Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Roger Waters, the crazy anti-Israel musician who has been memorably described in the comment section here as a "Pink Floyd cover band member," was scheduled to give a talk at the 92nd Street Y in New York, a Jewish community center, on April 30.

After much pressure on the Y, the talk was canceled with no explanation.

Now, Waters has issued a statement:
There has been some chatter about the cancellation of my interview at 92Y. By way of clarification, here is what I know.

I was invited by 92Y to take part in an interview at the Theresa L. Kaufmann Concert Hall on the 30th April this year. ...

Things were complicated when the Opera House in São Paulo, Brazil requested my presence for four full productions of Ça Ira, my opera on the French Revolution, around conflicting dates. In the end, the date for the dress rehearsal of Ça Ira fell on the 30th April, and so, reluctantly and very apologetically, I asked the team at 92Y if my appearance could be re-scheduled. Assistant Director Jennifer Hausler, who had been helping all along, couldn’t have been more understanding, gave me some alternative dates in June and I accepted June the 19th. Everyone was happy. Well, perhaps not quite everyone.

On April 3rd, my publicist in NY received a phone call from Susan Engel, the Director of Lectures at the 92Y, cancelling my re-scheduled engagement without explanation. She did leave a telephone number which we called, but it was only an answering machine with the message that 92Y was closed for Passover. We left messages asking to talk to Susan Engel but have so far received no reply.

I have since been made aware of rumblings on the net suggesting that resistance in the local Jewish community to my coming engagement may have had something to do with its cancellation. If that be the case it saddens me. In these troubled times, opportunities for serious, measured discourse are too precious to be discarded on the altar of sectarian prejudice. Not to talk is not an option.
While the 92nd Street Y should have never have invited this Israel-hater to begin with, it should also have been forthcoming on the reasons for the cancellation. This was a bit passive-aggressive for my taste - it would have been far better for them to have stated that his simple-minded anti-Israel position establishes him as a person who could not be trusted to give any sort of serious talk on any topic.

Waters' hypocrisy shines through on his declaration, "Not to talk is not an option." As a person who supports "BDS," surely Waters knows that he is supporting the silencing of Israeli opinions worldwide. He supports boycotting Israeli universities, Israeli books, Israeli poems, Israeli music, Israeli dance and indeed Israelis giving talks in other countries. He supports the disgraceful displays of haters interrupting concerts, lectures and dances simply because the performers were Israeli, no matter what the content of their performances.

For a person like that to say "Not to talk is not an option" really means that Waters reserves the right for his drug-addled ramblings to be heard wherever and whenever he wants, but he will not extend that same right to anyone who is peripherally connected to the Jewish state. That is pretty much the definition of hypocrisy.

As far as I know, Waters never responded to this excellent open letter by an Israeli musician .So when he says he wants to talk, it means he only wants to talk - but he certainly doesn't want to listen. Waters, for all his high-minded babble about walls and talking is not really interested in dialogue, but in having a forum to spout his crazed thoughts to swooning fans without fear of contradiction.

It is best to leave the lunatic out of the Hall.

(h/t shmuckler )

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