On Aug. 20, Roger Waters performed at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, where the End Jew Hatred grassroots civil rights movement and its partners from the Atlanta Israel Coalition gathered outside the venue in solidarity to protest Jew-hatred and bigotry.
Most remember Roger Waters from his days as co-founder and lead singer of the Pink Floyd band, which he left in 1985.
End Jew Hatred is a grassroots civil rights movement whose mission is to eliminate Jew-hatred through peaceful direct action and education. There were 15 people who attended the protest and handed out hundreds of flyers to concertgoers. Their mission was to educate those attending about the hatred and bigotry Waters is known to spread, which they believe directly promotes hostility and division within society. The protesters stated that his unhinged rants deny Jewish identity, indigeneity and self-determination.
“It was eye-opening to see how many people were unaware of Waters’ public antisemitic stance,” said Cheryl Dorchinsky, founder of AIC and who recently accepted the position of director of community engagement for End Jew Hatred. “Our presence made a difference,” she went on to say, explaining how their efforts opened the eyes of many Waters fans to the truth of the celebrity’s Jew-hatred.
Dorchinsky has been participating as an advocate for End Jew Hatred for about two years. She stated that she is determined to “fight the good fight;” she is regularly joined by her husband, Steven Dorchinsky, and longtime friend Tova Shraga at many solidarity rallies, events and protests that she organizes.
Dorchinsky reported to the AJT that she plans to travel and continue End Jew Hatred’s movement educating people about Waters and other celebrities who also participate in Jew-hatred, as well as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
According to the group, as they passed out the flyers and people learned the harsh reality of Waters’ bigotry, they received several different responses from those waiting in line to attend the concert. Some mocked them, but many listened in complete surprise to the information.
Dorchinsky stated that she approached two men wearing kippot and shared the flyer, and they responded that this was their second time attending a Waters concert but with this new information it will be their last.
Another person who received a flyer later contacted Dorchinsky sharing that once she was made aware, she became sensitive to the Jew-hatred symbols and rhetoric displayed during the event and left the concert feeling disgusted.
There were several concertgoers who confronted the group about their support for Palestine, many identifying themselves as Jewish. The protesters responded with the same support for the Palestinians and tried to explain that they can support the Palestinians while also participating in ending Jew-hatred.
Jeffrey Jacobson, a local CPA, retired U.S. Treasury agent and a member of Temple Emanu-El, Israel America Coalition and Atlanta Israel Coalition, has been participating in the End Jew Hatred movement since July.
The AJT asked Jacobson why he joined the protest, and he stated that he recently attended a presentation by Lana Melman at Temple Emanu-El, where the author discussed her book “Artists Under Fire: The BDS War Against Celebrities, Jews, and Israel.
“She [Lana Melman] was a fantastic speaker, and she inspired me to get involved. When I realized Roger Waters was performing at State Farm Arena on Aug. 20, I proposed the idea of a protest,” said Jacobson.
Ironically, a celebrity known to have made many public antisemitic remarks on stage – including a man who turned to the camera and yelled, “F— the Jews!” – was on full display next to CNN’s headquarters, which is attached to the State Farm Arena.
As CNN was preparing to air Dana Bash’s television special, “Rising Hate: Antisemitism in America,” where she spoke with one expert about the alarming presence of antisemitic imagery and language in the gaming and entertainment world, Walters was performing literally next door to the co-anchor’s headquarters.
Jacobson told the AJT that the enthusiasm and passion of the volunteer protestors, and the fact they educated so many concertgoers who were unaware of Waters’ positions and support of the BDS movement, is what inspired him the most.
According to a spokesman for End Jew Hatred, “Now more than ever, we need to stand united and unafraid, and be empowered to fight for the future we deserve – a future in which bigotry is erased from society and our children to never have to experience discrimination, harassment, or violence. A future in which we finally #EndJewHatred.”
EJH pledges to continue holding grassroots actions like this one, including in other cities where Waters will be performing, and called for unity and solidarity in the face of ever-increasing Jew-hatred in the United States and across the world.
Next stop is Madison Square Garden in New York City, where Waters is performing at the end of this month.
- Kaylene Ladinsky
- Roger Waters
- Pink Floyd
- State Farm Arena
- Atlanta Israel Coalition
- Cheryl Dorchinsky
- Steven Dorchinsky
- Tova Shraga
- Sanctions (BDS)
- Jeffrey Jacobson
- Temple Emanu-El
- Israel America Coalition and Atlanta Israel Coalition
- Lana Merman
- Artists Under Fire: The BDS War Against Celebrities
- and Israel
- Dana Bash