Petition Launched Asking German Authorities to Allow Roger Waters to Perform

Last month, Frankfurt’s City Council and the Hessian State government announced the cancellation of a concert Waters scheduled to be performed there in May, over his rank antisemitism, calling him “one of the most widely spread anti-Semites in the world.”

Now rabid Israel-hater Katie Halper – fired from The Hill for calling Israel an “apartheid state” – has launched a petition calling on “those who have canceled Waters’ concerts to reverse their decisions.”

We artists, musicians, writers, and other public figures and organizations are deeply disturbed by the recent efforts by German officials to discredit and silence musician Roger Waters. On February 24, 2023, Frankfurt’s City Council and the Hessian State government announced the cancellation of a concert Waters scheduled to be performed on May 28 at the Festhalle. The Frankfurt City Council says that they canceled Waters’ concert “set a clear signal against anti-Semitism,” describing the musician as “one of the most widely spread anti-Semites in the world.”  As evidence, the Council says that Waters “repeatedly called for a cultural boycott of Israel and drew comparisons to the apartheid regime in South Africa and put pressure on artists to cancel events in Israel.”

There is no other evidence other than these two claims: that Waters has supported the Palestinian-led cultural boycott of Israel campaign and that he has compared contemporary Israel’s government to the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Neither of these claims is unique to Waters or outside the boundaries of mainstream public opinion. Human Rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Israel’s B’TselemUnited Nations agencies, and South African officials have defined Israel as an apartheid state, and therefore, many of these organizations and individuals have made the comparison between Israel and apartheid-era South Africa.

The extremists are the Israeli Government, not its critics. Recently, Israeli citizens have been pouring into the streets to protest their government’s violent treatment of Palestinians and sweeping anti-democratic judicial changes.

Waters’ criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is part of his long-term advocacy on behalf of human rights across the globe. Waters believes “that all our brothers and sisters, all over the world irrespective of the color of their skin or the depth of their pockets deserve equal human rights under the law.” With regard to Israel and Palestine, he says, “My platform is simple: it is implementation of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all our brothers and sisters between the Jordan River and the sea. Antisemitism is odious and racist and I condemn it, along with all forms of racism, unreservedly.”

The officials vilifying Waters are engaging in a dangerous campaign that purposely conflates criticism of Israel’s illegal and unjust policies with antisemitism. This conflation perpetuates the antisemitic trope which presents Jews as a monolith who blindly support Israel. Some of Israel’s loudest critics are Jews. But those who weaponize antisemitism are fine contributing to it.

Officials in Germany, concert organizers, and music platforms must not succumb to the pressure of those individuals and groups who would rather see Waters’ music removed than engage with the issues his music highlights. We call on those who have canceled Waters’ concerts to reverse their decisions and consider their own history of antisemitism, racism and genocide and how instances of these can be stopped today in other parts of the world, including in Occupied Palestine.


Brian Eno, Musician

Peter Gabriel, Musician

Anwar Hadid, Musician

Tom Morello, Musician

Noam Chomsky, Laureate Professor of Linguistics, University of Arizona 

Cornel West, Professor, Philosopher, Author, Activist 

Susan Sarandon, Actor

Ken Loach, Film Director

Nick Mason, Drummer

Eric Clapton, Musician

Gabor Maté, Physician and Author 

Immortal Technique, Artist and Producer

Low Key, Rapper and Activist 

Andrew Feinstein, Author and Former ANC Member of Parliament

Julian Schnabel, Artist and film maker

Robert Wyatt, Musician 

Dread Scott, Artist

Emily Jacir, Artist 

Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Professor of Modern Culture & Media and Comparative Literature, Brown University

Ilan Pappé, Historian

Julie Christie, actor

Michael Malarkey, Musician

Terry Gilliam, Film Director and Actor

Norman Finkelstein, Writer, Professor

John Pilger, Journalist

Sophie Calle, Artist 

Artists for Palestine, UK 

Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers

Beth Miller, Jewish Voice for Peace Political Director

Medea Benjamin, Code Pink 

Yanis Varoufakis, Author

Noura Erakat, Human rights attorney and author 

Susan Abulhawa, Author Mornings In Jenin 

Miko Peled, Author and Activist

David Cross, Comedian, Actor, Writer, Director

Ramin Bahrani, Film director

Alia Shawkat, Actor

Sara Driver, Film director 

Caryl Churchill, Playwright

Lady Bunny, Performer

Alexei Sayle, Actor, Author, Comedian 

Adam Broomberg, Artist, Educator and Activist

John Smith, Artist Filmmaker, Emeritus Professor of Fine Art, University of East London

Rosalind Nashashibi, Artist 

Glenn Greenwald, Journalist

Chris Hedges, Journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner 

Katie Halper, Journalist 

Vijay Prashad, Journalist 

Abby Martin, journalist and Filmmaker 

Mike Prysner. Journalist and Filmmaker 

Mohamed Hadid, Developer

Robert Scheer, Journalist, Professor USC Annenberg

Krystal Ball, Journalist

Eugene Puryear, Journalist

Rania Khlek, Journalist

Ros Petchesky, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Political Science, Hunter College & the Graduate Center-CUNY, Jewish Voice For Peace 

Gerald Horne, Historian, John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston

Steven Donziger, Human Rights Attorney 

Adolph Reed, Jr. Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania 

Greg Grandin, Professor of History, Yale University 

Daniel Bessner, Historian

Frank Barat, Film Producer

Tami Gold, Filmmaker, Professor of Film & Media Studies at Hunter College

Omar Al-Qattan, Film producer and Cultural Activist 

Josh Olson, Screenwriter

Zeina Durra, Film Director

Vin Arfuso, Producer, Filmmaker

Karen Zelermyer, I Was Never There podcast 

Christian Parenti, Professor of political economy John Jay, CUNY 

Marcie Smith Parenti Writer and Attorney

Noah Kulwin, Writer

Nora Eisenberg, Novelist, Journalist

Dave Anthony, Writer

Freddie DeBoer, Writer 

Robin D.G. Kelly, Writer, Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA.

Greg Goldberg, Chair, Sociology Department, Wesleyan University

Felix Hoffmann, Arthistorian and Artistic Director Foto Arsenal Wien

Barbara Smith, Writer and Activist

Doug Henwood Journalist/Radio Host 

Liza Featherstone, Journalist 

Margaret Kimberley, Editor, Black Agenda Report

Nora Barrows-Friedman, journalist 

Yasha Levine, Journalist

Mark Ames, Journalist 

Adam Horowitz, Journalist Mondoweiss

Phil Weiss, Writer

Michael Mack, Publisher

Max Blumenthal, Journalist, The Grayzone

Stefania Maurizi, Investigative Journalist

Norman Solomon, Journalist

Branko Marcetic, Journalist, Jacobin

Alfreda Benge, Artist

Bill Morrison, Artist and Film Director

Alessandra Sanguinetti, Photographer

Robin Rhode, Artist

Jim Goldberg, Artist/ Professor Emeritus California College of the Arts

Alec Soth, Photographer

Jewish Voice For Peace

Nina Felshin, Art Curator, Writer

Tai Shani, Artist 

A number of things strike me about the petition.

Firstly, the petition itself reeks of antisemitism. It seems to compare what is happening in Israel to what happened in the Holocaust, insomuch as it asks the German authorities to “consider their own history of antisemitism, racism and genocide and how instances of these can be stopped today in other parts of the world, including in Occupied Palestine.”

Also, if you look at the high profile names backing it, you will notice they are, for the most part, the usual suspects of Israel-haters and rabid antisemites. These include rabid Jew-haters like Susan Abulhawa, Ken Loach, and Mohamed Hadid. Having them support you is hardly helping Waters’ cause in convincing people he is not also a Jew-hater.

I do have to point out how disappointing it is to see the names of Eric Clapton and Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam there. I had no idea they were morally compromised.

Meanwhile, Waters is reportedly going to sue over the concert bans.

Musician and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters is taking legal action against planned bans on his concerts in the German cities of Frankfurt and Munich.

Waters believes “this blatant attempt to silence him could have serious and far-reaching consequences for artists and activists around the world if left unchallenged,” the artist’s management in London said Tuesday night.

The cancellation of the concerts was “unconstitutional” and “unjustified,” the management defended. They were based “on the false accusation that Roger Waters is anti-Semitic, which he is not,” it added.

The musician has “instructed his lawyers to immediately take all necessary steps to reverse this unjustified decision and ensure that his fundamental human right to freedom of expression is protected,” the statement continued.

Bans don’t feel so good do they, Roger?

Meanwhile, I would love to see him argue he is not a Jew-hater. If I had a dollar for every “receipt” I have showing he is indeed one, I would be almost as rich as he is.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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