Chicago-based nu-metal band Disturbed played their first show ever in Israel, at Rishon Lezion’s Live Park, where the band’s singer, David Draiman ,performed a cover of the Israeli National Anthem “Hatikva.” Draiman, who is of Jewish descent, also spoke in Hebrew with the crowd, and even wore a shirt in support of the government’s military forces, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
This performance saw Draiman sing the anthem backed by an Italian renaissance instrumental for a little under a minute and a half. “Hatikva,” is based off a 19th-Century Jewish poem, and has served as the nation’s national anthem officially since 2004.
Although this is the band’s first time performing in the country, Draiman, as the son of two Israeli citizens, and the grandson of Holocaust survivors, has been a long supporter of Israel for many years. Prior to this performance, the singer slammed outspoken Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions(BDS) supporter Roger Waters, who conversely, has openly criticized numerous musicians, including Radiohead, Kamasi Washington and Nick Cave for performing in the country.
“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,” Draiman explained according to Loudwire. “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.”
” To peacefully protest against Israel’s racist domestic and foreign policies is NOT ANTI-SEMITIC. Your(Nassau County’s) contention that because I criticize the Policies of the Israeli government I should be lumped in with the Muslim Brotherhood is risible, and again a personal affront. I have spent my whole adult life advocating separation of church and state.”
Israel’s government has been accused of human rights abuses by the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, due to their treatment of Palestinians living in various territories and settlements alongside Gaza.
This is not the first issue that Draiman has been outspoken about either, back in 2016 Disturbed posted a video on their social media expressing support for police officers, while utilizing the contentious Blue Lives Matter hashtag. Although these causes may be considered right-wing, Draiman has not explicitly sided with one side of the political aisle, siding with Bernie Sanders in 2016, while simultaneously refusing to blame the country’s political divide on the current US president.
“It’s not just the Trump era,” Draiman explained in the Loudwire piece. “The [U.S.] was divided before him, whether people want to admit it or not. I think that Trump is given too much credit. The hatred exists with or without him.”
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz