Manhattan’s 92nd Street YMCA (92Y) has cancelled an event with former Pink Floyd singer/bassist Roger Waters, following pressure from members of the Jewish community over the rocker’s criticism of Israel over the years.
“It’s absolutely outrageous that Jewish community funds are going to help Roger Waters spread his anti-Semitic message,” Richard Allen, founder of Jewish activism organization JCC Watch, said in an April 3rd statement prior to the 92Y’s announcement. He went on to say that donors were “helping to provide Waters with a facility, marketing, and respectability, so he can win over more people with his anti-Israel lies.”
Waters, who was set to speak at the Jewish cultural center about his long, storied career as a musician, has stated in the past that he would like to see Israel boycotted by musicians in support of international solidarity for Palestine. Recently, Waters has urged musicians to join him in a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) initiative against the country, calling Israel an “apartheid regime” that is oppressive toward Palestine and, though it talks of peace with Palestinians, will not actually pursue it.
The 69-year-old has taken credit for Stevie Wonder’s decision to skip out on a gala dinner for Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, stating that he sent a letter to Wonder urging him to cancel the appearance, comparing it to “playing a police ball in Johannesburg the day after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960.”
Waters’ 92Y event was scheduled to take place on April 30, with tickets running for $75. A statement on the event’s page on the center’s website reveals that the talk has been cancelled, and that it “will be issuing refunds to all ticket-holders.
-Kevin Rutherford, Radio.com