WISH YOU WEREN’T HERE. Roger Waters’ Jewish Problem Catches Eye of Award-Winning Filmmaker:
“I started traveling, meeting with different leaders throughout Europe. I didn’t know how bad the problem is with contemporary anti-Semitism there,” [award-winning filmmaker and New York Times bestselling author Ian Halperin] told the Observer. “There are less than 2 million Jews left in Europe, which is very alarming—a place where Jews have long been an integral part of society and whose valuable contributions to the culture are immeasurable.”
“During my research,” Halperin continued, “I came upon Roger Waters, and I couldn’t believe he was singling out Israel when there are so many truly egregious violators of human rights in the world. Why is he going after Israel? So, I began asking people what this guy has against Israel. To me, an attack on Israel is an attack against the Jewish people.”
Halperin met with psychologists who work with Holocaust survivors and their families. He described the effect of Waters’ floating pig bearing the Star of David as “unforgiveable” for survivors, comparing it to a scene in his film where a three-year-old Palestinian girl is “brainwashed” into believing Jews are pigs.
In preparation for the documentary, Halperin interviewed leaders in the South African anti-apartheid struggle. They found Waters’ comparison to Israel offensive and demeaning to their people’s suffering.
Waters is a self-admitted John Lennon worshiper, and during the 1970s, increasingly attempted to introduce the brutally direct and introspective lyric style of Plastic Ono Band, Lennon’s first proper solo album, into the swirling art rock atmosphere of Pink Floyd’s sound. Just as Lennon fixated upon the early death of his mother to write some of his most personal material in the last years of the Beatles and the start of his solo career, the death of Waters’ father at Anzio when Waters was five months old became Waters’ obsession during The Wall and The Final Cut, Waters’ last two albums with the Floyd.
In 1942’s Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart’s character famously tells Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa to flee the Nazis with Resistance leader Victor Laszlo, because in the midst of WWII, “the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”
It was four decades between that film and the movie version of The Wall, the album that Time famously dubbed “the libretto for Me-Decade narcissism.” So much so that, based on the film version of the album, it seems as if Waters would much prefer to have his father back, even if it meant England not entering WWII. Given the implications of that, no wonder Waters is railing so strongly against Israel. Or as Mark Steyn once wrote, “The old joke — that the Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz — gets truer every week.”