The Spectacle Blog

Watering Down Anti-Semitism

By on 12.18.13 | 11:22PM

While Matt Walther does not approve of Roger Waters’ words and deeds directed towards Israel, he takes me to task for characterizing Waters as an anti-Semite. Matt chides, “Anti-Semite is not an epithet to be tossed at one's political opponents.”

Before I proceed further, let me convey my appreciation to Wlady for his response to Matt’s assertion. With that let me add my own.

Matt argues, “I do not see enough evidence to suggest that Waters, however crudely he chooses to express his disagreements with Israeli foreign and domestic policy, actually hates Jewish people.” On that point, it would behoove Matt to read Jonathan Marks’ recent article in Commentary on the subject:

Waters has not been adequately coached. In the BDS movement, you are supposed to refer to your targets as “Zionists” (because it is all right to view people who support Israel’s national project as proto-Nazis) or as “pro-Israel.” With that one “Jewish lobby,” the mask slipped. One does not have to think that Roger Waters dislikes Jews to think that his general way of thinking, along with the way of thinking of many of his comrades in arms, is infected with anti-Semitic mythology. To repeat: Roger Waters thinks that there is a powerful Jewish lobby in the music industry that may just be out to kill him.

Let me sum things up this way. If calling for a boycott of Israel and no other nation on earth, refusing to play in Israel and no other nation on earth, placing a Star of David on a floating pig, placing a Star of David and a dollar sign on an image of a B-52 bomber, speaking about the “Jewish lobby” and likening present day Israel to 1930’s Germany do not cumulatively constitute acts of anti-Semitism then what exactly does a guy have to do for Matt Walther to declare that someone is an anti-Semite?

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