Media personality Gilad Emilio Shenkar waved the Israeli flag at Roger Waters' concert at London's O2 Arena and was expelled from the arena (Screenshot, Gilad Emilio Shenkar)
An Israeli waved the Israeli flag during a Roger Waters concert in London last night and was expelled from the arena. Gilad Emilio Shenkar, a media personality and CEO of the Story company, visited the performance at Hall 02 in the English capital with his partner, to whom they had purchased tickets months ago, and according to him, following Waters' conduct, in which he believes he "went from anti-Israelism to blatant anti-Semitism," they brought the Israeli flag to the performance, and within a short time after the flag was raised, Emilio Shenkar was expelled from the hall, interrogated and unable to return to the performance. (Watch footage from the incident below.)
"My partner bought us tickets for a show a long time ago because we both really like Pink Floyd and also because it was announced as a farewell tour," Emilio Shankar told Walla! Culture. "Actually, we wouldn't go to a regular Roger Waters show, but because it's his farewell show, we said let's go, because he'll probably do all the Pink Floyd hits. I'm not some provocateur. We were very excited about the show, and then we saw what happened in Berlin and other places, including the fact that he raises the balloon with the pig and the Star of David, the comparisons he made between Palestinian women and Anne Frank, and all his statements that crossed the line from anti-Israelism to anti-Semitism. Blatant and disgusting. We debated whether to go to a concert in the last few days, in the end you don't want to support such a blatantly anti-Semitic person. We decided to go and bring the Israeli flag. My partner bought me tickets to amazing places, row 5, right in front of his face. So we said, let's go and wave an Israeli flag. At many concerts, people wave flags - from state flags to the pride flag. This is completely trivial. So it never occurred to us that it would deteriorate into what happened."
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"At the show, to our astonishment, there were 'Free Palestine' booths in the compound itself, where flags and leaflets were distributed, and that's pretty biased. When he started the show, he said, 'Whoever loves Pink Floyd and doesn't want to hear his political opinions – fuck-off.' Within minutes, the show became a completely political text and very, very anti-Israel. We waved the flag, and then within seconds people came to me, in my estimation, and threw me away quite brutally. They took me out of the hall and took me to a side room at the O2, physically searched me and questioned me, what I was, who I was, whether I belonged to one organization or another, etc., but mostly they were disproportionately aggressive in my opinion. All I did was raise a flag, no cursing, no shouting and no provocation on my part. They escorted me outside the O2 and told me I couldn't go back inside."
"It was a very upsetting event," he adds. "What upset is their aggressiveness. I didn't expect Roger to applaud me, but neither did I want this aggressiveness and brutality, seven men twisted my hands like a criminal, and all I did was wave a flag gently and not shout, in a country that is supposedly democratic. But there's also something empowering about it, standing with your country's flag against a man who so brutally holds a one-sided position – it would have strengthened and not just sucked."
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Roger Waters (Photo: screenshot, Twitter)
Last month, Berlin police launched an investigation into Waters after his performance in the city, during which he took to the stage wearing a costume reminiscent of a Nazi uniform. During one of the songs, Rogers donned a leather jacket with a red cloth sleeve resembling a swastika, and "fired" at the audience with an artificial rifle. During the May 17 concert in Germany, Waters even compared Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead in Jenin by IDF soldiers a year ago, to Anne Frank. Germany's Jewish community is furious and turbulent, and a large demonstration against him is planned in Frankfurt.
Waters allegedly resembled a scene from Pink Floyd's The Wall, but the law in Germany against Nazi symbols is strict and strict. A senior police official in Berlin said the case would be referred to the State Prosecutor's Office for review: "The context in which Waters wore the costume could be interpreted as glorifying the violent crimes of the Nazi regime, in a way that violates the dignity and memory of the murdered." An official statement from Israel's Foreign Ministry said last month: "Good morning to everyone except Roger Waters who spent the evening in Berlin (yes, Berlin) desecrating the memory of Anne Frank and the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust."
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