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Oct 20, 2015 10:07 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Looming Roger Waters Concert Draws Ire From Jewish Residents, Threaten To Picket

Jewish community members are upset and may protest an upcoming performance featuring Roger Waters at the Bay Street Theater later this month.  DANA SHAW
Oct 20, 2015 4:32 PM

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters may soon have a taste of his own medicine, or so say a number of Jewish residents on the East End who have a message for the musician: His anti-Israel sentiments are not welcome.

Mr. Waters—a part-time Bridgehampton resident whose albums “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall” are two of the best-selling records of all time—is scheduled for a sold-out performance on Friday, October 30, at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, part of G.E. Smith’s “Portraits” concert series. Some local Jewish residents, including those who support the not-for-profit venue, say they refuse to stand idly by.

“I am tired of being pushed around and saying nothing,” Sag Harbor resident and art dealer Ruth Vered, formerly of Vered Art Gallery in East Hampton, said last week. “So, let me tell you something: It is not freedom of speech, it is freedom of hate,” she added, referencing Bay Street Theater’s position on First Amendment rights in relation to Mr. Waters’s upcoming concert.

Some of Mr. Waters’s performances have included a large, pig-shaped balloon stamped with the Star of David, which inflates at the end of the concert. Mr. Waters has said he is anti-Israel, not anti-Semitic, and that the Star of David represents the Israeli government, not the Jewish people.

In 2006, he signed his name on the Israeli West Bank barrier, which separates Palestine from Israel, and included a lyric from “The Wall”: “We don’t need no thought control.” That visit sparked an activist streak that has continued in the years since. Earlier this month, Mr. Waters, who has undertaken a slew of public anti-Israel initiatives and is boycotting Israel, made headlines by calling on rocker Jon Bon Jovi to cancel a concert he and other artists planned in Tel Aviv, linking it to support of violence against Palestinians.

Most notable is his active and ongoing participation in the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement, or BDS, which aims to embargo Israeli exports as well as corporations that deal with Israel in order to put political and economic pressure on the country—its ultimate goal is to end what it calls Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

Tracy Mitchell, the executive director of Bay Street Theater, said musicians are not interviewed on their political views before they perform.

His Halloween show at Bay Street is not Mr. Waters’s first performance on the East End, where he has lived part time for years. Just this past summer, he participated in the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival as a narrator of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale.”

“We will welcome his musical talents, and that does not mean that we endorse his political views,” Ms. Mitchell said on Monday. “We are committed to the right to free speech. He is not coming here to talk about Israel, he is coming here to play music.”

Taylor Barton, the producer and curator of “Portraits”—who is married to Mr. Smith—added that Mr. Waters is a “brilliant” musician, which is why he was asked to participate in the series. “We are not doing anything political,” she said on Monday. “We are doing music.”

“What I want to do is boycott him,” said Ms. Vered, who has suggested picketing the performance. “I want the people to understand that they have to stand for their rights and their honor, and not stand for people who are Jew haters.”

Goldie Baumgarten, co-director of Chabad of East Hampton, explained that anti-Semitic and anti-Israel opinions often take on the same meaning, especially in this case—considering Mr. Waters has said that Israel does not belong to Jewish people.

“It is not condonable to put Israel like the villains, when all they are doing is trying to protect themselves and trying to make peace with people who just want to murder them,” Ms. Baumgarten said, adding that she plans to picket his performance as well. “It is a terrible accusation, a terrible thing to say. It is lies, and it is revising history as it happens.”

Neil Fagan, director of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, said he is unsure picketing is the answer, but said perhaps the theater should note in the program that it does not support Mr. Waters’s views. “He is not correct in what he is trying to do,” he said of Mr. Waters urging musicians to cancel their concerts in Israel. “Musical performers are wonderful, and they bridge the gap between political problems.”

He noted that many goods used every day in the United States are made in Israel, including medicine, and, ultimately, Mr. Waters is boycotting those things, too. “He is very narrow-minded,” he said.

Music knows no borders, and perhaps local Jewish residents can send a message by allowing Mr. Waters’s music to be heard by those who wish to hear it, while ensuring Bay Street clearly states that it does not condone his views, Mr. Fagan said. “He is a top performer. We should not to stoop to his level and try to boycott him from being here.”

Ms. Mitchell said that she was not even aware of Mr. Waters’s views until she was recently alerted to them, and that his performance is simply a night to celebrate music. In the future, the theater could host a dialogue encouraging community members to express their views on this topic, she said.

“He is one of the top musicians of our day and has been for 40 years,” she said, “and that’s what he is coming for.”

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Who cares about his politics? If we judge entertainers on their politic beliefs, we'd be looking at empty tv screens and vacant musical venues. This is just silly.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 15 11:30 AM
Since when has Ruth Vered ever stood by and not said anything????? Hopefully this time, for a change, she'll know what she's talking about. Oh wait, nope, she didn't.

Don't like the guy's politics, don't go to his show. But keep your nose out of a music venues business decisions that are made based on artistic standards not your petty personal interests.
By em (50), sagaponack on Oct 20, 15 11:56 AM
who are you to criticize Ruth Vered. What a nasty comment.
By Aviva (3), Brooklyn on Feb 21, 16 4:35 PM
Nothing is silly when dealing with East End residents with nothing else better to do. Objecting to things is what East End residents do best, it is like a hobby. As many entertainers and celebrities are involved in events out here, I'm sure there is a group of people who object their personal ideology. There could be multiple protests every week.
By deelove (149), Bridgehampton on Oct 20, 15 11:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
How many people does it take to represent an entire community? One, two, ten? Was a meeting held? Was there a consensus with the entire Jewish community?
By deelove (149), Bridgehampton on Oct 20, 15 12:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
Many people didn't like the G.W. Bush administration, and many don't like the Obama administration. That does not mean these people don't like Americans or America as a whole. Waters, not to mention many Jews across the world, don't like the policies of the sitting Israeli government. That doesn't mean these people are anti Semitic or anti Israel.

I think Scientologists are a cult of buffoons, but I like Beck's music and I'll pay to hear him play it. My choice, my money and I guarantee ...more
By Arnold Timer (324), Sag Harbor on Oct 20, 15 12:47 PM
2 members liked this comment
I can understand why.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Oct 20, 15 12:55 PM
"Who cares about his politics? If we judge entertainers on their politic beliefs, we'd be looking at empty tv screens and vacant musical venues. This is just silly."--

Perhaps silly to YOU, but it's way more than his political beliefs. He's encouraging sanctioning and is very VOCAL about HIS (Silly) opinion requesting the world boycott Israel based on biased reporting. It's a bit brazen don't you think? Stick to music & not politicize his listeners and those in his field.

"Don't ...more
By Infoseeker (275), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 15 3:02 PM
3 members liked this comment
He is an American who is entitled to his opinions. Period. If you don't like his, or any other entertainer's opinion, then don't support them. It is very simple. But I think anyone who chooses to do so is losing out. I dislike a lot of political talk from the musicians I follow. But I follow their music, not their political opinions. I've never voted for or against any politician based on their taste in music, why should this be different?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 15 10:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
The irony of you you being upset at that person's opinion is not lost on me.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Oct 21, 15 6:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
If that is in reference to me.......I am not upset at anything. I just don't judge entertainers on their politic philosophy, and I think it is foolish to do so. With the exception of Ted Nugent, of course.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 22, 15 11:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Arnold Timer (324), Sag Harbor on Oct 20, 15 5:26 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Arnold Timer (324), Sag Harbor on Oct 20, 15 5:36 PM
Oh no! A bunch of angry old jews picketing in sag harbor! I love it- I;m gonna go watch
By PoliticallyIncorrect (45), earth on Oct 20, 15 6:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Jesus wants enjoy the music, c'mon people! Make a joyful noise unto the lord not all this nagging and complaining.
By IdaJohnson (1), on Oct 20, 15 6:39 PM
I don't think any Jewish people are going to go ...........
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 20, 15 7:49 PM
I can tell you that you are mistaken...
By Arnold Timer (324), Sag Harbor on Oct 20, 15 9:35 PM
I see you didn't get the joke ........
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 21, 15 7:34 AM
Sorry, There's not generally much levity within these posts :)
By Arnold Timer (324), Sag Harbor on Oct 23, 15 6:06 PM
Honestly, to all those who think this is a non-issue, remember he is using his fame as a political platform, so to expect those who oppose him to not attend makes perfect sense. To those who don't care, enjoy yourself.

Oh... and Politically Incorrect, your comment,

"Oh no! A bunch of angry old jews picketing in sag harbor! I love it- I;m gonna go watch:"

SPEAKS VOLUMES... Pity to those who find humor in hatred.

By Infoseeker (275), Hampton Bays on Oct 21, 15 9:12 AM
Quote:

"Some of Mr. Waters’s performances have included a large, pig-shaped balloon stamped with the Star of David, which inflates at the end of the concert."
---------------------------------------

I see that the crazed Press censors have cut Arnold Timer's comment referencing the above sentence (because he committed the mortal sin, unique to the Press, of posting a [very illuminating] LINK.) That's too bad, because its extirpation allows a complete misconception, caused ...more
By highhatsize (4038), East Quogue on Oct 21, 15 9:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
HHS: How about the treatment of the Palestinians and their gross leadership teaching children and citizens to wipe the jews off the face of the earth?
By Infoseeker (275), Hampton Bays on Oct 21, 15 10:05 AM
That is both despicable and irrelevant. Waters has as much right to voice his opinion as you do, Info and whether he or you is more informed on the issues is simply, again, a matter of opinion.
By VOS (1198), WHB on Oct 21, 15 8:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Ken Dorph (2), Sag Harbor on Oct 21, 15 11:06 PM
Nah thanks
I'll talk to Kenneth Meshoe about apartheid.

By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 22, 15 12:49 AM
Ken...don't you think if their gov would peacefully work out a solution with the Israelis they could all assimilate rather than being segregated?
By Infoseeker (275), Hampton Bays on Oct 22, 15 6:42 AM
to infoseeker:

Quote:

"[D]on't you think if their gov would peacefully work out a solution with the Israelis they could all assimilate rather than being segregated?"
------------------------------------------------

The Israeli government is absolutely opposed to assimilation of the Palestinians. Were that to happen, Israel would no longer be a JEWISH state.

Currently, there are as many non-Jews as Jews living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean ...more
By highhatsize (4038), East Quogue on Oct 22, 15 10:10 AM
Please go to you tube and check this out:
5 Palestinian lies.......
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 22, 15 1:38 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By factsrfacts (3), Sag Harbor on Oct 22, 15 2:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
to factsrfacts:

Quote:

"Roger Waters spreads lies, is rewriting history and seeds hatred towards Israel"
-----------------------------------------

Entirely false. Moreover, you make no attempt to substantiate your specious accusation, choosing rather to devote the remainder of your post to sophomoric Right-Wing Israeli cant.

Zionists, extremist Israelophiles, and Jewish victimhood promoters invariably abandon dialectic when they accuse honorable people like ...more
By highhatsize (4038), East Quogue on Oct 22, 15 10:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
Tracy Mitchell, your comments are not tenable, Waters demanded Bon Jovi cancel his appearance in Israel and not exercise his musical talent like you are allowing Waters to do here. Rather Waters wanted him silenced altogether and not express his musical talent at all
By factsrfacts (3), Sag Harbor on Oct 22, 15 2:58 PM
Someone doesn't know the meaning of "tl;dr."
By btdt (440), water mill on Oct 22, 15 9:59 PM
"""He is an American who is entitled to his opinions. """""""

Roger Waters is not American. He is entitled to his opinions, though, as non-Americans are allowed the same.
By btdt (440), water mill on Oct 22, 15 10:01 PM
Wow, very sensitive subject. Interestingly I never heard a single objection anywhere when Linda Rondstadt used to interject her concerts with very blatant anti George Bush commentary. I am a fan of neither but if I'm paying to hear music then that's all I want to hear. And it seems to me that so long as Mr. Waters keeps his audience happy then all is good. Otherwise the pro-Isreal lobby could make personal attacks against anyone that disagrees with them. No free speech whatsoever.

And ...more
By Funbeer (261), Southampton on Oct 23, 15 4:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
Unfortunately Funbeer, he's not keeping many of his audience happy.
By Infoseeker (275), Hampton Bays on Oct 23, 15 10:35 AM
I believe he is in fact keeping his audience happy. Those protesting are not his audience.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 23, 15 12:13 PM
Waters last concert tour (2010-2013) of "The Wall", was the largest grossing tour ever by a solo performer. I'd cite my source but the censors here will delete it. You can G00gle it on the site that begins with wiki. 4.1 million people attended with an average of 19,000 people/show. over $465 million gross.
By Arnold Timer (324), Sag Harbor on Oct 23, 15 1:22 PM
NOT ANY MORE... You can have the jerk!
By Aviva (3), Brooklyn on Feb 21, 16 4:39 PM
Just when the post-season doldrums begin to take hold,
the Jews threaten to picket Roger Walters for appearing in Sag Habor...
By loading... (558), quiogue on Oct 23, 15 11:52 AM
There's a Music magazine with a name just like a famous band. From a recent article:
"Waters says he wants it known that his barbs are aimed solely at the current Israeli government. "It's not the Israeli people, not Jews and not Judaism," he says. "I would never dream of attacking them. In fact, a lot of the Israelis are the people who are putting the most into fighting the hardest because they believe it is the most effective tool for changing policies of their own government."

By Arnold Timer (324), Sag Harbor on Oct 23, 15 1:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
One can't be an opponent of Israel and not be anti Jewish. Sorry to upset some people but that's really the truth. For the Arabs this is ALL about the hatred of Jews. Always has been and always will be. The hatred non Arabs have towards Jews stems back to the notion that "the Jews killed Jesus". This is why, in our society , it's been easy to demonize Jewish people plain and simple. Also the notion that Jews have zero connection the region is absolutely ridiculous.
The REAL history of ...more
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 23, 15 3:53 PM
Nonsense. One can fully decry the machinations of politicians without their religion being involved. That is as true here as in the Middle East. Waters' objections to the imperialistic, political and military actions of Israel need not have anything to do with the religion of those making those decisions. Playing "the religion card" adds nothing to the debate.
By VOS (1198), WHB on Oct 23, 15 4:22 PM
2 members liked this comment
The religion card keeps coming up thanks to comments from Politically incorrect and Loading... making abrasive comments about the Jews. AND But I'm Blank how do you know that those boycotting are not his audience?
By Infoseeker (275), Hampton Bays on Oct 23, 15 5:22 PM
Did someone hide the 'victim' card?
I can't seem to find it.
By loading... (558), quiogue on Oct 23, 15 5:58 PM
If they dislike him enough to protest his performance, I don't envision those same people purchasing his music or patronizing him in anyway. Seams pretty clear.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 23, 15 9:40 PM
It's vital to understand the history of the region prior to 1948.
Clearly not a lot of people do.
Again I urge people to educate themselves .
Here's a few more suggestions
Go to you tube, title :
Outstanding explanation : why Israel can't withdraw to it's pre 67 borders
Also there is another
Debunking the Palestinian lie by Gnebz
And can someone explain something to me ...?
Why is it the Arabs in all the countries surrounding Israel and "Palestine" , treat ...more
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 23, 15 8:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
to Biba:

Actually, everybody knows the salient history of the land currently known as "Israel". Prior to the twentieth century, it was occupied by hundreds of thousands of Arabs (who had lived there in unbroken succession since the 7th century A.D.) - - - and an insignificant number of other ethnicities. In the early 20th century, hundreds of thousands of European Jews immigrated to the area and subsequently expelled the resident Arab population.

It is this condemnatory FACT ...more
By highhatsize (4038), East Quogue on Oct 24, 15 10:32 AM
3 members liked this comment
Nope you're incorrect. And don't speak for "everybody".
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 24, 15 4:49 PM
No. With all due respect, incorrect again. Go on line and type in the following :
Bernard Pinsky when being anti Israel is anti semitic.

And remember, for the Muslim Arabs this is ALL about anti Semitism. ALWAYS HAS BEEN ALWAYS WILL BE

From Abid Saud king of Saudi Arabia 1947:
" There are 50 million Arabs. What does it matter if we lose 10 million people to kill all of the Jews. The price is worth it."

Again..... Anti Israel IS Anti Semitism.

It's ...more
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 25, 15 3:28 PM
who cares
By guywaccount (1), whb on Oct 25, 15 5:18 PM
Again I urge people to watch this video : Please go to you tube and type in the following....
What is Palestine ? Who are the Palestinians? by Changeling9au
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 25, 15 5:27 PM
Biba: you Sir are both a racist and a bigot! Most rational people are able to separate a country from a religion.
By bigfresh (4384), north sea on Oct 25, 15 6:50 PM
No another incorrect comment.
You clearly have zero understanding as to why Israel became a state in the FIRST place . People that were persecuted based SOLELY on their RELIGION needed a safe place to call home. What better place than their ancestral homeland . The entire country is based on RELIGION. People are being attacked over and over because of RELIGION , not land. You would understand this ( especially the land and ancestral ties part ) if you took the time to either watch or read ...more
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 26, 15 12:13 PM
“The Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall” were Pink Floyd albums. The first sentence of the second paragraph infers they were solo projects.
By Rich Morey (357), East Hampton on Oct 26, 15 12:43 PM
But you refuse to acknowledge that many , many families were physically removed from THEIR LAND, land that they inhabited for generations to create this state. The remaining Muslims are persecuted because of their religion and are forced to live as second class citizens, forced to obtain permits to travel within Israel, forced to get permits to go to work in some instances. You fail to see the reason for the resentment shown to the settlers , you are bigoted toward those who don't share your view ...more
By bigfresh (4384), north sea on Oct 26, 15 5:24 PM
No sorry incorrect. I see you still do not understand the definition of racist and bigot. You really should take the time to read & watch what I suggested in earlier posts. And may I suggest another ....
Check out the Peel Commission .Pay close attention to the testimony of the
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem 1/12/1937.
It will explain the difference between land and homes forcibly taken and wealthy land owners selling out their own people.
And it happens to be a fact that all Arabs ...more
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 26, 15 11:35 PM
Is there a way to give Roger Waters more money? I don't care about Israel or Palestine really, but find it hilarious that people are willing to waste their time. It'd be even funnier watching their protest completely back-fire for them as well.
By Inch_High_PI (29), Southampton on Oct 29, 15 12:05 PM
A better place for the people of Israel to go would have been Mexico -
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Oct 29, 15 2:22 PM
Now which people are you talking about Vikki ? The Jews who have ancestral ties or the made up political pawns known as the "Palestinians" ?
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 29, 15 2:53 PM
Biba - Using speeches from 80 years ago to justify Israel's ongoing ethnic cleansing and genocide is beyond ridiculous. Genocide was wrong when the Nazi's did it and it's wrong now that Israel is doing it with the full backing of US politicians like Lee Zeldin. Wrong then, wrong now. There is nothing you can say, no 80 year old speech you can point to, no passage of written word. There is nothing that justifies ethnic cleansing and genocide. I thank Mr Waters for speaking out and the BDS movement ...more
By bird (785), Sag Harbor on Oct 30, 15 2:04 PM
First let me say, I'm confused by your "speeches from 80 years ago " comment. I'm not sure exactly which speeches you are referring to..?
However , this is what I'm positive about. You do not understand the definition of ethnic cleansing and genocide.
The objective of the Nazi's was to exterminate all the Jews in Europe.

Israel on the other hand wants ( and wanted for more than "80" years and at least for 67 years) peace with their Arab neighbors. That and the right to return ...more
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 30, 15 6:00 PM
1. In your comment above in response to bigfresh and a number of times before you refer to statements made in 1937. OK, so it's actually only 77 years.
2. Mostly true. The nazis also encouraged Jews to leave Europe, many of whom went to the middle east. Genocide isn't just defined by murder. It also includes dehumanizing a people based on race or religion, corralling them in poverty, etc. Israel has been listed as a country at risk by Genocide Watch along with countries like Rwanda and China.
3. ...more
By bird (785), Sag Harbor on Oct 30, 15 8:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
#1 Ok, you make very little sense here. What is the point of this statement ? I've referred to many "statements" that have occurred over many years. I think the date you have stuck in your head is the date the Grand Mufti testified ...? If so , well that's actually an important date as well as an important statement. Kind of debunks that whole "land stealing thing".

#2 No , you still don't get it. There is a difference between trying to exterminate an entire group of people and self defense. ...more
By Biba (541), East Hampton on Oct 31, 15 12:18 AM
Roger Waters at Bay Street Theater: Sold out. Not an empty seat in the house last night.
By Arnold Timer (324), Sag Harbor on Oct 31, 15 10:58 AM
Roger Waters is a bona fide anti-Semite. He thinks he is outside of scrutiny, as he himself blocks his neighbors from a right of way to the beach on his property. Who is an occupier, Roger Waters is an occupier. We do care about an entertainers politics when they use their status to hurt innocent people. Shame on him.
By Aviva (3), Brooklyn on Feb 21, 16 4:34 PM
8k run & 3 mile walk, Agawam Park, Southampton Rotary Club fundraiser