Roger Waters, 80, bass player and co-founded the rock band Pink Floyd, who has been ejected from the band in 1985 and continued since then to spew his revolting, antisemitic, and anti-Zionist views, this weekend added to the long list of places and institutions that don’t want his presence the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania. Waters found out about the ban in his car, on the way from NYC, and was forced to turn around and participate in the Penn University event over Zoom.
— Roger Waters ✊ (@rogerwaters) September 22, 2023
Penn U is hosting a “Palestine Writes Literature Festival” this weekend, which, according to the organizers, “brings Palestinian cultural workers from all parts of Historic Palestine and our exiled Diaspora together with peers from other marginalized groups in the United States.”
The festival’s website is gorged with lies about the rich history of “Palestine,” with only one truth: the name was given to the defeated State of Judea by the Roman emperor Hadrian after the Bar Kochba rebellion of 132-136 CE. The Arab hordes that invaded Eretz Israel in the 7th Century, taking advantage of the political vacuum that was created by the retreating Byzantine Empire, did not refer to themselves as “Palestinians,” not then, and not in the centuries that followed. They only started using the name in the 20th Century, in reaction to the Zionist endeavor.
But who needs facts when you’ve got Roger Waters?
And anti-Zionist Jewish Penn U students.
According to Friday’s The Daily Pennsylvanian, “At least two groups of Jewish Penn U community members sent letters to administrators condemning their response to the controversy surrounding the Palestine Writes Literature Festival.”
The anti-Zionist letter, drafted by Ph.D. student Hilah Kohen, called on Penn U President Liz Magill, Provost John Jackson Jr., and School of Arts and Sciences Dean Steven Fluharty, to “emphasize that Palestinian activism has no inherent relation with antisemitism” and “protect the safety of Festival attendees.”
Kohen, a long-time supporter of PA Arab causes and an opponent of Israel stressed that, “By using this celebration of Palestinian literary traditions as an occasion to condemn antisemitism, your statement further marginalizes Palestinian experiences on campus, while supporting attempts to conflate Palestinian liberation with antisemitism.”
Let’s review what else happened on the Penn U campus during the celebration of “Palestinian literary traditions.” According to the DP, “An unknown individual vandalized Penn Hillel while shouting antisemitic rhetoric on Thursday morning.” Penn U’s Division of Public Safety reported that the individual in question was “overturning trash cans” and “acting erratically” outside the Hillel building. And then, according to Hillel, at 6:55 AM, the same individual followed a member of the Hillel community inside as they were opening the door to the building ahead of a morning prayer service before knocking over “several pieces of furniture” and “shouting antisemitic obscenities.”
On Friday, President Magill described a letter she had sent to the ADL, noting that Penn U had initiated a review of the process for outside groups wishing to reserve the school’s space to host events. She wrote explicitly, “These steps are intended to support the Jewish community at Penn U and combat antisemitism.”
The AJC published an article titled, “5 Things to Know About the Palestine Writes Event at Penn and Antisemitism,” citing, among other things, the event features speakers with a well-documented history of antisemitic rhetoric and behavior: former Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters, who described by the State Department as an artist who “has a long track record of using antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people” after he desecrated the memory of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, compared Israel to the Third Reich, and paraded around a stage wearing an SS Nazi uniform during a recent concert in Berlin: and Marc Lamont Hill, who called for Israel’s eradication on CNN and referred to mainstream media companies as “Zionist outlets.”
Also, according to the AJC, the festival’s inaugural event featured a screening of the film Farha, with several antisemitic tropes, including a modern retelling of the blood libel trope that casts Jews as vicious, bloodthirsty, and cruel. The film’s prominence in the festival is setting the stage for anti-Israel hate based on non-factual and biased information. Referring to Israel as a settler-colonialist state is not only factually inaccurate, it is an antisemitic demonization of the State of Israel.