Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd songwriter, renewed his longstanding criticism of Israel and castigated Donald Trump at a festival of rock elders in California.
While Waters‘ anti-Trump stance elicited some cheers, his statement on Israel drew a more muted response, with some fans clapping but others booing and at least one proudly waving an Israeli flag.
Speaking to the 75,000-strong crowd at the three-day Desert Trip concert, which earlier brought the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney to a vast stage, Waters hailed California students at the forefront of the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign that aims to exert economic and cultural pressure on Israel over what critics call the state’s ill-treatment of Palestinians.
“It’s rare that somebody like me gets a platform like this, so I’m going to use this platform,” said the 73-year-old British rocker.
“I’m going to send out all my most heartfelt love and support to all those young people on the campuses of the universities of California who are standing up for their brothers and sisters in Palestine,” Waters said, expressing the hope that the boycott movement would “encourage the government of Israel to end the occupation.”
Israel and a number of US Jewish groups that strongly oppose the boycott movement recently won a victory when California barred companies that do business with the state from shunning individual countries.
As Waters played “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” Pink Floyd’s 1977 assault on power mongers, an oversize swine-like balloon floated into the crowd with a sketch on it of the Republican presidential candidate.
“Ignorant, lying, racist, sexist,” ran the words on the balloon’s side, as overhead screens flashed inflammatory quotes by Trump including his boasts of groping women that were recently aired in an explosive video.
Unflattering drawings of Trump — in one he is naked with a miniscule member and in another he androgynously has developed breasts — also appeared on screens before the message in bold letters: “Donald Trump is a Pig.”