It might be just one more brick in virulently anti-Semitic rock superstar Roger Waters’ wall of hate, but for several Nassau County elected officials, it’s one step too far onto the dark side.
Allowing the former Pink Floyd frontman to play the Nassau Coliseum on Sept. 15 and 16 — a few days before Rosh Hashana — “offends the sense of decency held by our residents,” said Legislator Howard Kopel of Lawrence. Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman wrote to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking that Waters’ visa to be revoked.
Waters is an outspoken supporter of BDS, the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions movement against Israel, and has pushed his political agendas at his concerts.
Waters “maintains that he is not anti-Semitic, yet one of his primary images is an inflatable pig that floats above his concerts emblazoned with the Star of David,” Kopel said. Over the years, the pig has featured a wide range of political assaults in addition to those interpreted as being anti-Israel and anti-Jewish.
The Nassau County Legislature passed a law earlier this year that prohibits the county from doing business with anyone lending support to the BDS movement. The Coliseum is owned by the county.
Waters is also scheduled to perform at Barclays Center, on Sept. 11 and 12. Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment oversees operations and events at both Barclays and the Coliseum.
A Waters tour between 2010 and 2013 reportedly grossed $458.7 million, making it the biggest tour ever by a solo artist.
Waters has compared Israeli treatment of Palestinians to both Nazi Germany and South African apartheid. He vigorously lobbied — unsuccessfully — to get Radiohead to cancel a Tel Aviv concert this week.
In a Facebook Live talk on BDS on Saturday, Waters said of attempts to cancel his Long Island appearances: “They’re gonna fail.”
“Although the Bill of Rights is constantly under attack now in the United States, I don’t think they can go that far,” he said.
“This is something that is negative to all communities, not just the Jewish community,” said Mineola Chabad’s Rabbi Anchelle Perl, of Waters’ shows.