Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Helps Tear Down the Last Taboo

By Hanley, Delinda C. | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October 2017 | Go to article overview

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Helps Tear Down the Last Taboo


Hanley, Delinda C., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


IT'S A FACT THAT AMERICANS and the rest of the world are partial to our celebrities. So when a cultural icon speaks out or tweets a political opinion, it makes an impact that most politicians can only dream of (unless that politician happens to be a former celebrity). Over the years some larger-than-life heroes have spoken out in support of the Palestinian struggle for an independent state, but it used to cost them-until now. Movie stars and filmmakers used to get away with racist, anti-Arab or Islamophobic views, but now more often than not that prejudice costs at the box office.

Criticizing Israel is no longer the last taboo in the entertainment business. Athletes, actors, artists, authors, musicians and others-many of them Jewish-have played a vital role in showing Americans that criticism of Israeli actions isn't anti-Semitic.

Roger Waters, the famous British singer and songwriter who co-founded the legendary rock band Pink Floyd in 1965, is one celebrity leading the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). In an open letter he wrote in July 2013, Waters asked his fellow musicians to join him in refusing to perform in Israel. When he was subsequently attacked by the pro-Israel lobby, he responded, "To peacefully protest against Israel's racist domestic and foreign policies is NOT ANTI-SEMITIC. For U.S. and most of EU governments, any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism and is not accepted. It's the same in Hollywood: criticizing Israel is forbidden!"

In the past few years, Waters has helped change that unwritten rule. Pink Floyd achieved international success, becoming one of the most successful groups in the history of popular music by the 1980s. Waters leftthe group in 1985. In 1990, he staged one of the largest and most extravagant rock concerts in history, "The Wall-Live in Berlin," with an official attendance of 200,000. In 2010, he began "The Wall Live" tour. As of 2017, that tour is the highest grossing of all time by a solo artist.

This past June Waters released his first solo album in nearly 25 years, "Is This the Life We Really Want?" It's full of songs protesting war, world leaders and the plight of refugees. Waters sings of homes "bulldozed to the ground," of "Broken Bones" and "The Last Refugee."

This year's "Us+Them" tour-54 shows across North America-is not without controversy for its provocative Trump-slamming imagery. For years his shows featured an inflatable floating pig emblazoned with a Jewish star, a Crucifix, the Crescent and Star, the Hammer and Sickle, the Shell Oil logo and the McDonald's sign, a Dollar sign and a Mercedes sign...

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation ran an ad in the Miami Herald protesting Waters' July 23 concert there. As a result the Miami Beach Parks Department canceled plans for 12 teen club students to join him on stage.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington produced a social media video campaign criticizing Waters' support for BDS before his concerts Aug. 4 and 5 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.

Despite the controversies, Waters' show's message is that love conquers all. During the hit song, "Another Brick in the Wall," local children rip offprison jumpsuits and dance in liberation.

Waters' creative director and show designer Sean Evans told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "If he was going to go and bring a show around the world at his age [73], he wanted it to be full of meaning and full of commentary."? Waters told CNN: "In life you have to make your choice as to whether you do the right thing or the thing that makes you the most money. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Helps Tear Down the Last Taboo
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.