The Biden administration has weighed in on the debate surrounding Roger Waters, the co-founder of Pink Floyd, and claimed that his recent concerts in Germany were antisemitic.
This opinion is held by many Israelis and members of the pro-Israel community.
The State Department noted on Tuesday that Waters had “a long track record of using antisemitic tropes” and that a performance he did in Germany at the end of last month “contained imagery that is deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust.”
The remarks were made in a written response to a query on whether the administration agreed with criticism of Rogers made by Deborah Lipstadt, the U.S. special envoy to combat antisemitism, at Monday’s State Department news briefing.
“Special Envoy Lipstadt’s quote-tweet speaks for itself,” the department claimed.
“The concert in question, which took place in Berlin, contained imagery that is deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust,” the department claimed.
The artist has a history of disparaging Jews by employing antisemitic cliches.
In a tweet posted on May 24 following the concert in Berlin, during which Waters appeared on stage dressed in a Nazi-era German outfit, Lipstadt criticized the artist by paraphrasing remarks made by German EU antisemitic envoy Katharina von Schnurbein.
To von Schnurbein’s tweet, “I wholeheartedly concur with @EUAntisemitism’s condemnation of Roger Waters and his despicable Holocaust distortion,” said Lipstadt.
Von Schnurbein disapproved of Waters’ Berlin performance and earlier remarks concerning the Holocaust and Israel.
“I am sick and disgusted by Roger Waters’ obsession to belittle and trivialize the Shoah & the sarcastic way in which he delights in trampling on the victims, who the Nazis systematically murdered,” von Schnurbein wrote.
German is used. There has been enough.
Police in Berlin said shortly after the concert that they had started looking into Waters on suspicion of inciting violence due to his outfit.
Social media posts featured Waters brandishing a toy machine gun while wearing a long, black coat and a red armband.
The costume, according to the police, may have been intended to glorify, justify, or endorse Nazi tyranny.
In a Facebook and Instagram post, Waters refuted these claims, writing that “the elements of my performance that have been questioned are quite clearly a statement in opposition to fascism, injustice, and bigotry in all its forms.”
Waters has also angered the pro-Israel community for his public support of the BDS movement, which advocates for boycotts and sanctions against Israel, saying that “attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated.”