“They do it because I believe in human rights, and I speak openly about the genocide of the Palestinian people.”
Hotels in Argentina and Uruguay have reportedly rejected reservations for Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters over accusations of antisemitism levelled at the British singer, known for his pro-Palestinian views.
Waters was due to stay in Argentina's capital of Buenos Aires ahead of shows scheduled for 21-22 November as part of his “This is Not a Drill” tour. However, the reservations fell through, with hotels citing a lack of availability, according to the Argentine newspaper Pagina 12.
Hotels in Montevideo, in neighbouring Uruguay, also refused to host him but did not provide a reason, a Pagina 12 story on Wednesday (15 November) quoted Waters as saying.
The singer said that as a result he was still in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he performed a few days ago.
“I had a dinner date on the 16th with José Mujica, the former president of Uruguay, who is a friend of mine. And I can’t go (…) because the Israeli lobby and whatever they call themselves have cancelled me,” Waters told Pagina 12.
The president of the Central Israelite Committee of Uruguay, Roby Schindler, sent a letter to the Sofitel hotel urging it not to host Waters, Pagina 12 said.
Waters "takes advantage of his fame as an artist to lie and spew his hatred towards Israel and all Jews,” Schindler said, according to Pagina 12. “By receiving him, you will be, even if you do not want to, propagating the hatred that this man exudes,” Schindler added.
Waters has been dogged by accusations of antisemitism for years, including being investigated by German police for wearing a Nazi-style black trench coat with a red armband at his concerts in Germany earlier this year. There has also been stern criticism by the US government, with the State Department saying that Waters has “a long track record of using antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people.”
Speaking to Pagina 12, he vehemently denied that.
“They do it because I believe in human rights, and I speak openly about the genocide of the Palestinian people,” Waters said.
Waters recently enraged fans during a show at the London Palladium and there has been strong criticism of him online, as many have taken to X to lash out at Waters’ documented support of Palestine in the wake of the launch of a large-scale attack from Palestinian militant groups led by Hamas against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 7 October.
In a recent interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald, Waters said the surprise attack by Hamas militants in Israel “was blown out of all proportion by the Israelis inventing stories about beheading babies.”