Roger Waters, who used his opportunity while gracing the stage at the event in California late last year to bash Israel yet again, will soon embark on a huge North American tour in support of a new album.
As many may remember, this is the tour that Citibank and Amex refused to sponsor due to Waters on stage anti Israel rantings at Oldchella. I can only hold my breath in anticipation of how Waters will incorporate his Tolkien world view that Israel is Mordor into his new album and tour.
One of the venues he will be playing is the American Airlines Arena in Miami. The AAA is a county owned facility managed by the Miami Heat Organization which is owned by the Arison family. The Arison family also own Carnival Cruise Lines. They are also one of the most prominent, wealthy, and philanthropic Israeli families in America. The patriarch, Ted Arison, fought in the Jewish Brigade during World War 2 and was an officer in the War for Israel’s Independence. His daughter Shari Arison is one of the wealthiest women in Israel and controls the Ted Arison Foundation, which according to its website has invested more than US$420 million in social causes in Israel. His son Micky runs the family business including the Miami Heat, AAA arena and Carnival Cruise Lines.
It certainly seems like strange bedfellows for the most prominent anti Israel, some say anti Semitic, and avowed BDS champion to do business with a family so prominently linked with Israel and pro-Israel causes. There are many venues in South Florida that could have hosted Waters that did not involve such Israeli connections.
Why are these parties in this equation?
While I as an attorney in Miami have no connection with Roger Waters, other than the thousands of hours I listened to Pink Floyd over the years, I sought contact with those close to the Miami Heat and Arison family for answers. I sent a letter to one of their attorneys outlining my concern that Waters playing his concert in a county owned facility could violate Florida’s new anti-BDS law, and that it was disturbing that the Arison’s would give Waters a stage to bash Israel.
I have subsequently spoken to multiple management officials and attorneys that work for the Arisons. They have been very courteous and genuinely sympathetic to my point of view. However, they deny their agreement violates Florida law and their position appears to be this is just business and not an endorsement of his views. However, it is clear they will not boycott a boycotter.
I wonder how Waters reconciles this with his anti Israel, pro boycott mentality? Is it just business to him? If his business was distinct from his principles, he should not advocate a boycott.
He could argue if ever questioned that the Miami Heat and the AAA are American businesses, not Israeli, to avoid the obvious disparity. However, given the Israeli credentials and prominence of the Arison family, only a monumental hypocrite would make that argument with a straight face. But in the end that’s what it really comes down to. As we have learned with other Pro BDSer’s using Israeli technology in their efforts to boycott Israeli technology (See Max Blumenthal using Israeli company WIX web design platform, and Steven Hawking using Israeli made Intel Core i7 chip to communicate his adherence of the boycott), BDSer’s like Waters are hypocrites who hold Israel (as the only Jewish country in the World) out for scorn, derision and boycott to the exclusion of so much else that is so much worse in the World that do not involve Jews making news.
It would be refreshing if these strange bedfellows were publicly confronted with these questions. It would be satisfying if they were compelled to answer, as their answers would surely be eyeopening.