German broadcasters drop Roger Waters over BDS stance

Concerts by Pink Floyd star canceled over his call to boycott Israel for its abuses against Palestinians.

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Pink Floyd vocalist Roger Waters has been a long-standing critic of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians [File:Getty Images]

A series of concerts by ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has been dropped by German broadcasters over his support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting (RBB) and several other affiliates of the Consortium of Public Broadcasters in Germany (ARD) announced they would not carry the performances, scheduled to take place in June next year.

A spokesperson for RBB said the broadcaster was sending a message against Waters’ call to boycott other artists who perform in Israel.

“Having a clear position here is an important signal for RBB and also for Jewish communities in Berlin and Brandenburg,” said the channel’s artistic director, Patricia Schlesinger.

Waters has been a long-standing supporter of Palestinian rights and a critic of Israel’s behaviour in the occupied territories.

The singer was one of the signatories to an open letter sent to musician Nick Cave calling on him not to perform in Israel.

“When international artists of your stature, despite the appeals of Palestinians, continue to turn up on Israeli stages, the government which promotes these crimes takes heart: whatever it does, it seems there will be no penalty,” the letter said.

“You may say that you oppose [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. But it matters little whether or not artists endorse Israel’s government. It’s the fact they’re willing to perform in Israel that is important. It is seen as public approval for the status quo.”

The highest levels of the Israeli government have moved to act against BDS, and some commentators in the country have called it an “existential threat”.

Netanyahu has called on his allies abroad to disavow groups that call for boycotts of the state.

Source: Al Jazeera