Disturbed frontman David Draiman has defended the band’s decision to play a gig in Israel next month, which prompted criticism from fellow artists such as Roger Waters and the BDS movement, which campaigns for a boycott of the nation.
“I’m a very, very strong supporter of Israel forever and for our people,” Draiman said in response, speaking in a video shared on a ‘Bring Disturbed To Israel’ Facebook page.
“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.”
Draiman, who is Jewish, continued: “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.”
Artists including Nick Cave and Radiohead have received similar backlash for playing shows in the Middle Eastern country over recent years, while Madonna‘s Eurovision performance in Tel Aviv last month was also met with resistance from the BDS movement.