Heavy metal frontman David Draiman has said that he pays no attention to supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and that musical artists should not be afraid to perform in Israel.
Mr Draiman, 49, is a self-proclaimed “non-practicing proud Jew”, and said about those who try to deter musical artists from performing in the Jewish state: “F*** them. I don’t care. They know I don’t care, that’s why they don’t bother me.
“I have relatives living in Israel; I have parents, my brother, uncles, aunts, cousins… you’re really gonna try to say something to me about BDS? It makes no sense.”
Appearing on the newly created podcast “Sarai Talk Show”, hosted by human rights activist and former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan, Mr Draiman also noted “there’s not a single band that has played in Israel that has seen a negative impact whatsoever other than a whole lot of people being loudmouths online.
“It hasn’t negatively impacted their ticket sales or record sales. If anything, it increased them.”
Mr Draiman, who trained to sing as a child while learning to be a cantor for his Jewish congregation, added: “[Artists] need to learn to shut out the noise and do what they need to do for themselves, for the fans, for the music and for the sake of spreading this amazing gift they’ve been given to as many people as they can.”
He added, “[music] should build bridges and it’s not supposed to be something you withhold from people.”
The Down with the Sickness singer is an avid supporter of Israel on social media despite the inevitable backlash he receives online.
BELIEVE IT.— David Draiman 🟦 (@davidmdraiman) July 17, 2022
2000+ relatives currently living in Israel. 2 generations of @IDF paratroopers, family living in Israel since the early 1900’s. #Zionist #Zionism #Proud#amYisraelChai pic.twitter.com/f54ZKm5GyO
He also spoke positively about his work with the Creative Community for Peace (a pro-Israel organisation working to counter antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment in the entertainment industry) and his efforts to remove the “demonisation” of bands that want to play in Israel.
“The extremists are the loudest voices, the ones heard the most. When they find something that they can all get together and lose their minds over, they can’t resist,” Mr Draiman said. “Truth be told, Israeli fans are amazing and dedicated.”
Disturbed are set to embark on a world tour in April following the release of their new album ‘Divisive’ at the end of last year. They will be performing at the Download Festival in the UK between June 8-11, and in Tel Aviv on June 28.
Disturbed have performed in Israel once before in 2019. At the time, Mr Draiman defended the band’s choice to perform in the country to i24 News, saying “Places like Venezuela and Syria and Sudan and all over the African continent, which are committing grave crimes against humanity… none of them get the level of judgment and scrutiny that the Israeli government does,
“There isn’t another people on the planet who are treated the same way.”
Mr Draiman also spoke out against ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters at the time, who is a well known vocal supporter of BDS, calling his activism an effort to “distort truth on behalf of [a] ridiculous hateful narrative,”
“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,”
Mr Draiman, who was born in Brooklyn, New York City, comes from a Yemenite Jewish background and is fluent in Hebrew. He joined Disturbed in 1996 as lead vocalist and has written several of their most successful singles.
Disturbed are one of the most commercially successful rock bands of the twenty-first century. The band’s cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” currently has over 800 million views on Youtube.
Mr Draiman's full podcast interview can be viewed here: