A picture of the wild pig from the performance
A picture of the wild pig from the performance

A German Jewish group has called for the boycott of an upcoming concert by former Pink Floyd rock star Roger Waters, a critic of Israel, who triggered a backlash after he released a pig-shaped balloon decorated with a Star of David over his stage performance of the wall.

Michael Szentei-Heise, director of the Jewish Community in Dusseldorf, said that Waters was an "intellectual arsonist" whose stage act used "anti-Semitic and National Socialist imagery".

Waters was criticised by Jewish organisations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Centre who called Waters "an open hater of Jews" after a stunt performance in Belgium. Waters is a well-known activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Waters recently urged fellow musicians to boycott Israel accusing the Jewish state of crimes against Palestinian, including ethnic cleansing and apartheid. His appeal prompted a withering response from Tel Aviv, backed by one of Israel's most famous faces - supermodel Bar Refaeli.

However, the Anti-Defamation League said the pig was not new and in context was not anti-Semitic.

"This is the same thing he's been doing for years," said Todd Gutnick, director of media relations. "We believe there's no anti-Semitic intent here in the use of the Star of David symbol."

The pig floated over the crowd during the song Run Like Hell. The song is written from the point of view of the anti-hero who imagines himself turning into a Nazi dictator.

Last year, Szentei-Heise slammed a modern version of Richard Wagner's Tannhauser for its new scenes showing people dying in gas chambers .

The opera was cancelled after the opening-night audience booed and banged on the doors when they left the opera house in protest. At the time, Szentei-Heise called the adaptation "tasteless and not legimitate".

"This opera has nothing to do with the Holocaust," Szentei-Heise said. "However, I think the audience has made this very clear to the opera and the producer."

Waters is due to perform his show "The Wall" in Duesseldorf on 6 Sept.