Roger Waters To German Fans: ‘Have You Lost Your Minds?’

Regarding the current situation between Israel and Palestine, Roger Waters published an open message to the German people on Tuesday, January 16. He wrote in the video letter’s caption:

“Did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage? I thought we all agreed ‘never again.’ Here is a letter I wrote to the good people of Germany in May 2019 after the Bundestag wrongly declared BDS anti-Semitic.”

Roger’s Criticism Of Germany

The pro-Palestinian “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) campaign was declared anti-Semitic by the German Bundestag back in 2019. Waters, well-known for his opposition to the Israeli government and support of the movement, voiced his disapproval of this choice on Facebook:

“Dear People of Germany: Are you mad? For your lawmakers in the Bundestag to enshrine in German law the suppression of the human rights of a specific group of people, as they did last week, should be ringing alarm bells so loud that the whole population takes to the streets holding their hands over their ears like the haunted soul in Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream.

Have you lost your minds? Have you forgotten what happened in your country in the 1930s and 40s, when the rule of law was subverted to support the racist/supremacist/apartheid bullsh**t that passed for law and order under the Nazis?”

His Support For ‘Resistance’

Waters continued by mentioning that she had previously visited the graves of Hans, Sophie, and Christoph Probst, all of whom had been put to death for their support of the White Rose resistance movement against Nazi power. He wrote, citing their “non-violent” struggle for the rights of the Jewish people in the 1930s and 1940s:

“Today, in the Holy land, another people is being persecuted, denied all human rights, especially the rights to life and liberty, by another racist/supremacist/apartheid government, that government is the government of Israel. In civil society all over the world, there exists a non-violent movement very similar to the Scholl kid’s ‘White Rose Movement,’ which supports this other people’s claim to recover their basic human rights under the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva conventions and the treaty of Rome. That people who have no rights, is the Palestinian People, and the non-violent movement that stands up for Palestinian human rights is called BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions). BDS is the organization the Bundestag is so wantonly seeking to criminalize.”

Addressing The Anti-Semitism Accusations

The musician discussed the negative response he got for criticizing Israel, stating:

“When I was in Germany last year, I came under attack from the Israeli lobby, which, because of my support for Palestinian human rights, falsely tried to smear me as an anti-Semite. I was not all that surprised because the ‘anti-Semite’ smear is the Israeli government/lobby’s only tactic in its attempts to silence critics of their policies.”

According to Waters, he made an effort to get the media to discuss these charges but received no reaction. His quote is as follows:

“After banging my head against this wall of resistance, I did finally persuade one newspaper, Suddeutche Zeitung to do an interview. It was weirdly combative, but I thank the journalist Alexander Gorkov for at least giving me the time of day. However, Alexander was a lone exception during that working trip last year; the rest of the German media seemed to be blinded, struck dumb, emotionally crippled by the guilt and shame handed down from their recent genocidal Nazi past.”

Commenting on the media’ silence,’ he shared:

“Many are also terrified of the stigma of being falsely accused of being anti-Semitic if they voice the slightest criticism of Israel’s oppressive regime. With some notable exceptions, the whole of German society seems to be affected by this psychological malaise, and in consequence, the country sometimes blindly stumbles, loses its way, and unwittingly does really bad things.”

Calling The Germans Out For Support

German parliamentarians said that BDS’s political tactics and tendencies were anti-Semitic the year that Waters published his letter for the first time. Thus, he wrote, alluding to the ruling:

“Criminalizing BDS is a really bad thing that German society is doing right now. So, in the name of Sophie Scholl, who will be turning in her grave at this betrayal of everything she stood for, everything she and Hans and Christoph Probst died for, I beg the German people to demand the repeal of this tyrannical legislation. Munch’s terrible vision waits at the bottom of the slippery slope to tyranny upon which you, the German people, are embarking.”

The artist addressed the German audience by sharing a story from Sophie Scholl’s life.

“There are many partings of the way in life, many paths to choose, Sophie Scholl’s father once told his daughter, on an evening walk by the Danube, ‘All I want is for you to walk straight and free through life, even when it’s hard.’ He, an avowed anti-Nazi, knew that the choices are not always easy, but this one is simple. Just ask yourself this question: Do I support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from Paris in 1948? Do I support equal human rights for all my brothers and sisters all over the world, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, or nationality? If your answer to these questions is yes, your choice is easy, there is only one right path, take it.”

Roger Waters has been the target of media charges of anti-Semitism in recent years. His remarks against the Israeli government last year drew harsh condemnation and resulted in the cancelation of his German performances.



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