The rocker’s Buenos Aires and Montevideo hotel rooms were canceled because he opposes genocide in Gaza, so he must fly in from Brazil each night for his concerts, he told Pagina/12.
Republished with permission from the Argentine daily Pagina/12.
“I’m furious,” says Roger Waters. And he shows it. The musician should be in Buenos Aires – where he will perform on Tuesday the 21st and Wednesday the 22nd, in River Plate, but no. He could be in Montevideo, but not there either.
Last Friday, Página/12 made the situation known, when the same musician reported that they had canceled his reservation at the Faena Hotel, and that a subsequent reservation at the Alvear (both in Buenos Aires) had fallen through a few hours after being accepted.
But the situation escalated, as he explains in this exclusive interview. “The city of Montevideo has been closed to me, I have nowhere to stop. I have to fly there directly on the day of the show, Friday the 17th. And I had a dinner date on the 16th with José Mujica, the former president of Uruguay. … He’s a friend of mine. And I can’t go, I can’t have my dinner with Mujica because the Israel lobby and whatever they call themselves have canceled me .”
The bassist and singer refers to the email that the Sofitel Hotel in Montevideo received (see below), in which Roby Schindler, president of the Central Israelite Committee of Uruguay, wrote: “Maybe you don’t know, and I don’t blame you for that, that Roger Waters is a misogynist, xenophobe and anti-Semite, who takes advantage of his fame as an artist to lie and vomit his hatred towards Israel and all Jews,” and affirms that, “By receiving him, you will be, even if you don’t want it, a propagator of the hatred that this man exudes and will be contributing to increasing Judeophobia.”
Where are you now?
I am in São Paulo, (Brazil) happily in a beautiful hotel, the Rosemary. We were supposed to leave the day before yesterday, but we took another five days; We were supposed to be in Buenos Aires today, but we can’t go there either so we’ll stay here.
So in Brazil the same thing did not happen as in Uruguay and Argentina…
The people here are loving, we did two sold out shows in São Paulo that had fantastic reviews, everyone loved the show, we loved it, they were among the best shows we did, the audience had a great time. And somehow these idiots from the Israeli lobby managed to co-opt all the hotels in Buenos Aires and Montevideo and organized this extraordinary boycott based on malicious lies they have been telling about me.
I know this well, I see that this Roby Schindler calls me a “misogynist” as the least of the crimes I am supposed to have committed. And do you know where that comes from? From Polly Samson, the wife of David Gilmour (Pink Floyd guitarist with whom Waters has a historic dispute): she is the only person who has ever accused me of being a misogynist. And they took that and put it in my general description, as a Nazi, and a Jew hater, and all the rest of the absolute nonsense they say about me, dirty lies.
Your This is Not A Drill tour had already been questioned, but for an absurd misinterpretation of the character Pink from The Wall. Has this changed since the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7 in Israel and everything that came after?
They do it because I believe in human rights, and I speak openly about the genocide of the Palestinian people. And I’m going to continue doing it. Because genocide is being committed right now, every day in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and all the occupied territories. And it has to stop.
The time has come for all of us around the world, all the brothers and sisters to say enough is enough. No more. Israel cannot be allowed to continue with this disgusting genocidal rampage. And these people, the Roby Schindlers of this world, try to silence me because I believe in human rights and they don’t.
They are a colonial society that stops nothing, not even mass murder, from proclaiming its supremacy over other peoples and other religions. The people of the world have to stop them. As human beings it is an absolute moral duty to confront them. And you can write this: it makes me laugh, it would be really very funny if it weren’t so vile, so disgusting and stupid.
Did they give you any other explanation at the hotels?
No, they just “don’t have a room.” And I understand that in Montevideo they have been in all the newspapers for weeks telling people not to buy tickets for the show. And you know how it is: when you keep telling lies all the time and you do it at high volume, I got people to say “um, maybe it’s true, maybe I’m not going to the show.” The last time I was in Montevideo, five years ago, they gave me the keys to the city!
But now they changed the lock!
I was standing there with a medal around my neck, listening to them say that I was a wonderful person, what a great defender of human rights, and what a wonderful musician, thank you for these 60 years of great music and blah, blah, blah … and now I’m not! They won’t let me stay in a hotel in the city! It’s crazy, obviously.
Requests for a ceasefire have multiplied. What is missing in the international community?
We have to stay united. Why deny the genocide, the bombing of Gaza, the death of 4,000 children and babies? … Children are dying in Gaza because they do not have oxygen in their incubators. It breaks my heart every second that this continues. Everyone must stand up and say “Israel, no more. Stop right now. You are behaving like animals, you are the monsters in this story, you are the terrorists.”
We look to the future and hope that there will be a democracy, a state in which everyone is equal before the law for everyone, without distinction of religion or nationality. There can be no more masters and slaves on the sacred land. That is the reason why the Israeli lobby has been trying to destroy me, for 17 years now. And so far they have failed, and they will continue to fail.
Because I will continue to stand on the platform of universal human rights, for all brothers and sisters, throughout the world, not just on the sacred land. But that is not their platform, they are a colonial society that believes that they are better than their neighbors and that they can do whatever they want with them.
Well, we, the people of the world, are not going to allow it. This did not start on October 7, this started even long before 1948, but the critical day was when the nakba began , and it has been happening ever since and that is enough!
Now they have reached this extremism of their colonial behavior, and now they commit genocide despite what leaders of the United States and the European community are saying, and the power of will of the people of the United States and the people of Europe, and of course the global south, which supports the Palestinian cause.
A couple of weeks ago you could see a massive march of Jews in New York.
In the West we have governments that point out that what is happening is against the will of their people, it was demonstrated by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of citizens in the streets, almost every day. Jews demonstrating, saying,“Not in our name”! Because Judaism is a good religion, that cares about its brothers and sisters, that loves people.
This is an aberration, which is supported by propaganda every minute of every day that the Israeli people have received since 1948. We cannot blame them, they were inoculated with this poison, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 75 years. It’s no surprise then that they behave so horribly. But we have to help them. And keep doing it despite this moron Roby Schindler and the dirty lies of him.
But you know that your opposition to the State of Israel unleashed accusations of anti-Semitism.
I said it in an interview a couple of weeks ago: only one person in the world knows if Roger Waters is an anti-Semite or not. And that person is Roger Waters. I know very well what I feel in my heart, and I have not had a single anti-Semitic thought in my entire life.
What I condemn is what the Israeli government does, and I will continue to condemn it because it is wrong,and it was wrong from the beginning. Well, time’s up: Stop the genocide now! The easiest thing is to point me out as an anti-Semite, and it’s because they don’t have a moral compass, they can’t have a solid argument from the Israeli side of the issue.
They are committing murder, they are committing genocide, they are oppressing another people. It is an ethnic cleansing that they have been carrying out for 75 years, since day one of the nakba. They have killed hundreds and hundreds of people, they have committed atrocities, massacres that have been happening since then. No more.
But lock me up, send me to sleep in the stable? It’s so stupid! It’s crazy that people in Argentina accept this nonsense about the Faena and the Four Seasons, and what the other hotels are called. It’s stupid. They should think a little more and behave like adults!
In this context, can we talk something about music? Is this really the last tour?
Probably not! The “last tour” thing is more of an inside joke in the industry, who knows. I continue writing, composing, I am working on my next album, in the hotel rooms I am writing things, putting together songs and presenting some fragments in the show. I haven’t stopped working, and I probably won’t stop.
If I will continue doing these kinds of shows, I have no idea, only time will tell. Because I am very excited about the shows in Buenos Aires, my last shows there are a legend, nine concerts in River Plate.
I’m not bragging, I’m just saying that it’s important, and that these concerts are surrounded by the Israeli lobby makes me furious. It’s bringing the attention away from This is not a Drill, and the music I’ve been making for 60 years.Using it in a way that seeks to sustain the Israeli regime and the atrocious treatment of the native peoples, the Palestinians, takes the focus off of these shows, which will be great, because the BA audience is fantastic, I’ve experienced it before , and you will love this show.
„Despite the efforts of Uruguayan Zionists to cancel one of the greatest artists in the history of music, Roger Waters appeared in Uruguay and sent his message against the Zionist genocide.“ https://t.co/NjNOEwIoVU
— Juana Morena ? (@JuanaMorenita) November 19, 2023
But don’t you think that the content of the show also multiplied the criticism?
-This is a very political show, very frontal. They have tried to cancel it through Germany and England and have failed. But when you go to see it you’re going to say, “But why are they trying to cancel it?” Oh , because I mention Anne Frank and Shireen Abu Akleh in the same song. Well, they were both murdered by ruthless regimes, that’s why they’re in the same song. In both cases it is a State committing a crime, be it Anne Frank or Shireen Abu Akleh.
They cannot cancel the show of a person who points out these crimes because he does it in the same song. In the show I also mention Sophie Scholl (activist of the White Rose movement, guillotined by the Nazis in 1943), who during our stop in Munich on the tour my wife and I went to leave white roses at the grave her. If you don’t know her story, look it up, educate yourselves.
Is there anything you want to add?
I’m running out of breath, I’ve said everything I could say… I hope in the future our lives will intersect to talk in more depth about music. But right now I’m in the middle of a war. And it is not the war against me that matters to me, but the carnage of brothers and sisters in Gaza. That’s what’s important to talk about today. Not the feelings of the Israel lobby: they deserve our contempt. And yes, I am deeply angry, this is crazy and an absurd joke, but we have to do something about it.
Roby Schindler’s Message to Hotels:
In an email titled “Lodging to Roger Waters” and sent to the general manager of Sofitel Montevideo, Roby Schindler, President of the Central Israelite Committee of Uruguay, sent the following message, which had the desired effect:
“It has emerged that due to the refusal to receive Roger Waters in other hotels, Sofitel Montevideo will accommodate him. Perhaps you do not know, and I do not blame you for that, that Roger Waters is a misogynist, xenophobe and anti-Semite, who takes advantageof his fame as an artist to lie and spew his hatred towards Israel and all Jews.
Hate speech often has worse consequences for humanity than weapons. By receiving him, you will be, even if you don’t want it, a propagator of the hatred that this man exudes and you will be contributing to increasing Judeophobia (that is, hatred towards Jews) in our country. You wouldn’t want to be in his shoes and have to carry the stigma of hosting one of the biggest hate speech spewers on the planet.
President of the Israelite Central Committee of Uruguay.”
Together For Change Doesn’t Want Waters Either
The “Waters case” also deserved attention in [the Argentine] Congress. In a draft declaration presented by the legislator of Together for Change, Sabrina Ajmechet, and accompanied by Alejandro Finocchiaro, Karina Banfi, Ana Clara Romero, José Luis Espert, Rubén Manzi, Marilú Quiróz and María Sotolano, the chamber is called to express “its deep repudiation of the singer’s presence in our country.”
The legislators’ presentation alludes to statements made a couple of weeks ago by the artist, when in an interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald he noted: “How the hell did the Israelis not know that this was going to happen?
I mean, didn’t the Israeli Army in those 11, 10 or 11 fields hear the explosions when they happened? Whatever they had to fly to cross the border? There is something very suspicious about that.” In the same interview, the musician noted that “The thing was blown out of proportion by the Israelis inventing stories about beheading babies.”
“Opinions such as those expressed by Waters seek to question the actions of the State of Israel in the exercise of the right to self-defense, being deeply anti-Semitic using anti-Zionism as a mask,” states the deputies’ project.