Bigot: Roger Waters, Mel Gibson, Kanye West and The New Antisemitism by Ian Halperin
A groundbreaking, seven-year investigation that uncovers widespread evidence of the rise of extremist and neo-Nazi harassment against Jews today all over the world. Drawing on thousands of previously unpublished sources – including emails, letters, and court transcripts as well as original interviews – BIGOT is a powerful account of an important true story.
Ian Halperin grew up listening to the music of Pink Floyd. As a professional musician, he admired Waters’ mastery of his craft. But when Waters called for a boycott of Israel and began to publicly demonize the Jewish state, Halperin became uneasy. When the musician compared the State of Israel to Nazi Germany, it was the final straw. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, Halperin — a #1 New York Times bestselling author and award-winning filmmaker — was outraged and was convinced that Waters had crossed the line from legitimate dissent to anti-Semitism. As he set out to explore this question, he discovered that Waters was only the latest celebrity to join a growing worldwide movement targeting the Jewish people. Mel Gibson and Kanye West have also trafficked in hate speech directed at Jews. And yet the careers of all three superstars continue to thrive. Meanwhile, hate crimes have surged since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, whose supporters have fanned the flames of hatred in the United States. From the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia to the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, many Jews now live in fear. In BIGOT, Halperin sets out to explore this troubling phenomenon, probing a variety of prominent figures including Pope Francis and Tony Blair while investigating the surge of anti-Semitic hate crimes and incidents in the United States and Europe, where a rise in hate crimes have prompted thousands of Jews to move to Israel. What role do policies like Trump’s and celebrities like Waters, West and Gibson play in this alarming phenomenon?
BIGOT reads like a fast-paced thriller. But unfortunately, it is all true. Every single excruciating detail.
Year first published: 2023