Antisemitism and musicians row: Now Christian evangelical calls for boycott of Roger Waters concert

Roger Waters, the founding member of Pink FloydWikimedia Commons

An American evangelical Christian leader is calling for a boycott and picket of a concert starring the former Pink Floyd rock artist Roger Waters in Miami this evening.

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, who is the president of the pro-Israel group Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, said: 'Roger Waters is a flagrant antisemite. All Christians, Jews and people of conscience should publicly condemn him.

'Everybody should do what they can to voice their concern that this antisemite is spewing his despicable brand of hatred in the Sunshine State. Contact your local lawmakers, picket the concert, speak out on social media, but whatever you do, do not remain silent.'

Waters, 73, is a very vocal supporter of the controversial boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and has spoken out repeatedly about the plight of the Palestinians.He has vehemently denied being antisemitic. 

Yesterday, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation placed an advert on the Miami Herald homepage with a message for Waters, whose concert will take place at the American Airlines Arena. 'Antisemitism and hatred are not welcome in Miami,' it said.

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The call for a boycott of Waters's concert comes amid a row over the band Radiohead's decision to play a concert in Israel on July 19.

The band have repeatedly been urged to call off the show as part of the BDS movement.

On Tuesday, the film-maker Ken Loach wrote an open letter in The Independent, accusing Radiohead of ignoring 'human rights violations' and offering to meet with the band.

But Radiohead's Thom Yorke hit back on Twitter, saying, 'Playing in a country isn't the same as endorsing its government.' He added: 'We've played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. We don't endorse [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America. Music, art and academia is about crossing borders not building them, about open minds not closed ones, about shared humanity, dialogue and freedom of expression. I hope that makes it clear Ken.'

Waters has been among those urging Radiohead to cancel the Israel concert.

But Yorke told Rolling Stone magazine last month: 'I'll be totally honest with you, this has been extremely upsetting. There's an awful lot of people who don't agree with the BDS movement, including us. I don't agree with the cultural ban at all, along with JK Rowling, Noam Chomsky and a long list of others.

'It's really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years. They talk down to us and I just find it mind-boggling that they think they have the right to do that. It's extraordinary.'

In an interview with AP last month, Waters denied that he is an antisemite.

Waters was asked: 'You have always been outspoken when it comes to politics, and have been attacked on your support of a boycott of Israel. Some have called you antisemitic because of it. Are you?'

He replied: 'I've got nothing against Israel, and I've certainly not got anything against Jewish people or Judaism. But I am fundamentally opposed to people being subjugated and not having rights under the law. So I've finished my little speech, but people have suggested that I'm antisemitic, which I am clearly not... I will go to my grave defending the rights of ordinary people, under a law, under a common law.'

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