Barcelona Urged to Deny Notorious Antisemite Roger Waters Use of Public Venue for Upcoming Concert

Ex-Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters performs at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain, March 29, 2011. Photo: Alterna2 via Wikimedia Commons.

March 8, 2023

The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) has called on the Barcelona municipality to deny former Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters use of a public venue for an upcoming concert in the city. 

As of now, Waters — infamous for his litany of antisemitic rhetoric and behavior in recent years — is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, March 21st, at the city-owned Palau Sant Jordi at 9 PM.

The 79-year-old Waters is in the midst of his European “This Is Not a Drill” tour that also includes stops in Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Amsterdam, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Bologna, Budapest, Zurich, Paris, Hamburg, Cologne, Lille, Antwerp, Munich, Berlin, Prague, Birmingham, Glasgow, London, and Manchester in the coming months.

A planned May 28th show at the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany, was cancelled last week, with the city council citing Waters “persistent anti-Israel behavior” and describing him as “one of the most widely spread antisemites in the world.

In a letter addressed to Jordi Martí — the Sixth Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, In Charge of the Area of Culture, Education, Science, and Community — and sent on Tuesday, CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa noted Waters’ “long track record of using his performances and other appearances to propagate vitriolic antisemitic bigotry and exclude and demonize the Jewish people.”

“Waters has regularly voiced classic antisemitic tropes about Jewish ‘power’ and ‘influence’ over international affairs, and his past shows have featured juxtaposed imagery of Stars of David with dollar signs and pigs,” Roytman Dratwa wrote. “He has also tendentiously singled out and vilified the State of Israel, often comparing it to the Nazi regime and accusing it of perpetrating ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘apartheid.'”

“Such expressions are clear examples of contemporary Jew-hatred, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, which has been adopted by more than 1,100 entities in recent years, and Waters should be shunned for his active role in spreading prejudice at a time of rising antisemitism worldwide,” Roytman Dratwa added.

“We therefore urge the City of Barcelona to join Frankfurt in rejecting Waters’ message of hate and deny him use of the Palau Sant Jordi or any other public venue,” he concluded.

The CAM letter can be read in full here.

A similar message was delivered to Martí by the Spanish pro-Israel group ACOM over the weekend.

Two weeks ago, the Barcelona City Council approved a resolution urging the “urgent and immediate” restoration the “twin city” agreement with Tel Aviv that was unilaterally severed earlier in February by Mayor Ada Colau, who accused the State of Israel of “repeated violations of the human rights of the Palestinian population.”