Recently CounterPunch magazine published an interview with aging rock star Roger Waters in which he called for action against what he described as the Nazi-like actions of Israel, the "right-wing rabbinate," and “the Jewish lobby.”
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, sometimes billed as "America's Rabbi," has hit back at Waters, calling his comments a nauseating "anti-Semitic diatribe," to which other recent attacks on Israel and Jews pale in comparison, and offered to debate the former Pink Floyd star.
Writing in the New York Observer, Rabbi Boteach said:
Mr. Waters, the Nazis, were a genocidal regime that murdered six million Jews. That you would have the audacity to compare Jews to monsters who murdered them shows you have no decency, you have no heart, you have no soul. The Jews of Germany did nothing to invite the aggression against them. Indeed, they were loyal citizens of a country that many of them had fought for courageously just twenty years earlier in the First World War. They did not blow up buses for political purposes. They did not send terrorists into schools to murder children. They did not preach that killing German children would get them virgins in heaven. They lived lives of humanity and decency and were murdered for no other reason than the fact that they were Jews.
You have disgraced yourself by comparing the martyred six million, which included one-and-a-half million children who were gassed to death in cold blood, to Palestinian terror organizations like Hamas, whose stated intention it is to wipe Israel off the map.
Speaking in New York, Waters shot back:
I do not know Rabbi Boteach, and am not prepared to get into a slanging match with him. I will say this: I have nothing against Jews or Israelis, and I am not Anti-Semitic.
‘I deplore the policies of the Israeli government in the occupied territories and Gaza. They are immoral, inhuman and illegal. I will continue my non-violent protests as long as the government of Israel continues with these policies.’
Though Waters denies being anti-Semitic, he consistently uses anti-Semitic stereotypes, with false claims that the Jews control the media and the government. Waters' recent claims that Israel practices ethnic-cleansing or Nazism are reminiscent of the anti-Semitic blood libel used against Jews in Europe.