(JTA) — Roger Waters projected Anne Frank’s name at recent concerts to draw comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany, leading Germany’s Orthodox rabbinical association to call for a ban on Waters performances in the country.
Observers told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman known as a leader in the boycott Israel movement, has lumped Anne Frank together with Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in on-screen projections at concerts on his current tour. Abu Akleh was killed on an assignment in the West Bank last year.
The screen at Waters concerts also frequently shows a pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with the logo of an Israeli armaments firm. He reportedly at times dons an SS uniform and symbolically shoots a machine gun into the crowd.
Some say the 79-year-old rocker plays with antisemitic stereotypes, going beyond political criticism into incitement of hate. German media “went into the shows and were disgusted by them; it is such blunt and disgusting propaganda they are hearing, and the music is really in the background,” said Sacha Stawski, Frankfurt-based pro-Israel activist and founder of Honestly Concerned.
Waters, who won many hearts in Germany through Pink Floyd’s live “The Wall” concert in 1990, recently performed concerts in Berlin and Munich and was on to Frankfurt, where he had successfully appealed a court order to ban the event. That concert is scheduled for May 28.
The city of Frankfurt had called Waters “one of the most widely spread antisemites in the world,” over imagery and Israel critique at his past concerts, in its attempt to ban him from playing there. Munich’s mayor had also unsuccessfully attempted to block a Waters show.
If they cannot stop him in the courts, opponents said they will continue to try to sway public opinion.
“My goal is to educate about his hatred, to make sure less and less people go into these concerts,” said Stawski, a main force behind efforts to challenge Waters in the Frankfurt court, which claim that Waters is antisemitic. Several German cities have passed legislation barring state-funded venues from hosting events for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that Waters champions.
Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, said at a protest before Water’s concert last Sunday in her home city that she was frustrated by the courts.
“Since October 2022, there have been arguments about this concert. Legal motions and media headlines have been produced en masse — without yielding any result,” she said. “So that now, in May, we are standing here protesting against a concert that is taking place exactly as Roger Waters always wanted it to.”
Politicians joined in the protest with Knobloch, and even the management of the Olympia Stadium, on monitors ahead of the concert, explicitly distanced itself from the singer’s politics, according to the Suddeutsche Zeitung.
“What do the regular affirmations of ‘Never Again’ by politicians and statements that antisemitism has no place in Germany actually count for, if at the same time errant interpreters and intellectual arsonists are offered a public space to blatantly spread their hatred of Jews and Israel?” read the May 22 statement from the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany, led by Rabbis Avichai Apel, Zsolt Balla and Yehuda Pushkin. “It is deeply shameful that in no case in Germany has it so far been possible to ban the clearly antisemitic and anti-Israeli concerts of Roger Waters.”
The Belltower journalist Nicholas Potter, who observed the May 17 Berlin concert, argued that Waters promoted antisemitic language.
In speech bubbles on an LED screen in the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Waters blamed the world’s troubles on “THE POWERS THAT BE,” which Potter described as “an ominous, overpowering elite that is not explicitly named — this is an antisemitic blueprint on which many conspiracy narratives work.”
Before the event, BDS supporters outside the arena handed out flyers and held up banners, one of which read, “Jews, Israelis and internationals all agree with the Roger,” added Potter, noting that the average concertgoer appeared to be white, German and around 60 years old.
Waters has had little new to say about the allegations of antisemitism and has not apparently changed his tune. According to the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, hours before his concert in Munich, Waters posted a message on Facebook calling Israel a “tyrannical, racist regime.” He compared the BDS movement to Germany’s Nazi-era White Rose resistance movement, whose leaders, including siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, were beheaded by the Nazi regime.
His remarks were in keeping with his comments in an interview with Spiegel Magazine in March. He denied that he had ever been an antisemite, and added that it was “bizarre that my career should now be attacked on the basis of allegations made by the Israel lobby.”
“For all I care, they can try to cancel every concert I do in Germany. I will fight them in court,” he told Spiegel. “It’s a tragedy for Germany that they even try. Because the message to the world is: We Germans don’t care about human rights and freedom of expression.”
People should take Waters at his word and stay away if they disagree with his politics, said Stawski, referring to the fact that Waters also tells Pink Floyd fans who don’t agree with him to “f*** off,” via the arena screen.
“If you are a fan of Pink Floyd but do not want to go along with the antisemitism, buy a CD of Pink Floyd and do not damn well go into these concerts,” Stawski said.
Dr. NATHAN WISEMAN
Wiseman, Nathan Elliot
1944 – 2023
Nathan, our beloved husband, Dad, and Zaida, died unexpectedly on December 13, 2023. Nathan was born on December 16, 1944, in Winnipeg, MB, the eldest of Sam and Cissie Wiseman’s three children.
He is survived by his loving wife Eva; children Sam (Natalie) and Marni (Shane); grandchildren Jacob, Jonah, Molly, Isabel, Nicole, and Poppy; brother David (Sherrill); sister Barbara (Ron); sister-in-law Agi (Sam) and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Nathan grew up in the north end of Winnipeg surrounded by his loving family. He received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1968, subsequently completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Manitoba and went on to complete a fellowship in Paediatric Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University. His surgeon teachers and mentors were world renowned experts in the specialty, and even included a Nobel prize winner.
His practice of Paediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg spanned almost half a century. He loved his profession and helping patients, even decades later often recounting details about the many kiddies on whom he had operated. Patients and their family members would commonly approach him on the street and say, “Remember me Dr. Wiseman?”. And he did! His true joy was caring for his patients with compassion, patience, unwavering commitment, and excellence. He was a gifted surgeon and leaves a profound legacy. He had no intention of ever fully retiring and operated until his very last day. He felt privileged to have the opportunity to mentor, support and work with colleagues, trainees, nurses, and others health care workers that enriched his day-to-day life and brought him much happiness and fulfillment. He was recognized with many awards and honors throughout his career including serving as Chief of Surgery of Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, President of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and as a Governor of the American College of Surgeons. Most importantly of all he helped and saved the lives of thousands and thousands of Manitoba children. His impact on the generations of children he cared for, and their families, is truly immeasurable.
Nathan’s passion for golf was ignited during his childhood summers spent at the Winnipeg Beach Golf Course. Southwood Golf and Country Club has been his second home since 1980. His game was excellent and even in his last year he shot under his age twice! He played an honest “play as it lies” game. His golf buddies were true friends and provided him much happiness both on and off the course for over forty years. However, his passion for golf extended well beyond the eighteenth hole. He immersed himself in all aspects of the golf including collecting golf books, antiques, and memorabilia. He was a true scholar of the game, reading golf literature, writing golf poetry, and even rebuilding and repairing antique golf clubs. Unquestionably, his knowledge and passion for the game was limitless.
Nathan approached his many woodworking and workshop projects with zeal and creativity, and he always had many on the go. During the winter he was an avid curler, and in recent years he also enjoyed the study of Yiddish. Nathan never wasted any time and lived his life to the fullest.
Above all, Nathan was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, father-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, and granduncle. He loved his family and lived for them, and this love was reciprocated. He met his wife Eva when he was a 20-year-old medical student, and she was 18 years old. They were happily married for 56 years. They loved each other deeply and limitlessly and were proud of each other’s accomplishments. He loved the life and the family they created together. Nathan was truly the family patriarch, an inspiration and a mentor to his children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and many others. He shared his passion for surgery and collecting with his son and was very proud to join his daughter’s medical practice (he loved Thursdays). His six grandchildren were his pride and joy and the centre of his world.
Throughout his life Nathan lived up to the credo “May his memory be a blessing.” His life was a blessing for the countless newborns, infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers who he cared for, for his colleagues, for his friends and especially for his family. We love him so much and there are no words to describe how much he will be missed.
A graveside funeral was held at the Shaarey Zedek cemetery on December 15, 2023. Pallbearers were his loving grandchildren. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, in the name of Dr. Nathan Wiseman.
Bill Maher tells it like it is when it comes to what “the river to the sea” really means
Bill Maher cuts to the chase like no one else. Here’s a link to a segment from the most recent episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” where he exposes the total hypocrisy of the “useful idiots” everywhere chanting “from the river to the sea”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP-CRXROorw
Jewish community holds solidarity rally November 25
The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg held a rally in support of Israel on Saturday evening, November 25.
A number of speakers addressed the crowd of 800, including Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun-Herzlia Congregation; Members of Parliament Ben Carr & Marty Morantz; Yolanda Papini-Pollock of Winnipeg Friends of Israel; Paula McPherson, former Brock Corydon teacher; and Gustavo Zentner, President of the Jewish Federation.
Click here to watch Ben Carr’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crfREGNRKfg
Click here to watch a video of Marty Morantz’s remarks: https://studio.youtube.com/video/zHzC-iaqivg/ed
Click here to watch a video of Gustavo Zentner’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3M_cCYuLgs