In a statement the Comunidade Israelita de Lisboa (CIL) "makes public its deep displeasure with the musician's arrival in Portugal, a country that has known how to avoid giving rise to extremism and hate speech".
Roger Waters, one of the founders of Pink Floyd, will open in Lisbon the European leg of the world tour 'This Is Not A Drill', presented as "the first farewell tour" of the 79-year-old musician. The concert scheduled for March 17, at the Altice Arena, sold out, with a second concert scheduled for the next day, at the same venue.
The president of CIL, David Botelho, quoted in the communiqué, admits that, "perhaps many people who will go to the Altice Arena, on the next 17th and 18th of March, do not know, or do not have awareness and understanding about the thought of the musician Roger Waters, just go to a concert, listen to music and have fun, ignoring and relativising - both of them - what Roger Waters thinks and says about Jewish people and Israel".
"The company producing the event that invited Rogers Waters, with high probability, also did not consider the artist's anti-Semitic dimension - only the business one - when it invited him to perform two consecutive days in Lisbon. It would have been important that the company that invited him had made this prior assessment. Thus, the doubt will remain whether they are conniving with the musician's thinking in relation to the Jewish people and Israel", reads the statement.
The CIL emphasises that it does not condemn "those who act out of ignorance" and does not judge "without knowing the reasons", recalling that "the German city of Frankfurt very recently cancelled a concert by the musician [...] scheduled for the next 28th of May at the Festhalle -- a venue that was the scene of massive anti-Semitic atrocities in 1938 and where more than 3,000 Jews were detained".
"Given the well-known attitudes of support for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish extremist movements and the anti-Semitic public discourse of Roger Waters, it would be even more inconceivable and incomprehensible that, in that particular location, which is public property (by the municipality and the State of Hasse) there could be another outcome than this one. The Israeli Community of Lisbon, of course, congratulates the German public entities for the decision they have taken".
Frankfurt privately rejected "the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories" spread by Waters on social media.
CIL also recalls that, "before Frankfurt, Poland had already actively promoted the cancellation of a Roger Waters concert".
The two concerts in Kraków, Poland, were cancelled due to Roger Waters' position on the war in Ukraine. The musician blames Ukrainian "extreme nationalists" for starting the conflict and criticises NATO and the West for supplying weapons to the Ukrainian army.
In September of last year, urged by fans, Roger Waters wrote an open letter to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, saying that he does not want the world to end in a nuclear war, because he has children and grandchildren, like most "of his brothers and sisters all over the world".
"Your invasion of Ukraine took me completely by surprise; it was a heinous bellicose act of aggression, whether or not it was provoked," he said at the time.
The CIL emphasizes that it "vehemently repudiates a vision of the world based on intolerance, hate speech and xenophobia".
Roger Waters' 'This Is Not A Drill' tour was supposed to take place in 2020, but was postponed because of the covid-19 pandemic. The musician only started with the new show in July last year, with an extensive tour of North America, which will end in October in Mexico.
In a press release, the musician explains that this tour is "an innovative and cinematic graphic rock and roll extravaganza", with "dozens of great songs from Pink Floyd's golden age and some new songs as well".