she later wrote. “That’s just the way it is; celebrities have other needs. I hope my case has influenced the army.”

She also offended Israelis, and not just the orthodox, for her former romantic relationship with non-Jewish American actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

One nationalist Israeli organization asker her in a letter not to marry a non-Jew the sake of “future generations of Jews.”

Four years ago, Haredim in Israel censured her for putting “poison” in Israeli society by allowing a Tel Aviv billboard campaign to feature  a picture of her semi-naked. The billboards later were removed.

She may be secular and not a fan of serving in the IDF, but under almost every Sabra there is a Zionist heart.

Waters got it in his head to promote the Boycott Israel movement after having ignored boycott advocates and arriving in Israel in 2005 to perform. Leftists gave him their side of the story at the security fence near Bethlehem, and he canceled his show in Tel Aviv and moved it to an Arab-Jewish community.

Rolling Stone reported earlier this year that he was re-considering  his position on the boycott campaign.

“I am thinking all of this through extremely carefully and I’m thinking it all through extremely carefully because I care more about the outcome, because I care about the people involved, than I do about the moment,” Waters said.

He didn’t think very much and penned his latest letter this past week, showing Rafaeli he really is ”dumb” about the boycott.

HatTip: IsraellyCool

Vatican Newspaper Slams Roger Waters Antisemitic Imagery

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

An op-ed appearing in L’Osservatore Romano—the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper—slammed the use of anti-Semitic imagery by former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters at a concert in Belgium last month. The op-ed, however, did not mention Waters by name.

“The spirit and the style of the Werchter Rock festival was visible, with the fans who had every right to listen to music that they enjoy. But did they also have the right to draw the Star of David on the back of a pig and not be reported?” wrote Christina Dobner, the author of the op-ed.

“We continue to talk about the respect for every religion and every human being, yet we keep falling into these shameful situations,” she wrote.

During the concert, Waters featured a giant pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David. The pig-shaped balloon has been used in Pink Floyd concerts for decades as part of performances of songs from their album, “The Wall.”

Waters, who has been a vocal supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, has garnered widespread criticism for his concert display.

“With this disgusting display Roger Waters has made it crystal clear. Forget Israel, never mind ‘limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.’ Waters is an open hater of Jews,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner.

In an open letter on his Facebook page, Waters rejected Cooper’s criticism and denied that he is an anti-Semite.

“Like it or not, the Star of David represents Israel and its policies and is legitimately subject to any and all forms of non-violent protest. To peacefully protest against Israel’s racist domestic and foreign policies is NOT ANTI-SEMITIC,” Waters wrote.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/vatican-newspaper-slams-roger-waters-antisemitic-imagery/2013/08/07/

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