A theater in Sag Harbor, New York has offered to refund tickets to a sold-out performance by Roger Waters over his support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel.
Waters, the former frontman of rock band Pink Floyd, has been vocal in his criticism of artists who perform in Israel. He is scheduled to perform Friday at the Bay Street Theater. Page Six reported Wednesday that the performance may face picketers in a protest organized by pro-Israel groups.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in a statement issued on Tuesday called on New Yorkers “to give Roger Waters the reception he deserves: an empty hall. We urge people who may have been unaware of his hate-filled boycott campaign and bought tickets for his performance, to vote with their feet and instead stand in solidarity — outside of the theater — with the innocent victims of terrorism in The Holy Land.”
The theater’s executive director, Tracy Mitchell, on Wednesday told local news website 27East.com that no one has requested a refund, and that the theater has people “begging for tickets.”
Earlier this month, in a much-publicized rant, radio personality Howard Stern ripped Waters for his support of the movement to boycott Israel.
Waters in an open letter to rocker Jon Bon Jovi ahead of his concert earlier this month in Israel, accused the artist of “standing shoulder to shoulder” with right-wing Israeli extremists.
In response, Bon Jovi said at his concert: “I’ll come here any time you want.”
Waters has published open letters calling on fellow musicians to join a boycott of Israel. He has also come under fire for using at in his concerts a huge inflated balloon in the shape of a wild boar with a prominently visible Star of David among other symbols, including a dollar sign and a hammer and sickle. He had used the gimmick for several years.
Having previously defended Roger Waters from accusations of anti-Semitism, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2013 reluctantly acknowledged that “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” have “seeped into the totality” of the former Pink Floyd frontman’s views.
“Judging by his remarks, Roger Waters has absorbed classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and these have now seeped into the totality of his views,” Abraham H. Foxman, then the National Director of the ADL, told The Times of Israel. “His comments about Jews and Israel have gotten progressively worse over time. It started with anti-Israel invective, and has now morphed into conspiratorial anti-Semitism.”