Pro-Israel stage protester says Roger Waters’ guards threatened to break his neck

a pro-Israel protester who Reached the stage with the flag of Israel He told Israeli media about the aftermath of his act on Monday during a Roger Waters concert in Frankfurt on Sunday, in which security guards threatened to break his neck.

Footage posted online showed the youth managing to reach the upper deck by running away from security, while groups of protesters dispersed in the crowd, also waving large Israeli flags and chanting “Am Yisrael Chai” (people of Israel). live) in what appeared to be a coordinated response to the former Pink Floyd frontman’s latest anti-Semitic controversy on his current tour.

On Monday night, Israel’s Channel 12 news reported that the man who took to the stage was a pro-Israel Christian who heads the youth forum of the German-Israeli Society organization in Frankfurt, named only as Marcel El.

The network interviewed him about what happened after the onstage protest against Waters.

“His security came quickly and violently took me to the basement. They threatened to break my neck if I didn’t give them my mobile phone,” Marcel said.

“I also didn’t want to give up the Israeli flag, so the guard told me he would break my arm if I didn’t give him the flag,” he said.

Marcel L. Speaks in an interview on May 29, 2023. (Screenshot: Channel 12; Used as per section 27A of the Copyright Act)

Waters herself responded to the protest during the show, saying that it had upset her and was “quite discouraging” for her.

The former frontman, who has sparked numerous controversies in recent years with antisemitic actions and comments, is subject to a new criminal Provocation investigation by German police, after appearing as a Nazi during a concert in Berlin earlier this month. He also brought up Anne Frank’s name at recent concerts in Berlin and Munich to draw comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany.

Images on social media of Waters wearing a long, black coat with a red stripe on stage and waving a fake weapon at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin last week prompted police to investigate Waters for inciting hatred. Key and German officials accused Waters of fighting anti-Semitism and demanded that Waters be held accountable. In Germany it is an offense to wear or display symbols that evoke the Nazi era.

Local police chief inspector Martin Hallweg said, “The context of the clothing worn is deemed capable of supporting, glorifying or justifying the violent and arbitrary regime of the Nazi regime, which violates the dignity of the victims and thus exposes the public.” disrupts the peace.”

Roger Waters on stage in Berlin, May 2023 (Twitter screenshot; used in accordance with section 27a of the Copyright Act)

The Frankfurt show – which the local authorities unsuccessfully tried to prevent from happening – was held at Festhalle, where in November 1938 over 3,000 Jews were rounded up by the Nazis, beaten, and later put in concentration camps was given.

Before the start of the gig, Jewish organizations along with a coalition of politicians and civil society groups came together for a Memorial ceremony and a protest rally against Waters outside the venue, handing out leaflets to concert goers.

Demonstrators read aloud the names of 600 Jews who were beheaded at Festhalle on November 9, 1939, the so-called Kristallnacht – “Night of Broken Glass” – when the Nazis terrorized Jews throughout Germany and Austria. The organizers also held a joint Jewish-Christian prayer for the victims of the Nazi terror in Frankfurt.

A woman holds a sign during a protest against Roger Waters’ concert at the end of the day at Festhalle on May 28, 2023 in Frankfurt, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

During the show, Waters acknowledged on stage that the uniform he usually wears during concerts is meant to represent “a sort of Nazi theocracy”, intended to criticize such regimes.

In comments to the show posted on his Twitter page, Waters said he had worn the costume on several occasions over the decades, but was skipping that part in Frankfurt to avoid “desecrating” the venue and showed that It is possible that he knew about it. History confirms that he was also aware of the earlier opposition.

Waters has dismissed criticism And called the controversy politically motivated.

Waters is a well-known pro-Palestinian activist who has been accused of holding anti-Semitic views. He has brought an inflatable pig emblazoned with the Star of David to his concerts.

At a Berlin concert this month, Waters also flashed on the big screen the names of several deceased people, including Anne Frank, the Jewish teen who died in a Nazi concentration camp, and Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist who killed on an assignment in the west bank Last year. The on-screen projection – which argued that Abu Aqleh had been executed for “being Palestinian” – sparked anger and condemnation that Waters was concerned with the Holocaust.

Roger Waters performs to kick off his “This Is Not a Drill” tour of Germany at Barclays Arena in Hamburg, Germany, Sunday, May 7, 2023. (Daniel Bockvold/DPA via AP)

The former frontman has played in several German cities in recent weeks as part of his “This Is Not a Drill” tour. But it has been highly controversial, with some city officials even trying unsuccessfully to ban their performances.

The “Another Brick in the Wall” singer has denied anti-Semitism allegations, saying he opposes Israel’s policies and not the Jewish people.

Felix Klein, Germany’s head of fighting antisemitism, called on authorities to be “vigilant” after the incident in Berlin.

“Concert organizers should consider whether they want to provide a platform to conspiracy theorists,” he said.

Anti-Semitic envoys from the United States and the European Union also issued their condemnations.

Last year, the Polish city of Krakow Waters canceled gigs Because of his sympathetic stance towards Russia in the war against Ukraine.

AP and JTA contributed to this report.

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