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Protester with Israeli flag rushes stage at Roger Waters show

Other demonstrators held large Israeli flags and chanted "Am Yisrael Chai" at the concert in Germany.

Controversial concert performed by Roger Waters in in Frankfurt, Germany, on May 29, 2023. Source: Twitter.
Controversial concert performed by Roger Waters in in Frankfurt, Germany, on May 29, 2023. Source: Twitter.

A protester holding up an Israeli flag rushed the stage during a Roger Waters concert in Frankfurt on Sunday.

Video posted to social media shows a group in the audience at the Festhalle arena standing up with large Israeli flags on display at the end of a song performed by the former Pink Floyd bassist. They chant: “Am Yisrael Chai” (“the people of Israel lives”) while one of the demonstrators with an Israeli flag manages to evade security and reach the top level of the stage where the musicians were positioned.

Waters is under criminal investigation by the Berlin police after wearing a Nazi-style uniform during a concert there on May 17. 

The anti-Israel activist also likened the death of Anne Frank in the Nazis’ Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 to the accidental killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a firefight with terrorists in Jenin in May 2022.

Frankfurt authorities had tried to prevent the concert from taking place, but Waters mounted a successful legal challenge and the event took place at the Festhalle, where more than 3,000 Jews were rounded up during the November 1938 Kristallnacht pogroms before being transported to Nazi concentration camps.

A memorial and protest were held ahead of the evening concert, featuring Jewish groups, politicians and civil society groups. The demonstrators read aloud the names of 600 Jews rounded up at Festhalle during Kristallnacht.

Uwe Becker, the state of Hesse’s representative for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism, and a former mayor of Frankfurt, told Ynet ahead of the concert that Waters was “spreading antisemitism” by comparing Frank’s death to that of Abu Akleh.

“The city of Frankfurt and the state of Hesse in which Frankfurt is located went to court to thwart this concert, but the court decided that an artist’s concert is covered by freedom of art and speech,” he said.

“In my opinion, we see so much antisemitism, Israel-related antisemitism, that this should not happen,” Becker continued. “Antisemitism in this very brutal way of demoralizing and taking away the legitimization of the State of Israel, comparing Israel with the crimes of the Shoah.

“Bringing all those things together relativizes the crime of the Shoah in a way such that I think it should be under review to see if there are any crimes happening while he is performing,” Becker said.

“Antisemitism in my opinion is not art, it is a crime. Even if it is not totally fixed in our rules and in our laws, what we see here is disgusting.”

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