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BMG Records to cut loose Pink Floyd rock legend Roger Waters over Palestine support

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Picture: Andrés Ibarra, via Wikimedia Commons – Pink Floyd rock legend Roger Waters. The co-founder of Pink Floyd has been denied accommodation in two Buenos Aires hotels for his ‘This Is Not a Drill’ tour later this month, reports have said. All this because of his support for the human rights of Palestinian people, the musician says.

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

German music company BMG is to reportedly cut ties with rock legend Roger Waters over his political statements which include criticism of Israel and support for Palestinian rights.

According to a report by Variety magazine on Tuesday, the German-based company signed a publishing agreement with the 80-year-old musician in 2016 and was scheduled to release a newly recorded version of Pink Floyd’s iconic 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon. However, the new CEO Thomas Coesfeld scrapped the deal after taking up his post in July 2023. The album was ultimately released by a UK-based label.

Variety reports that sources revealed that BMG is preparing to entirely separate from the Pink Floyd co-founder. A BMG spokesperson reportedly declined to comment to Variety.

Waters himself spoke of being “fired” by BMG in a video with Glenn Greenwald last year, reports the magazine. It said the musician “characterised his split with the company as the result of pressure from pro-Israeli interests toward BMG’s parent company Bertelsmann…”

Variety alleged, though without evidence, that Waters “controversial political statements in recent years arguably have veered from anti-Zionism into anti-Semitism”, and last year he spoke to the United Nations Security Council at Russia’s invitation, saying the 2022 invasion of Ukraine was “not unprovoked”.

Waters, a long-time advocate of Palestinian rights, has fervently denied allegations of anti-Semitism, insisting his criticisms are directed at the Israeli government.

Rogers, as recently as last Friday, issued a call for a “Ceasefire Now!!!” in a post on X. He also previously posted, “Israel is committing Genocide. Its leaders, and any Western leaders who support it, should be prosecuted under the Genocide Convention. No ifs! No ands! No buts! Genocide is wrong.”

Waters’ position is supported by many countries and rights organisations around the world, including that of South Africa.

Pretoria’s case, accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza was, as of January 26, accepted by a near-unanimous vote by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In response, top Israeli officials accused South Africa of being a front for Hamas, and the ICJ of ‘anti-Semitism’.

Israel Lobby

In November, Waters was denied hotel rooms in the capitals of Argentina and Uruguay due to similar allegations of ‘antisemitism’, this time from Uruguay’s ‘Israel lobby’.

Local media reported that Waters attempted to book rooms in two Buenos Aires hotels for his ‘This Is Not a Drill’ tour later that month, but reservations at both were cancelled.

The Faena Hotel claimed they were “undergoing refurbishment”, while the Alvear Hotel first approved Waters’ booking for ten rooms, then cancelled it, he explained.

Hotels in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, also rejected Waters while declining to furnish an explanation, the musician said.

The presidents of the Central Israelite Committee of Uruguay and the B’nai B’rith NGO, Roby Schindler and Franklin Rosenfeld, had reportedly threatened to launch a campaign against the Sofitel hotel chain if Waters was allowed to stay there.

Commenting on the attacks, Waters told the local newspaper Pagina 12, “They do it because I believe in human rights, and I speak openly about the genocide of the Palestinian people.”

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 27,019 Palestinians have been killed, and 66,139 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

Waters in His Own Words

In an article published in The Palestine Chronicle on October 13, only six days after Israel launched its genocidal war on Gaza, Waters wrote:

“Here’s my suggestion of what should be done. It is only an opinion, but it is shared by many. There must be an immediate and permanent ceasefire.”

“My heart is heavy. I weep for all my brothers and sisters in the Holy Land: Muslims, Christian, Jewish, Druze, Agnostic and Atheist alike,” he added.

“I weep for all their children. All those young minds being filled with fear and hate and division and despair.”

This article was first published on The Palestine Chronicle