US/World News

NY lawmaker: Roger Waters concert violates anti-BDS law

(JTA) – Allowing BDS proponent Roger Waters to perform at a Long Island arena violates a local law against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Nassau County lawmaker said. Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman, is scheduled to appear at the Nassau Coliseum on Sept. 15 and 16. The lawmaker, Howard Kopel, asked the county attorney last week to determine whether the Nassau Coliseum lease requires compliance with the county law adopted in May 2016 that prevents the county from doing business with any company that participates in the economic boycott of Israel. Kopel, an Orthodox Jewish legislator, said in a Facebook post that the Waters concert violates the anti-BDS law while calling the musician a “notorious front-man for the BDS movement and virulent antisemite.”

In a Facebook Live chat Saturday with the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Waters said he would play his shows in Nassau, saying an artist’s rights should not be attacked over his stand on an issue.

In Miami last week a dozen teens from a Miami Beach Parks summer program who were to perform on stage with him backed out amid accusations of antisemitism. Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier told the Miami Herald that the teens would not be participating, saying in a statement, “Miami Beach is a culturally diverse community and does not tolerate any form of hate.” The Greater Miami Jewish Federation in an online ad on the Miami Herald website posted a link to a statement on its website reading, “Mr. Waters, your vile messages of antisemitism, anti-Zionism and hatred are not welcome in this community.”

 

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