Roger Waters to Perform at Venue Whose Main Sponsor is Israeli-Owned
The Jerusalem Post reports how Roger Waters will be performing at a Portuguese venue whose main sponsor is owned by an Israeli.
The Jewish Community of Porto has criticized anti-Israel rock star Roger Waters who will be touring Europe in the next few weeks and performing in Portugal but are especially troubled by the fact that the venue’s main sponsor is the Altice company, owned by French-Israeli businessman Patrick Drahi.
The Pink Floyd bassist is a leading proponent of the BDS movement against Israel.
The venue in Lisbon is the Altice Arena, which is among the largest indoor arenas in Europe and the largest in Portugal with a capacity of 20,000 people.
A member of the Lisbon Jewish community told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that “we were shocked when we heard that Waters was coming to perform in our country and even more surprised when we found out that he will perform at the arena that is sponsored by an Israeli Jew.”
A spokesperson on behalf of Drahi told the Post on Thursday that “Altice would like to point out that it is the naming sponsor of the largest concert hall in Lisbon, Portugal, but has no control over the programming and the artists who perform there.”
The spokesperson explained that the review of the contracts linking Altice to this concert hall “does not allow Altice to intervene,” yet he emphasized that “obviously, the founder of Altice specifies that he doesn’t associate himself with this event and regrets it deeply.”
He continued by explaining that “as soon as it became aware of the programming, Altice reached out to the owner of the concert hall to see if it was possible to cancel, but the owner said it was too late and [they] could not cancel [the concert] as all the tickets were already sold out.”
59-year-old Drahi is considered to be a pro-Israel philanthropist and investor. He is one of the wealthiest citizens of Israel and owns major communications companies such as Hot and i24NEWS.
While I understand the Jewish community’s feelings about this, I think the correct strategy here is to point out what a hypocrite Waters will be if he goes ahead with the concert at the venue. He does, after all, harass people in an effort to convince them to boycott anything with even a smell of Israeli.