The frontman of the American heavy metal band Disturbed has defended  the group’s decision to perform in Israel next month and slammed the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for pressuring artists to single out the Jewish State for discrimination.
“It’s just Israel that gets this treatment, and I think we all know the reason behind that,” David Draiman said in an interview Friday. “There’s a special hatred that exists for the Jewish people in this world and it unfortunately can’t be explained.”
He noted how BDS supporters stigmatize Israel while ignoring notorious human rights violators and “oppressive, closed-off regimes,” like China and Russia, “where LGBTQ people are persecuted, where all kinds of minorities are persecuted.”
The singer, who describes himself as a secular Jew, said the best way to achieve peace is “to build bridges,” arguing that BDS erects walls between entire peoples.
He specifically slammed efforts by former Pink Floyd frontman and leading anti-Israel activist Roger Waters for bullying artists not to perform in Israel. Waters had attacked Disturbed for their decision to play a gig in the Jewish State.
The band will be performing in Israel for the first time on July 2.
“The very notion that 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,” Draiman said of their attempts to shut down cultural exchanges.
“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,” he added. “It doesn’t accomplish anything.”
Draiman previously criticized the BDS movement in 2013, after a Waters concert featured a floating pig displaying a Star of David, a move that the singer has continuously defended. The Disturbed frontman described the incident as “abhorrent and blatantly anti-Semitic.”
Artists including Australian rockstar Nick Cave and the British band Radiohead have received similar backlash for playing shows in Israel, while pop diva Madonna’s Eurovision performance in Tel Aviv last month was also met with protests from BDS groups. All of them criticized their attempts to politicize music.
[Photo: AFX836 / Wikimedia Commons]