92Y Scraps Appearance by Roger Waters, Anti-Israel Pink Floyd Frontman

Manhattan Center Took Heat Over Rocker's Event

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By Paul Berger

Published April 03, 2013.
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A Manhattan cultural center has canceled an event with rock star — and outspoken Israel critic — Roger Waters.

Waters was due to speak about his 45-year career as a solo musician and a key member of the British rock group Pink Floyd at 92Y on April 30. But “An Evening with Roger Waters” — with tickets starting at $73 — raised hackles among some members of the Jewish community because of Waters’ bitter criticism of Israel.

“It’s absolutely outrageous that Jewish community funds are going to help Roger Waters spread his anti-Semitic message,” said JCC Watch founder Richard Allen, in an April 3 statement.

Allen said Jewish donors to the 92Y were, in effect, “helping to provide Waters with a facility, marketing, and respectability, so he can win over more people with his anti-Israel lies.”

In recent years, Waters has become a prominent supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Last month, he took partial credit for Stevie Wonder’s decision to pull out of a U.S. concert in aid of Friends of Israel Defense Forces.

“I wrote a letter to [Wonder] saying that this would be like playing a police ball in Johannesburg the day after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960,” Waters told pro-Palestinian website, Electronic Intifada.

A spokesman for 92Y did not respond to a request to explain why the April 30 event was canceled.

According to a commenter on a Waters fan site, 92Y contacted ticketholders on April 3 to say Waters was unable to attend the event and tickets would be refunded.

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter @pdberger


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