Last week, David Draiman participated in the public outcry against Rolling Stone for featuring Boston Bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. Now, he is speaking out against Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame for featuring the Star of David in a negative light during his stage show. More specifically, the musician had the symbol of Israel and Judaism displayed on a giant inflatable pig (not kosher!) along with other symbols of facism, such as the dollar sign and the communist hammer and sickle. This is understandably quite offensive, and Draiman, an Israeli Jew, made sure to make his distaste known in a post on Disturbed and Device’s Facebook pages. He made it clear that Waters crossed the line from a simply political message to an outright anti-semitic display, on par with Hitler’s use of the Star.
The entire quote is as follows:
My brothers and sisters my blood,
Regarding Roger Waters usage of a flying pig with the Star of David on it during his performances;
Yes everyone, I am not writing this piece in CAPS. I want no one to use that as an excuse to distract from the seriousness of this message.
I have personally been a fan of Mr. Waters’ work for many years. I think that Pink Floyd are one of the most groundbreaking and visionary acts of all time. Mr. Waters’ position on the Palestinian/Israeli crisis is well known, and has been well publicized.
Wether or not you agree with the policies of the Israeli government (and there are times where I myself, a half Israeli jew, with a large number of relatives still living in Israel, including my brother and grandmother; do not agree with some of their policies), nothing excuses the usage of the Star of David (the symbol of the Jewish people as a whole, not Israel or its government) emblazoned on a flying pig/zeppelin during his performances for “The Wall”. It is uncalled for, abhorrent, and blatantly Anti-Semitic.
If the pig is in fact a symbol of greed and tyranny as described in the song from “The Wall” called “In the Flesh”, then affixing the symbol of the Jewish people to it, is an attempt at reinforcing an age old Anti-Semitic stereotype that is unwarranted and beyond offensive. All he is doing through such symbolism is encouraging hatred and teaching his fans that Jews are greedy tyrannical people, which could not be further from the actual truth. If he wanted to make a political statement against the policies of the Israeli government (which I would not be in agreement with either, but would be political and not religious/racial, and therefore understandable), he should have had an image of the Israeli flag on it, the symbol of the government, and not the lone star of David, the symbol of the Jewish people as a whole.
Hitler himself used the star of David as a badge of identifying Jews with the word “Juden” under it, marking ALL Jews as they were mercilessly driven into the cattle cars that lead to the death camps in his maniacal attempt at genocide.
Once again, this is not an issue of freedom of speech, or expression, as Mr. Waters is well within his rights to say and display anything he chooses, even if it does incite hatred, but it does NOT mean that we as responsible individuals against hatred and Anti-Semitic imagery, have to sit back and just take it. Freedom of speech and expression is a two way street, and sometimes you will reap what you sow.
I therefore urge all of my followers, friends, and colleagues, and certainly the Jewish people within the entertainment community to take issue with this Anti-Semitic symbolism, and to demand that the Star of David be stricken from the flying pig, and that a formal apology/explanation be given from Mr. Waters himself.
Indeed, Draiman was not the only one to take issue with the display. Israeli airline El Al cancelled a promotional package for a flight to a Roger Waters concert in protest of his portrayal of the Star. Waters has not yet responded to this outcry, and there is no word yet on whether the Star of David has been removed from the pig.
Here is the video of the controversial pig in question flying above the crowd at a Roger Waters concert: