Finally, someone is taking Roger Waters to task via a medium that might finally make an impact. In his new documentary, Wish You Weren't Here, award-winning filmmaker Ian Haperin outlines why Waters' criticism of Israel is in fact anti-Semitic. The Tower summarizes details about the film:
“I’ve never come across a story more filled with hate, prejudice, and misinformation than the vitriol that Roger Waters is spewing to the world,” Halperin told Paul Miller, president and executive director of the Haym Salomon Center, in an interview published by the Observer earlier this month.
The film, called Wish You Weren’t Here, is Halperin’s way of expressing that, “to me, an attack on Israel is an attack against the Jewish people.”
Roger Waters has established himself as a leader of the BDS campaign, and has criticized musicians who choose to perform concerts in Israel. Most recently, Waters singled out Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke for dismissing calls to boycott Israel.
Halperin’s documentary exposes the anti-Semitic motifs found within Waters’ activism, including the negative consequences of the anti-Semitic imagery that Waters displays at his concerts. In 2013, a Waters concert featured a floating pig displaying a Star of David, a move that Waters has continuously defended, in part by asserting that accusations of anti-Semitism against him are unfounded because he has a Jewish daughter-in-law.
The film also discredits the comparison that Waters draws between the situation in Israel and apartheid South Africa. “I’ve met all the leaders who fought to liberate South Africa,” Halperin said. “Waters doesn’t know what he’s talking about. South Africans are insulted by his claims.”
"You can argue with some of Israel’s policies, no problem," Halperin said, "but to call for a universal boycott of Israel is deplorable, baseless and unfounded... It’s an anti-Semitic attack."
And indeed it is, no matter the label one wishes to place on it.