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Roger Waters brands Bono ‘disgusting’ over Israel speech

Waters has been an outspoken critic of the Israeli government

Kevin E G Perry
Wednesday 21 February 2024 18:29 GMT
Activists with Israeli flags removed from Roger Waters concert by O2 Arena staff

Roger Waters has hit out at U2 frontman Bono for comments he made last year in support of Israel.

The former Pink Floyd musician, 80, branded the Irish singer “disgusting” and “an enormous s***”.

During a U2 show during their residency at the Sphere in Las Vegas on 8 October, Bono paid his respects to those killed during the 7 October attack at the Israeli music festival Supernova.

Introducing the song “Pride (In The Name Of Love”, Bono said: “In the light of what’s happened in Israel and Gaza, a song about non-violence seems somewhat ridiculous, even laughable, but our prayers have always been for peace and for non-violence… But our hearts and our anger, you know where that’s pointed. So sing with us… and those beautiful kids at that music festival.”

He then changed the words to the song, singing: “Early morning, Oct 7, the sun is rising in the desert sky… Stars of David, they took your life but they could not take your pride.”

In a new interview with Al Jazeera, Waters lashed out at Bono’s comments. “My mother told me, when faced with difficult problems, the first thing to do is to read – read, read, read. Then, the next part is easy: do the right thing,” he said.

“Anybody who knows Bono should go and pick him up by his ankles and shake him… until he stops being an enormous s***.”

Roger Waters (left) and Bono (Getty)

“We have to start saying to these people, your opinion is so disgusting and so degrading… sticking up for the Zionist entity,” he added. “What he did a couple of weeks ago in the Sphere in Las Vegas, singing about the Stars of David, was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen in my life.”

The Independent has contacted Bono’s representatives for comment.

Waters has consistently been outspokenly critical of the Israeli government. Last month, he was reportedly dropped by music rights company BMG over his inflammatory remarks about Israel, Ukraine and the United States.

Variety reports that Waters himself referred to being “fired” by BMG in a video interview with Glenn Greenwald last November. However, the comment was buried almost half an hour into the conversation; Waters claimed the split was due to pressure from pro-Israeli interests towards BMG’s parent company, Bertelsmann.

A source told the publication that BMG did not agree with Waters’ version of events.

The rumoured split was just the latest fallout from Waters’ controversial remarks about Israel, some of which have been met with allegations of antisemitism.

Waters, who has vehemently and consistently denied these accusations, caused uproar last year after wearing a uniform onstage in Berlin that was compared to those worn by the Nazis.

He won a legal battle in April 2023 after magistrates of Frankfurt instructed a venue to cancel his concert, accusing him of being “one of the most widely known antisemites in the world”.

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