State Department accuses Roger Waters of using antisemitic tropes

The artist has drawn criticism after his Berlin show

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State Department accuses Roger Waters of using antisemitic tropes

The US government has reacted to a controversy involving Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters.

The musician's show in Berlin was denounced by the State Department as "deeply offensive to Jewish people." 

The State Department also accused Waters of having a record of using antisemitic tropes.

Earlier, Waters said the performance last month, during which he wore a black trench coat with a swastika-like emblem, was a statement against fascism, injustice and bigotry and called criticism of it "disingenuous and politically motivated."

Berlin police said they were investigating Waters on suspicion of "incitement of the people." Critics online included U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt, who called the concert "Holocaust distortion" and amplified a tweet denouncing Waters by the European Commission's coordinator on combating antisemitism.

The State Department stood by Lipstadt's comment and said Waters' Berlin concert "contained imagery that is deeply offensive to Jewish people and minimized the Holocaust."

"The artist in question has a long track record of using antisemitic tropes to denigrate Jewish people," the department added.

The department did not respond to follow up questions, including whether officials had viewed the concert and in what form, and did not give examples of Waters' alleged use of antisemitic tropes.