When activist Malca Goldstein-Wolf learned that former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters was slated to play Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany next June, and that the concert will be sponsored by the public broadcast Westdeutscher Rundfunkshe (WDR), she took to Facebook to protest against using taxpayer money to fund a man she labeled a “Jew-hater.” Soon, more than 1,400 people joined her, citing Waters’s strong support for the BDS movement and his advocacy for singling out the Jewish state for criticism.
WDR listened. “I sense that not many words and arguments will convince you, rather only clear action,” Tom Buhrow, the network’s president, responded to Goldstein-Wolf’s petition on the social network. “The cooperation with the concert was ended.”
Others soon followed suit: Yesterday, five state television and radio affiliates of the national ARD network announced that they will not be broadcasting the concert in Cologne and another slated for Berlin. The decision to drop Waters, said a spokesperson for Berlin and Brandenburg public radio (RBB), was made “in reaction to antisemitism accusations against him.”
German Jewish leaders welcomed the decision. “The quick and decisive reaction by the broadcasters,” said Josef Schuster, president of The Central Council of Jews in Germany, “is an important signal that rampant antisemitism against Israel has no place in Germany.”
Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.