Disturbed is playing a big show in Israel on July 2nd, and in anticipation for the show, frontman David Draiman offered a new interview where he lashed out at Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters and what Draiman referred to as Waters' "nazi comrades."
Waters is an active participant in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – a movement which seeks to end support for Israel's oppression of Palestine. The movement encourages artists to avoid playing Israel to help fund what they see as the oppressive government through tax payments and the like.
Draiman attributes Waters' support of the BDS movement to "a special hatred that exists for the Jewish people in this world." Draiman continued:
"To elaborate a little bit on it, besides just my aggressive stance against it – the reasoning that no matter what side of the fence you sit on politically… And look, I don't think anybody in any country always agrees with everything their country does. I don't, but I'm a very, very strong supporter of Israel forever and for our people. 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," Draiman explains.
"You can't accomplish anything in terms of trying to create peace, in terms of trying to create understanding by shutting things off. There has to be open roads of communication," the vocalist continues. "You build bridges, you don't knock them down. And music and entertainment is the perfect way to bridge that gap. And 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 — absolute."
It seems to be a bit hypocritical for Draiman to say he wants to bridge the gap and open communication but then refers to somebody on the other side of the argument as a nazi. Waters' entire argument was always critical of the government and military of Israel and never its people, and yet it seems Draiman conflates the two – when he himself calls for a separation of people and government.
Waters' criticism was always about the government. In response to Radiohead playing Tel Aviv, Waters responded "Today is the 50th anniversary of the occupation of Palestine by Israel. Fifty years living under military occupation. Fifty years for a people with no civil rights. Fifty years of no recourse to the law. Fifty years of apartheid."
At the same time, it would be a disservice to say all Israelis agree with their government's actions, and there is an argument to be made that they should not be penalized and the way to build these bridges is by going there and communicating with them.
Ultimately, it's a very complicated issue and it seems like if anything, both sides should just sit down and rationally talk it out. I'm not sure that will happen, but one can dream.