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16 Nov, 2023 19:00

Roger Waters barred from South American hotels over Israeli pressure – media

The former Pink Floyd frontman was denied lodging after Jewish groups threatened at least one hotel chain
Roger Waters barred from South American hotels over Israeli pressure – media

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters was denied hotel rooms in the capitals of Argentina and Uruguay due to allegations of antisemitism from Uruguay’s ‘Israeli lobby’, local media reported on Wednesday.

Waters attempted to book hotel rooms in two Buenos Aires hotels for his ‘This Is Not a Drill’ tour later this month, but reservations at both were canceled, he told Argentinian newspaper Pagina 12. The Faena Hotel  claimed they were “undergoing refurbishment,” while the Alvear Hotel first approved Waters’ booking for ten rooms, then canceled it, he explained. 

Hotels in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, also rejected Waters while declining to furnish an explanation, the musician said, complaining that he was unable to attend a dinner date with the country’s former president, Jose Mujica, due to being “canceled” by the Israeli lobby.

Somehow these idiots of the Israeli lobby managed to co-opt all the hotels in Buenos Aires and Montevideo and organized this extraordinary boycott based on the malicious lies … about me,” the singer said.

The presidents of the Central Israelite Committee of Uruguay and the B’nai B’rith NGO, Roby Schindler and Franklin Rosenfeld, had threatened to launch a campaign against the Sofitel hotel chain if Waters was allowed to stay there. The Pink Floyd frontman “takes advantage of his fame as an artist to lie and spew his hatred towards Israel and all Jews,” Schindler said in a letter to the chain, warning that “by receiving him, you will be, even if you do not want to, propagating the hatred this man exudes.”

Argentine lawyer Carlos Broitman told AFP he had filed a complaint against Waters with a federal court, denouncing the visit as a chance for the performer to “spread his message of hate and to incite or aggravate anti-Semitism.

Waters, a long-time advocate of Palestinian rights, has fervently denied allegations of anti-Semitism, insisting his criticisms are directed at the Israeli government. Regarding the latest attacks, he told Pagina 12, “They do it because I believe in human rights, and I speak openly about the genocide of the Palestinian people.”

The artist’s critics - including the US State Department - have accused him of trivializing the Holocaust and trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes, pointing to a performance in Berlin earlier this year in which he donned a stylized Nazi uniform to portray a villain character. The singer countered that the performance - a staple of his stage show for many years - was clearly meant as a statement against fascism.

More recently, he has come under fire in the Israeli media for questioning the government’s version of events regarding the October 7 attack by Hamas.