After drawing criticism from the Anti-Defamation League over a video segment in his Wall tour that juxtaposed the Star of David and dollar signs, Roger Waters has tweaked his show, separating the symbols. During “Goodbye Blue Sky,” a video projection showed dropping bombs in the shape of various symbols — crucifixes, Stars of David, dollar signs, Muslim crescents, Mercedes and Shell Oil logos. As Rolling Stone first reported (in last issue’s cover story), the Stars of David were directly followed by dollar signs in the original production — but in the version of the show played at Madison Square Garden on October 6th, the Mercedes symbol now follows the stars.
In Rolling Stone’s story, Waters denied any anti-Semitic intent. ADL director Abe Foxman nevertheless took offense: “It is outrageous that Roger Waters has chosen to use the juxtaposition of a Jewish Star of David with the symbol of dollar signs,” he wrote. “While he insists that his intent was to criticize Israel’s West Bank security fence, the use of such imagery in a concert setting seems to leave the message open to interpretation, and the meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money.”
“Contrary to Mr Foxman’s assertion, there are no hidden meanings in the order or juxtaposition of these symbols,” Waters wrote on his website five days before the MSG concert. “The point I am trying to make in the song is that the bombardment we are all subject to by conflicting religious, political, and economic ideologies only encourages us to turn against one another, and I mourn the concomitant loss of life.”
A spokesperson for Roger Waters has not responded to a request for a comment on the show’s tweak.