Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Anti-Defamation league thinks Roger Waters is just another brick in the wall

Roger Waters' thirtieth birthday performance of The Wall isn't going down well with everyone. And it's not just people who really wish he'd move on and do something else that are vexed; Sideline reports that the ADL are up in arms:

Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League director says: "It is outrageous that Roger Waters has chosen to use the juxtaposition of a Jewish Star of David with the symbol of dollar signs. While he insists that his intent was to criticize Israel's West Bank security fence, the use of such imagery in a concert setting seems to leave the message open to interpretation, and the meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money. Of course Waters has every right to express his political views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through his music and stagecraft. However, the images he has chosen, when put together in the same sequence, cross a line into anti-Semitism."
It's almost as if Foxman is saying 'we know what he means, but we're going to play the anti-semitism card anyway' there, isn't it?

The ADL seem less worried about Waters' use of other religions' imagery, for some reason.


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The ADL seem less worried about Waters' use of other religions imagery, for some reason."

Well that might be because a) the ADL's mission is to keep an eye on anti-semitism and b) a murderous pursuit of wealth is often cited as a Jewish characteristic by anti-semites. If Waters did not mean to convey such an accusation he should have been a tad more careful eh?

simon h b said...

a) the presence of the symbols of the other global religions is a pretty big clue that he wasn't singling out jews, and it might have been at least a courtesy for the ADL to concede that

b) yes, it is. But there's also a tendency to see this where it isn't.

Anonymous said...

a) you can bury one statement among others

b) the livingstone formulation, nice

Anonymous said...

"and the meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money"

How about "Money, it's a gas"? Surely the ADL realise this is more Watersite anti-Semitism?

simon h b said...

It's not a Livingstone formulation - the ADL admit they know Waters wasn't being anti-Semitic:
the meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money
So even the ADL that they're deliberately misunderstanding.

If the ADL had said, say, 'it looks a bit clumsy, he's managed to make it look less like a critique of Israel's foreign policy and more like it was drawn from the Wagner playbook', maybe they'd have had a point.

There's more than enough real anti-Semitism without launching broadsides at events the ADL know aren't intended to be read that way.

Anonymous said...

cretin

Anonymous said...

the other anonymous that is

Anonymous said...

anyway:

"But there's also a tendency to see this where it isn't."
"It's not a Livingstone formulation"

this is as close as you can get without quoting ken verbatim. anyway the statement is clearly worded to point out the idiocy of waters' display without attempting to accuse *the man himself* of some sort of essential racism. there are rules to these legal games after all.

simon h b said...

The problem with saying 'this is as close as you can get to without quoting Ken verbatim' is that it's one of those cards that actually makes it impossible to say 'there's a tendency to see anti-Semitism where it isn't', even in a case where even the ADL are saying you have to squint a bit and deliberately misinterpret what you're seeing.

And I don't think the ADL have chosen their words as carefully as you seem to think:
the images he has chosen, when put together in the same sequence, cross a line into anti-Semitism
That seems to be calling Waters' work anti-Semitic

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