In a lengthy interview with Rolling Stone magazine this week, former Pink Floyd front man and Israel-hating obsessive Roger Waters demonstrated his all-consuming preoccupation with the Jews.
He speaks about watching Jewish Life Television late at night and reading about “old local Jewish ladies” who organize protests against him. Like most anti-Semites, he peddles central Jewish coordination theories, asserting that pro-Israel efforts, such as this very column, are organized by the prime minister of Israel’s office. “Hasbara, the arm of the Prime Minister’s Office that we all know starts with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv. It’s very organized, and I see it all over my Facebook page all the time. It’s this hugely organized thing.”
But for all his loathing of Israel, including flying pigs with Mogen Dovids on them as his concerts, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and Israel’s policies to the Holocaust, and publicly condemning far more successful performers such as Jon Bon Jovi for performing in Israel, Rogers insists he is not a Jew-hater. “It’s not the Israeli people, not Jews, not Judaism. I would never dream of attacking them.”
It’s a refrain from that Waters has peddled many times before, including an open letter to the UK’s Daily Telegraph last year. “It is not, however, true that I am an anti-Semite or that I am against the Israeli people. I am neither of those. I am a critic of the policies of this government of Israel.”
Don’t believe him. Here’s why.
The essence of anti-Semitism is the attempt to defame the Jewish people as a murderous, bloodthirsty nation that is deeply immoral and therefore poses a direct threat to civilization. As such, it must be neutralized at any cost.
At the heart of Jew-hatred is the blood libel, the false accusation that the Jews are demonic, sadistic killers. Mr. Waters should know about the blood libel because its first appearance was in Britain. Benedictine monk Thomas of Monmouth is generally credited with having popularized the blood libel in his The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich, written in 1173, about a young boy who was found stabbed to death. Thomas quoted a servant woman who said she witnessed the Jews lacerating the boy’s head with thorns, crucifying him, and piercing his side. While William was canonized and miracles attributed to him, the Jews of Norwich fared less well.
On February 6, 1190, they were all found slaughtered in their homes, save those who escaped to the local tower where they committed mass suicide.
Of course, the original blood libel was the accusation that the Jews killed Jesus.
Matthew describes how Pontius Pilate did his all to save Jesus but the Jews wanted him dead. “When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” (27:24-25) The truth, of course, is that Pontius Pilate was a tyrannical despot and mass murderer.
He was Rome’s most brutal prefect, so wicked, even by ruthless Roman standards, that Josephus, writing in his Antiquities of the Jews, relates that he was recalled by Rome in the year 36. The idea that he would seek permission from the Jews to put someone to death is laughable.
No, the Jews had absolutely nothing to do with the death of Jesus, perpetrated entirely by Rome, as the greatest Roman historian of the age writes explicitly: “Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate.”
Now imagine this for a moment. A nation is accused of actually killing God, snuffing out the source of all life and light. Imagine the demonic power that would be necessary to kill a being of infinite strength. And imagine the Satanic will that would have to be conjured up to even think of killing God. No nation, in the long annals of mankind, has ever been accused of something so heinous, other than the Jews. And no nation has ever paid as big a price.
The charge of Jesus-killer was on the mouths of all those who rose up to murder millions of innocent Jewish men, women and children in pogroms, auto-da-fés, inquisitions, crusades and genocides.
Never has so pernicious a lie ever been hurled at any people. That is, until modern times when even this lie has been outdone by the blood libel of the Jews as Nazis.
Ponder to yourself what it takes for someone like Roger Waters to accuse the Jews of being the Gestapo, the SS, Hitler himself.
The Nazis, personifying the darkest evil the world has ever known, rounded up the Jews of Europe and starved them to death in ghettos, taking the living skeletal remains and packing them in cattle trains to the death camps of Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek, and most infamous of all, Auschwitz.
One-and-a-half million children lost their lives to the chlorine gas of Zyklon- B. For many this was a relief.
Yet Roger Waters would accuse the only democracy in the Middle East, where Arabs live with greater rights than in any Arab country, of being Nazis. Women in Saudi Arabia are beaten for speaking privately in a room with unmarried men. But Mr. Waters accuses Israel. Arab children are gassed to death in Syria. But Mr. Waters condemns Israel. Gay Palestinian men are slaughtered by their neighbors in Gaza under the pretext of being collaborators. But Mr. Waters is troubled by Israel.
Mr. Waters would accuse the Jewish state – where Arabs serve on the Supreme Court, as doctors and nurses in hospitals, and as members of parliament – as being the equivalent of a Nazi government that hunted Jews and reduced them to ashes. Waters would accuse the Jews, who give complete control of their holiest site in Jerusalem to the Muslim Wakf, of being like the Germans who snuffed out six million Jewish lives.
Only a wretched, pitiless, cold-blooded ignoramus could make such a fraudulent allegation. Only a man whose breast swells with hatred of Jews could fabricate so sinister a blood libel. And only a first-class fraud like Roger Waters would believe that he could lie so viciously to an educated public and get away with it.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the international best-selling author of 30 books, including his most recent, The Israel Warriors Handbook.
Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.