Munich mayor accuses Roger Waters of antisemitism, sparking legal action

Waters's attorney demanded that social democratic mayor Dieter Reiter delete his press statement accusing Waters of antisemitism.

June 15, 2018 23:41
2 minute read.

ROGER WATERS performs at Staples Center in Los Angeles in June.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter slammed Roger Waters, co-founder of the British band Pink Floyd, for his stoking of antisemitism against Israel, triggering an angry reaction from the singer on Friday.

Waters’s attorney demanded that Reiter delete his press statement accusing Waters of antisemitism. Reiter said Waters is responsible for “growing, intolerable antisemitic statements.”

Reiters office said a city attorney will review Waters request.

Waters performed a concert on Wednesday in Munich’s Olympic Hall. Reiter said it was not possible to prevent the hall from being rented to Waters. However, Reiter said the Olympic Hall will not be rented to Waters in the future, due to his advocacy of the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish state.

Reiter said it “is important for me to make it unmistakably clear ahead of the concert that antisemitic propaganda of Roger Waters is neither welcome in Munich nor will it remain unanswered.”

The Munich city council passed a resolution that the mayor supported last year barring space in public facilities and finances for pro-BDS activity. Munich was the first German city to pass anti-BDS legislation.

Waters’s lawyer said Reiter’s allegations resemble a call to boycott him.

Waters himself has previously said he was the victim of the “Jewish lobby” that was “extraordinarily powerful.”

Waters wrote on his Twitter feed: "Dieter Reiter, the Mayor of Munich, has issued a press release denouncing me as anti-Semitic. The Mayor claims I make increasingly hateful anti-Semitic remarks. I stand for human rights."

Malca Goldstein-Wolf, a pro-Israel activist in Germany, told The Jerusalem Post by email, that “Rogers acts like a Jew-hater and talks like a Jew-hater.”

Goldstein led a successful petition campaign against Waters last year to convince the chairman of the Cologne-based TV outlet Tom Buhrow to televise Waters concerts.

Waters attacked Goldstein-Wolf in his recent concerts for her activism against him. Goldstein-Wolf said she is “not intimidated” by Waters’ campaign against her. She thanked Reiter for his “clear position against Jew-hatred” in connection with Waters.

She also applauded the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia and the politician André Kuper for pushing the music festival Ruhrtriennale in the state to demand that the Scottish band reject BDS before it performs. Young Fathers is a hardcore supporter of BDS.

Young Fathers pulled out of the festival, writing: “Regrettably, Young Fathers will not appear at Ruhrtrienalle Festival this year as the organizers have decided to cancel our show due to our views opposing the current Israeli government’s grave violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people and our support of the non-violent and anti-racist human rights movement, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). We feel it is a wrong and deeply unfair decision by the festival to take this stance and to also ask us to distance ourselves from our human rights principles in order for the appearance to go ahead.”

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