David Draiman Addresses Roger Waters’ ‘Star of David’ Usage
Pink Floyd great and solo artist Roger Waters has become the center of controversy this past week. Waters has expressed his disdain in the past over the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinian people, calling for a boycott and speaking before the U.N. But it’s his latest gesture that really has some upset. Waters used the Jewish Star of David as one of the symbols on the giant inflatable pig that hovers over ‘The Wall’ concerts, and that has many, including Device and Disturbed frontman David Draiman, feeling he’s taken things a step too far.
Over the years, the flying pig has become a staple of Pink Floyd and Waters’ shows, serving as a symbol of greed, fascism and oppression. Video footage of the usage can be seen above.
Draiman, a half Israeli Jew, has penned a commentary on the manner and even decided to forego his traditional CAPS style entries to signify the importance of the message he wanted to deliver.
Draiman’s posting can be read in full below:
My brothers and sisters my blood,
Regarding Roger Waters usage of a flying pig with the Star of David on it during his performances;
Yes everyone, I am not writing this piece in CAPS. I want no one to use that as an excuse to distract from the seriousness of this message.
I have personally been a fan of Mr. Waters’ work for many years. I think that Pink Floyd are one of the most groundbreaking and visionary acts of all time. Mr. Waters’ position on the Palestinian/Israeli crisis is well known, and has been well publicized.
Whether or not you agree with the policies of the Israeli government (and there are times where I myself, a half Israeli Jew, with a large number of relatives still living in Israel, including my brother and grandmother; do not agree with some of their policies), nothing excuses the usage of the Star of David (the symbol of the Jewish people as a whole, not Israel or its government) emblazoned on a flying pig/zeppelin during his performances for “The Wall”. It is uncalled for, abhorrent, and blatantly Anti-Semitic.
If the pig is in fact a symbol of greed and tyranny as described in the song from “The Wall” called “In the Flesh”, then affixing the symbol of the Jewish people to it, is an attempt at reinforcing an age old Anti-Semitic stereotype that is unwarranted and beyond offensive. All he is doing through such symbolism is encouraging hatred and teaching his fans that Jews are greedy tyrannical people, which could not be further from the actual truth. If he wanted to make a political statement against the policies of the Israeli government (which I would not be in agreement with either, but would be political and not religious/racial, and therefore understandable), he should have had an image of the Israeli flag on it, the symbol of the government, and not the lone star of David, the symbol of the Jewish people as a whole.
Hitler himself used the star of David as a badge of identifying Jews with the word “Juden” under it, marking ALL Jews as they were mercilessly driven into the cattle cars that lead to the death camps in his maniacal attempt at genocide.
Once again, this is not an issue of freedom of speech, or expression, as Mr. Waters is well within his rights to say and display anything he chooses, even if it does incite hatred, but it does NOT mean that we as responsible individuals against hatred and Anti-Semitic imagery, have to sit back and just take it. Freedom of speech and expression is a two way street, and sometimes you will reap what you sow.
I therefore urge all of my followers, friends, and colleagues, and certainly the Jewish people within the entertainment community to take issue with this Anti-Semitic symbolism, and to demand that the Star of David be stricken from the flying pig, and that a formal apology/explanation be given from Mr. Waters himself.
Draiman has been quite vocal on a number of matters in recent weeks, leading a charge against ‘Rolling Stone‘ after their Boston bomber cover and offering a voice of peace after the George Zimmerman verdict.