Munich City Council states that the Roger Waters performance cannot be postponed
There have been requests to cancel the German leg of the Pink Floyd co-European founder's tour due to his political opinions on subjects including Israel and the Ukraine. Munich officials claim that this is not conceivable, in contrast to Frankfurt.
While some of Roger Waters' planned tour dates in Germany in May have been questioned in recent weeks, Munich officials announced on Wednesday that they were unable to discover any justification for canceling his scheduled May 21 performance at the city's Olympic Hall.
Contrastingly, Waters claims he is battling the city of Frankfurt's continued attempts to halt a May 28 event via the judicial system. Late last year, Poland also postponed performances by the former Pink Floyd member, who departed the group in the 1980s.
Because of Waters' political stances on Israel (he is a longtime supporter of the BDS movement) and the situation in Ukraine (he talked about the conflict at the UN this year at Russia's request), the future of the German shows is in doubt.
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter responded to a plea to postpone the performance by saying, "We do not now see any legally secure way... to alter the decision already taken."
We'll have to put up with it even though I don't want Waters here, he added.
Reiter continued by describing it as "unspeakable" that Waters would appear at the old "capital" of the Nazi movement in Germany and so near the location of the 1972 Munich Olympics killing of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists.
Munich proposes solidarity events but urges a public boycott in its place
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Munich City Council said that it would try to put up events on the same day as the performance to promote tolerance, global unity, and a rejection of antisemitism, as well as to demonstrate support for the sovereignty of Israel and Ukraine.
The judgment was a "slap in the face for the Jewish community and for those who work for a respectful and tolerant coexistence," according to Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community in Munich. She said that municipal officials had "lost an opportunity to carry out their frequent pronouncements of purpose against antisemitism with acts."
Ludwig Spaenle, the antisemitic ombudsman for the state of Bavaria, suggested that the general public engage in their own boycott.
In a democracy, he said, "the specific policies of the Israeli government may be questioned." The right of the State of Israel to exist, however, cannot be negotiated.
Waters claims using the legal system to book concerts in Munich and Frankfurt
Waters is well known for his frank political opinions and strong criticism of the West.
After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, they have been brought back into the limelight in a more noticeable way. Waters subsequently addressed the UN at Russia's request and urged the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to persuade her husband to file for peace.
His most recent political tweet, a video message addressed to US President Joseph Biden, accuses the US of seeking to "kill" a guy he characterizes as a Venezuelan ambassador who was wrongfully detained by the US government. As part of a plot organized by the Venezuelan government, the businessman from Colombia, Alex Saab, was extradited to the US in 2021 on allegations of money laundering.
Regarding accusations of antisemitism, Waters claims that his criticism is directed at the nation of Israel and calls the occupation of the Palestinian territories "apartheid." Israel disputes this assertion.
countless lyric allusions
In a tweet headlined "Hey Frankfurters leave free speech alone," Waters said last week that his attorneys will be challenging Frankfurt's attempt to put a stop to his event. He claimed that German authorities were attempting to violate him "fundamental human rights."
I don't and never have been antisemitic, and nothing anybody says or publishes will change that, Waters said for the record and once and for all. "My well known opinions are not against the people of Israel; they are solely about the policies and acts of the Israeli government."
But, the envoy of Israel to Germany responded with a different passage from "The Wall" by Pink Floyd.
Roger Waters claims "We don't need no education," yet Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to Germany, recently said on Twitter that Waters urgently needs some remedial lessons. Anybody who spray-paints the Star of David on a huge inflatable pig and then shoots it down is antisemitic, the saying goes.
This was an allusion to a prior issue that erupted when Roger Waters went on tour in 2013 and released balloons during his performances in the form of pigs, some of which had Stars of David on them. He took down the Star of David after receiving criticism, but he maintained the inflatable pig.
According to current plans, Waters, 79, will perform in May in Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Berlin (twice), and probably Frankfurt, depending on how the legal protests turn out. This happened at the end of his "first ever farewell tour," a run of performances dubbed "This is not a drill."
He performed his first two gigs last week in Lisbon, Portugal, and this week has three appearances in Spain.
Claudia Roth, the German State Minister for Culture, has also made calls to the five German towns to think about canceling the performances.
Roth recently said in an interview with the Jüdische Allgemeine, one of Germany's top Jewish newspapers, that "Roger Waters has in the interim plainly become an enthusiastic supporter of BDS and beyond that, a conspiracy theorist." "I can't and don't want to forbid any concerts in my capacity as the federal government's commissioner for culture. Antisemitism prevention is a universal social responsibility. I thus hope that concert promoters would forgo booking Roger Waters, and that if they do, they will instead have him perform in front of a barren stadium."