Jewish groups slam sponsors of Roger Waters tour

Two leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said they have urged sponsors to withdraw support from the Us+Them tour by the former Pink Floyd lead singer.

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November 28, 2018 13:55
2 minute read.
Musician Roger Waters performs at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 20, 2017

Musician Roger Waters performs at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 20, 2017. (photo credit: MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS)

 
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Two major Jewish groups have issued statements criticizing sponsors of Roger Waters’s tour in Latin America.

On Tuesday, two leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said they have urged sponsors to withdraw support from the Us+Them tour by the former Pink Floyd lead singer.

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"We have written to the sponsors of the concerts being given by Roger Waters... we have urged them to withdraw their sponsorship in view of the hostile, bigoted, and anti-Semitic comments made by Mr. Waters on numerous occasions," said Conference of Presidents chairman Arthur Stark and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein. "He continues to espouse these offensive views – and should not be given a stage to spread his anti-Israel and anti-Jewish messages."

In addition, the two men said that due to Waters’s extreme views and methods, “we call on elected officials in all the countries where Waters will appear to make clear their rejection of his offensive and inciteful comments.”

On Wednesday, Waters appeared in Mexico City, his first of seven shows in Mexico.

The statement from the Conference of Presidents came just a day after the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Citibank to stop underwriting the Waters tour.

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center is demanding that Citibank pull its sponsorship of anti-Semite Roger Waters’s concert tour in Mexico,” the organization said Monday. “The Wiesenthal Center had contacted Citibanamex urging that they cancel their financial support for Waters, an notorious antisemite. Having received no response from Citibanamex, the center is demanding action from the global corporate headquarters.”


Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, said he expects “Citibank to be responsive to our community’s justified concerns and fears. At the minimum Citibank should suspend all future sponsorship of this bigot.”

A spokeswoman for Citi Group told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that "Citi is not a sponsor of Roger Waters’ current tour. Recently, Citibanamex offered a limited time cardmember ticket pre-sale for four shows in Mexico, as we do for thousands of concerts by various artists around the world every year. The pre-sale has ended.”

The spokeswoman said that while Citibanamex continues to appear on concert flyers for Waters in Mexico, such branding is standard for a ticket pre-sale arrangement. The spokeswoman said the bank had no further sponsor relationship with the tour.

Two years ago, the Citibank headquarters faced similar pressure over its support for a North American tour by Waters. At the time, the bank issued a statement that it “is not a sponsor of Roger Waters’s upcoming tour,” but offered a limited time-re-sale of tickets, and it has “no plans to work with this artist in the future.”

Its Mexican subsidiary, Citibanamex – as well as AT&T, Coca Cola, Corona and other companies – are listed as corporate sponsors of the tour.

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