For the Jews, there is some trepidation every time a new Pope is chosen. Let’s face it while recent Popes have fought against Antisemitism, one doesn’t have to go that far back in the past to find leaders of the Catholic Church who promoted hatred of Jews. According to Vatican figures published this past March, there are an estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world–a Pontiff could make things in the world a bit more difficult.
That’s why the fact that the semi-official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has criticized the man who broke up Pink Floyd– Roger Waters for exhibiting a pig-shaped balloon bearing a Star of David is important. It is an indication the latest pope is following the lead of Recent Bishops of Rome at least in the case of relations with the Jewish People
In a piece titled, “Unrestrained anti-Semitism at a rock festival,” writer Cristiana Dobner observed, “The spirit and the style of the Werchter Rock festival was visible, with the fans who had every right to listen to music that they enjoy. But did they also have the right to draw the Star of David on the back of a pig and not be reported?”
“Do we make laws addressing every type of phobia?” she asked.
“We continue to talk about the respect for every religion and every human being, yet we keep falling into these shameful situations,” Dobner lamented.
In a defense this week of his use of the Star of David, Waters argued, “The Star of David represents Israel and its policies and is legitimately subject to any and all forms of non-violent protest. To peacefully protest against Israel’s racist domestic and foreign policies is not anti-Semitic.”
He claimed that Israel is “a functioning theocracy,” which has led Jewish symbols to become “confused with the symbol of the state.”
However, the L’Osservatore Romano piece noted that the Star of David has clearly become a Jewish symbol, not an exclusively Israeli symbol, and is famously associated with the identification of Jews during the Holocaust.
“Knowing it is the right thing to do, it is imperative to achieve that awareness and to stop the silence, as many have done in the past, so that the human and intellectual degradation which took place in Wechter never happens again,” the article concluded.
Rogers has previously faced criticism for virulently anti-Israel statements, such as comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, and falsely testifying to the UN that Hamas “is open to permanent peace with Israel” – a direct contradiction of Hamas’ own statements.
Now if the paper could only run an op-ed about how Waters’ arrogance broke up Pink Floyd!