Roger Waters Releases Official Statement After Anti-Semitism Accusations
Following the release of the documentary, ‘The Dark Side of Roger Waters,’ Roger Waters issued an official statement to address accusations of antisemitism in the film.
The film, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), featured previous remarks of Waters claimed by Bob Ezrin and Norbert Stachel, who worked with him for years. The rocker wrote in his response to the allegations:
“Earlier this month, the Campaign Against Antisemitism contacted me about a film they have made. They gave me seven days to respond to multiple questions about matters dating back to 2002 and 2010. Initially, I took the view that their attacks on my character did not deserve a response. However, now that the attacks are in circulation, I want to put my response on record.”
He explained that throughout his career, he has used his platform to support causes he believes in to make the world fair and just for people of all backgrounds. Waters also discussed his involvement in non-violent protests against the Israeli government’s actions in Palestine and then continued:
“I’ve worked closely for many years with many Jewish people, musicians, and others. If I have upset the two individuals who appear in the film, I’m sorry for that. But I can say with certainty that I am not, and have never been, an antisemite – as anyone who really knows me will testify. I know the Jewish people to be a diverse, interesting, and complicated bunch, just like the rest of humanity. Many are allies in the fight for equality and justice in Israel, Palestine, and around the world.”
The Pink Floyd icon added, noting why he denies the accusations:
“The film totally distorts and misrepresents my views about the Israeli state and its political ideology, Zionism. It relies on a definition of antisemitism that sees criticizing Israel as inherently antisemitic and assumes that Zionism is an essential element in Jewish identity. These opinions, clearly shared by the presenter and the two interviewees, are widely contested by many, including many Jewish people.”
In the rest of his statement, Roger mentioned that the film repeats false claims about his latest tour, which have been debunked not only by him but also by the German courts. He also said that he has been actively working against fascism since his father fought against it in World War II.
Ezrin claimed in the documentary that he recalled a situation where Waters used a derogatory phrase that included a negative reference to someone being Jewish. Stachel also talked about an incident where Waters allegedly made offensive comments about Jewish food and made fun of Stachel’s family, including those who died in the Holocaust.