With Disturbed set to perform in Israel for the first time on July 2nd, frontman David Draiman responded via video to the “Bring Disturbed to Israel” Facebook page regarding his views on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), a campaign supported by artists such as Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters that calls to pressure Israel economically in hopes of ending the Palestinian occupation and grant citizens equal rights, including the return of Palestinian refugees.
“I’m a very, very strong supporter of Israel forever and for our people,” Draiman said. “And regardless of whether it’s Israel or anywhere else, boycotting an entire society and an entire people based on the actions of its government is absolutely ridiculous. And it doesn’t accomplish anything. I don’t see boycotts happening of Russia; I don’t see boycotts happening of many of some of the countries that have some of the most oppressive, closed-off regimes in existence on the face of the planet, where LGBTQ people are persecuted, where all kinds of minorities are persecuted. I don’t see people boycotting China for what they’re doing to their Muslim population. It’s just Israel that gets this treatment, and I think we all know the reason behind that.”
He added: “There’s a special hatred that exists for the Jewish people in this world, and it unfortunately can’t be explained. It’s something that has lasted and has been deep seated for centuries, and that’s part of our burden as a people, unfortunately. … And the very notion that [Roger] Waters and the rest of his Nazi comrades decide that this is the way to go ahead and foster change is absolute lunacy and idiocy — absolute. It makes no sense whatsoever. It’s only based on hatred of a culture and of a people and of a society that have been demonized unjustifiably since the beginning of time. You wanna be able to bring people together? You wanna effect social change on a real level? Bring them together for a concert.”
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Draiman, who is Jewish, previously addressed holocaust deniers in the Disturbed song “Never Again“, with his maternal grandparents having survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and distant relatives on his mother’s side having died during the holocaust. He has also been featured on The United States Holocaust Museum’s “Voices On Anti-Semitism” podcast.
His strong and outspoken views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been the source of exchanges and trolling on Twitter, where he once blasted the media for biased coverage of the conflict before eventually deleting his account and vowing to never return.