US government slams Roger Waters’ Berlin performance as “deeply offensive to Jewish people”

The US State Department has criticised Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters over his recent show in Berlin, describing it as “deeply offensive to Jewish people”.

Last month, Waters appeared on stage at his show wearing a black trench coat with a swastika-like emblem during a segment that revolved around a character from Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, who imagines himself as a fictional fascist dictator during a hallucination.

The musician claimed that the segment was a statement against fascism, injustice and bigotry and called criticism of it “disingenuous and politically motivated”.


US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, Deborah Lipstadt, called the concert “Holocaust distortion” and amplified a tweet denouncing Waters by the European Commission’s coordinator on combating anti-semitism.

According to Reuters, the State Department supported Lipstadt’s comment and added that Waters’ Berlin concert “contained imagery that is deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust,” in an email.

The department went on to add: “The artist in question has a long track record of using antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people.”

Waters has faced significant backlash following the show in Berlin. During a show on May 31 in Birmingham, he went on a rant about how “pissed off” he was at “the anti-semitism bullshit” surrounding him over the last month and claimed that critics are trying to cancel him “like they cancelled Jeremy Corbyn and Julian Assange”.

He went on to call Bury South MP Christian Wakeford, who has pushed for venues to block Waters from performing, as a “wanker”. The musician proceeded to attack British outlets such as The Times and The Daily Mail, stating: “I will not be cancelled! Especially when it’s all lies. I’m fighting back, Mr Telegraph!”


A number of Jewish groups and city politicians recently gathered to protest his concert in Frankfurt on Sunday (May 28). Waters previously won a legal battle to play the show after it was initially cancelled over claims of anti-semitism.

“Against this historical background, the concert should not have taken place under any circumstances,” Sacha Stawski, a member of the Frankfurt Jewish community and head of the group Honestly Concerned, that helped organise the protests, told Associated Press.

Elio Adler, the head of the Jewish group WerteInitiative which supported the protest, told AP that it was “very frustrating” that the concert was going ahead despite efforts to prevent it.

Waters has repeatedly denied all accusations of anti-semitism and explained that his disdain is towards Israel, not Judaism. He also accused Israel of “abusing the term anti-semitism to intimidate people like me into silence”.