Roger Waters in Trouble for Putting Star of David on Inflatable Pig
Over the past year, Roger Waters has stepped up his protests over the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinian people, calling for a cultural boycott of Israel and speaking before the United Nations on the subject. But now he is in hot water with a leading Jewish organization for using a Star of David in a controversial manner at a recent concert.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has taken issue with a moment at Waters’ ‘The Wall’ show on July 18 in Werchter, Belgium. During ‘Run Like Hell,’ a large inflatable pig — for years a staple of Waters and Pink Floyd concerts — hovered over the crowd. Amid many symbols of fascism and oppression on the pig was a Star of David, a symbol of Judaism that appears on Israel’s flag. You can see video above.
“With this disgusting display Roger Waters has made it crystal clear,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the center, told the Algemeiner. “Forget Israel, never mind ‘limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.’ Waters is an open hater of Jews.”
There was no comment from Waters on the use of the symbol in the Algemeiner’s piece. However, a spokesman for another Jewish rights organization, the Anti Defamation League, stated that, in the context of the piece, the use of the Star of David was not anti-Semitic. “The song is written from the point of view of the antihero, ‘Pink,’ during a hallucination in which he becomes a fascist dictator and turns a concert audience into an angry mob,” said Todd Gutnick. “True to form, Waters appears dressed for the part … In the film version of ‘The Wall,’ the mob raids and destroys the homes of Black and Jewish people, so the use of the Jewish and other symbols on the pig is consistent with the lyrics of the song.”
The irony of this controversy is that the consumption of pork is forbidden under Jewish dietary laws.