Miami Beach teens will no longer perform with Roger Waters due to anti-Israel controversy
Teenagers slated to perform alongside Pink Floyd star Roger Waters have backed out of the event amid accusations of anti-Semitism against the band’s co-founder.
Twelve members of a Miami Beach Parks summer program were supposed to have a dress rehearsal with the band, receive autographed photos, sit in the orchestra pit for the show and perform “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” on stage alongside Waters.
The singer selected the 12 teens from Ayuda Miami’s T.A.L.L. (Teens Are Life Long Learners) program and the Teen Club Miami Beach to join him onstage.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, however, Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said the teenagers would no longer be participating.
From the statement: “Miami Beach is a culturally diverse community and does not tolerate any form of hate.”
Earlier on Thursday, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation accused the star of anti-Semitismahead of his show on the Us + Them Tour at AmericanAirlines Arena, referring to the singer’s anti-Israel views.
In an online ad placed on miamiherald.com, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation wrote: “Anti-Semitism and Hatred are Not Welcome in Miami.” It linked to a message on the group’s website that stated: “Mr. Waters, your vile messages of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and hatred are not welcome in this community.”
In 2013, the Anti-Defamation League criticized Waters’ “Jewish imagery” in his concerts, including a Star of David on a floating pig alongside “a dollar sign and a sickle and hammer.” In a Facebook post, Waters wrote that the star serves as Israel’s national symbol and saying his criticism was meant for policy, not religion.
“I am anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-racist, pro human rights, pro peace and pro self-determination for all peoples,” Waters wrote. “I am not anti-Israel or anti-Semitic.”
A spokeswoman for the Miami Heat, which operates the arena, declined to comment Thursday. Miami-Dade owns the arena, and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation published a statement from Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
“I urge our Miami-Dade residents to uphold the values we hold dear and to reject anti-Semitism in all its forms,” Gimenez said in a statement that a spokesman said was provided to the Jewish Federation at the group’s request. “Not only because it would offend our Jewish residents, but because it would offend all Miamians.
Miami Herald staff writer Doug Hanks contributed to this report.