Boycotting BDS: U.S. Jews Call on Sponsors of Roger Waters Concert Tour to Pull Support

Organizations urge sponsors to reconsider involvement with 'hostile, bigoted and anti-Semitic' musician who supports boycott against Israel

Roger Waters performs on stage during a concert in San Jose on November 24, 2018.
Photo by Ezequiel BECERRA / AFP

American Jewish leaders are calling on companies sponsoring Pink Floyd founder Roger Water’s upcoming concerts in Mexico to withdraw their support.

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Arthur Stark and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein announced that they are “urging” sponsors of the musician’s tour to reconsider “in view of the hostile, bigoted, and anti-Semitic comments made by Mr. Waters on numerous occasions.”

The heads of the Simon Wiesenthal Center directed their message at Citibank, saying that its Mexican branch, Citibanamex, had ignored their calls to withdraw sponsorship and that they were appealing to the company’s headquarters.

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“It is inconceivable that a global corporate giant would be a financial enabler of a musician whose concerts’ trademark is a giant floating pig with a star of David and who daily demeans the largest Jewish community in the world – the Jewish state of Israel,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “We expect Citibank to be responsive to our community’s justified concerns and fears. At the minimum, Citibank should suspend all future sponsorship of this bigot.”

The Conference of Presidents statement said that Waters “should not be given a stage to spread his anti-Israel and anti-Jewish messages.

“In the aftermath of the events in Pittsburgh and with the rise of anti-Semitism globally it is essential that we speak up clearly and demand zero tolerance of intolerance, no excuses and no exceptions,” Stark and Hoenlein said in a joint statement.  “Mr. Waters has not only espoused his views but he has pushed other entertainers to boycott Israel, often using extreme methods and pressure. His comments are not based on a criticism of a particular policy, but of Israel's right to exist.”

The statement also called elected officials in countries where Waters will appear to make clear their rejection of his “offensive views.”

The call came after Waters has taken his tour to Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Columbia and Costa Rica and is poised to play seven concerts in Mexico.

Jennifer Bombardier, a spokesperson for Citibank responded, saying: “Citi is not a sponsor of Roger Waters’ current tour. Recently, Citibanamex offered a limited time cardmember ticket pre-sale for four shows in Mexico, as we do for thousands of concerts by various artists around the world every year. The pre-sale has ended.”