Twelve drama participants from the Miami Beach Parks and Recreation Teen Club will no longer be appearing on stage Thursday night with Pink Floyd’s frontman, Roger Waters, as he performs for his “Us + Them” tour.
The change comes after many South Floridians have expressed their concerns about Waters and what some believe are his anti-Israel views.
“In light of recent information surrounding this event, the Miami Beach Parks and Recreation Teen Club will no longer be participating,” Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said. “Miami Beach is a culturally diverse community and does not tolerate any form of hate.”
The Miami Herald reported Thursday that Waters is a leader of an effort by artists to boycott Israel and previously defended himself on Facebook in 2013, saying that he was not “anti-Israel or anti-Semitic.”
“I am anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-racist, pro-human rights, pro-peace and pro-self-determination for all peoples,” he wrote.
Waters has compared Israeli treatment of Palestinians to Nazi Germany and South African apartheid.
He unsuccessfully attempted earlier this year to get Radiohead to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv, along with South Africa activist Desmond Tutu, the Herald reported.
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation posted a message on its website, telling the singer that his “vile messages” were not welcome in Miami, “a community where people of diverse backgrounds and religions celebrate differences and stand together to fight bigotry and hatred.”
“Roger Waters is an outspoken proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls into question Israel’s right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people,” the post read. “His distortions and outright lies about Israel and its policies are outrageous and irrational. And his obsessive fixation on Israel betrays a bigotry that goes far beyond criticism of a nation’s policies.”
As part of the teens’ moment with Waters Thursday at the American Airlines Arena, they were expected to attend a dress rehearsal with the band, receive autographed photos, have prime seating in the orchestra pit for the show and perform a choreographed routine to “Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)” with Waters.
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