'Boycott is not the answer,' Jewish group says ahead of Waters' gig in DC

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters is known for his efforts to antagonize musicians who choose to perform in Israel.

Roger Waters (photo credit: REUTERS)
Roger Waters
(photo credit: REUTERS)
As Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters got ready to take the stage in Washington this weekend, a local Jewish group opened a campaign to contain the voices of protesters against the prominent BDS activist to social media.
The campaign took the form of a video, produced and sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, is an effort to educate people on the ways Waters “uses music to divide people.”
Waters is known for his efforts to persuade musicians not to perform in Israel and compared the Israeli government to Nazi Germany in a live video chat on Facebook last month.
“Music has the power to change the world by bringing people together,” the video states. “Music breaks down walls and gives people hope; Roger Waters should know that. Instead he’s using music to divide people.
“By pressuring musicians to boycott Israel, Waters makes things worse, by shutting down the free flow of ideas,” the video continues. “It’s too bad that Roger Waters doesn’t understand that peace can only be achieved through dialogue and engagement. BDS will not bring peace. BDS is not the answer. More dialogue, more respect, more music is.”
The video was produced in response to calls to hold demonstrations outside the Verizon Center, the venue where the concerts were held.
“This is a sort of welcoming party for Waters,” Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said of the video, according to The Washington Post. “We want him to know when he arrives in DC that the sort of hateful language that he’s peddling and the myths he engages in are going to be met with fierce resistance.”
Most recently, the former Pink Floyd front man went head-to-head with lead singer of Radiohead Thom Yorke, who defended his band’s decision to perform in Tel Aviv.
Rogers drew accusations of antisemitism when a concert he held in Belgium in 2013 included an inflatable pig emblazoned with the Star of David and symbols of dictatorial regimes.