Wiesenthal center urges Citibank not to sponsor Roger Waters tour

“It is inconceivable that a global corporate giant would be a financial enabler of a musician whose concerts’ trademark is a giant floating pig with a star of David,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper stated.

By Jackson Richman, JNS

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is calling on Citibank to withdraw its sponsorship of pro-BDS activist and musician Roger Waters’ tour in Mexico this week.

“In 2018, Jews in the Americas and Europe have to deal with surging and even deadly anti-Semitism,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the organization’s associate dean and head of global social action. “Against this backdrop it is inconceivable that a global corporate giant would be a financial enabler of a musician whose concerts’ trademark is a giant floating pig with a star of David and who daily demeans the largest Jewish community in the world: the Jewish State of Israel.”

“We expect Citibank to be responsive to our community’s justified concerns and fears,” he added. “At the minimum, Citibank should suspend all future sponsorship of this bigot.”

Like SWC, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations also wrote to the sponsors of Waters’ tour, calling on them to revoke their backing due to the musician’s BDS support.

“In the aftermath of the events in Pittsburgh and with the rise of anti-Semitism globally it is essential that we speak up clearly and demand zero tolerance of intolerance, no excuses and no exceptions,” said the organization’s chairman, Arthur Stark, and executive vice chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein. “Those who purchase tickets should know the nature of the person they are supporting.”

“And we believe the vast majority would not want to do so. Mr. Waters has not only espoused his views, but he has pushed other entertainers to boycott Israel, often using extreme methods and pressure,” they added. “His comments are not based on a criticism of a particular policy, but of Israel’s right to exist.”

Earlier this month, SWC contacted sponsors of the former Pink Floyd member’s Latin America tour to follow the lead of American Express last month in withdrawing backing, addressed to Grupo Aval, Cencosud, Entel, Bac Credomatic and Citibanamex.

“We urge you to demonstrate your disgust for the abuse of music to spread bigotry across Latin America,” said Shimon Samuels and Ariel Gelblung, director for international relations and Latin American representative, respectively. “Withdraw your support and sponsorship of Roger Waters in order not be associated with financiers of hate and potential violence.”

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A spokesperson for Citi told JNS that it is not a sponsor of Roger Waters’ current tour. Rather, the company clarified, “Citibanamex offered a limited-time cardmember ticket pre-sale for four shows in Mexico, as we do for thousands of concerts by various artists around the world every year. The pre-sale has ended.”

Earlier this month, Argentinian Jews protested Waters’ Latin America tour.

Along with SWC, the Argentina Zionist Organization joined the calls and labeled Waters “one of the great anti-Semites of our time” in an online campaign.