New Film on Roger Wa­ters Seeks to Ex­pose BDS Front­man's Anti-Semitism

The Jewish Voice - - SPECIAL FEATURES - By: Adam Abrams

Ahead of for­mer Pink Floyd front­man Roger Wa­ters's Cana­dian tour this month, B'nai Brith Canada and award-win­ning film­maker Ian Halperin are set to pre­miere a new film—“Wish You Weren't Here”—ex­pos­ing the anti-Is­rael rocker's his­tory of pro­mot­ing anti-Semitism.

Wa­ters—who has com­pared the Is­raeli govern­ment to Nazi Ger­many and has claimed the “pow­er­ful Jewish lobby” runs the me­dia—is ar­guably the most vo­cal fig­ure be­hind the anti-Is­rael BDS move­ment. He is also the most prom­i­nent voice in pres­sur­ing other artists to boy­cott per­for­mances in the Jewish state.

Lead­ing Jewish groups, such as the Anti-Defama­tion League and the Si­mon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter, have noted the rocker re­peat­edly pro­motes con­spir­a­to­rial anti-Semitic views and ex­ploits Jewish sym­bols to pro­mote Jew-ha­tred.

“What Roger Wa­ters is do­ing is es­pous­ing ha­tred, vit­riol and ex­treme prej­u­dice against Is­rael and the Jewish peo­ple…if he'd been do­ing this against any other race he'd be stopped,” New York Times best­selling author Halperin, the film's pro­ducer, told JNS.org.

The film's name is a word­play on the ti­tle track on Pink Floyd's 1975 al­bum, “Wish You Were Here.”

“Shame on cor­po­rate Amer­ica for sup­port­ing this pur­veyor of ha­tred and anti-Semitism. Cor­po­rate Amer­ica should be ashamed…and look in the mir­ror and re­al­ize that this is not 1938,” Halperin said.

Halperin—the son of a Holo­caust sur­vivor—em­barked on what he re­ferred to as a “two-year odyssey,” trav­el­ing the world to pro­duce the film. In ad­di­tion to high­light­ing Wa­ters's many anti-Semitic and anti-Is­rael state­ments, Halperin's movie also strives to ex­pose the broader BDS move­ment as a wholly anti-Semitic cam­paign.

“BDS ac­tivists seek to con­flate le­git­i­mate crit­i­cism of Is­rael with the dele­git­imiza­tion of Is­rael in the in­ter­na­tional arena,” B'nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn told JNS.org. “By ex­ploit­ing the rhetoric of ‘hu­man rights,' ‘so­cial jus­tice' and other uni­ver­sal mo­ral prin­ci­ples, BDS ac­tivists por­tray Is­rael as in­her­ently racist, thereby call­ing into ques­tion the very ex­is­tence of the Jewish state, seek­ing to cast it as a pariah among na­tions.”

The ini­tia­tive to screen the film was or­ga­nized af­ter B'nai Brith's lead­er­ship learned—half­way through the edit­ing process—that the movie fea­tures never-be­fore-seen in­ter­views with some of the world's lead­ing ex­perts on anti-Semitism, such as Pope Fran­cis, Alan Der­showitz, Natan Sha­ran­sky and Ron­ald Lauder. “Wish You Weren't Here” also fea­tures in­ter­views with artists and lu­mi­nar­ies like Paul Mc­Cart­ney, El­ton John and Tony Blair.

“What mo­ti­vated B'nai Brith to get in­volved [with screen­ing Halperin's film] is the chance to pro­mote aware­ness that the BDS move­ment is in­her­ently anti-Semitic, and that its sup­port­ers,

like Roger Wa­ters, strengthen the cam­paign that seeks Is­rael's de­struc­tion,” said Mostyn.

“What­ever def­i­ni­tion of anti-Semitism you abide by… Roger Wa­ters is most cer­tainly guilty,” he said, adding the “Wish You Weren't Here” tour is B'nai Brith's “protest against Wa­ters” and “our chance to ed­u­cate the pub­lic that he is pro­mot­ing ha­tred against the only democ­racy in the Mid­dle East.”

“Wish You Weren't Here” pre­mieres in Toronto. B'nai Brith is set to hold screen­ings of the film in Cana­dian cities on the same nights as Wa­ters's per­for­mances in those cities—Que­bec City (Oct. 8), Ot­tawa (Oct. 10), Mon­treal (Oct. 16), Win­nipeg (Oct. 22) and Ed­mon­ton (Oct. 25)—“in or­der to counter his in­flam­ma­tory rhetoric against Is­rael and the Jewish peo­ple,” said Mostyn.

The film will also be screened in U.S. cities and in Is­rael fol­low­ing its Cana­dian de­but.

“It starts with Roger Wa­ters, but it's all about con­tem­po­rary anti-Semitism, which is thriv­ing and the world is turn­ing a blind eye,” Halperin said. “There's no place for this in to­day's world…. It's time to call a spade a spade.”

Ian Halperin’s in­trepid and nu­anced new film “Wish You Weren’t Here” re­veals the truth about what mo­ti­vates rock icon Roger Wa­ters in his fever­ish at­tempts to see the to­tal an­ni­hi­la­tion of the one and only Jewish state

An in­flated pig hov­ers over the au­di­ence gath­ered for a Roger Wa­ters con­cert. The for­mer Pink Floyd front­man has been a vo­cal and stri­dent supporter of the BDS move­ment that tar­gets Is­rael for eco­nomic, aca­demic, po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural iso­la­tion. Im­printed on the float­ing pig is a clearly rec­og­niz­able Jewish star.

Lead­ing Jewish groups, such as the Anti-Defama­tion League and the Si­mon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter, have noted that Roger Wa­ters (pic­tured above) re­peat­edly pro­motes con­spir­a­to­rial anti-Semitic views and ex­ploits Jewish sym­bols to pro­mote Je­wha­tred.

In his sear­ing new doc­u­men­tary award-win­ning film­maker Ian Halperin (pic­tured above) ex­poses Roger Wa­ters’ his­tory of pro­mot­ing anti-Semitism. Halperin—the son of a Holo­caust sur­vivor—em­barked on what he re­ferred to as a “two-year odyssey,” trav­el­ing the world to pro­duce the film. In ad­di­tion to high­light­ing Wa­ters’s many anti-Semitic and anti-Is­rael state­ments, Halperin’s movie also strives to ex­pose the broader BDS move­ment as a wholly an­ti­Semitic cam­paign.

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