Jewish Heavy Metal Rocker David Draiman Takes on Roger Waters, Urges Twitter Followers to Condemn ‘Flagrant Display of Anti-Semitism’
by Joshua Levitt
Jewish heavy metal rocker David Draiman asked his 120,000 plus Twitter followers to condemn British rock musician and anti-Israel activist Roger Waters and his latest stunt, after the musician released a giant pig shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David into the sky at a July 18th concert in Belgium, as reported by The Algemeiner yesterday.
On Twitter, posting a link to The Algemeiner’s article, Draiman wrote: “I URGE ALL MY FOLLOWERS COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS TO CONDEMN ROGER WATERS’ FLAGRANT DISPLAY OF ANTI-SEMITISM. RT.” He also Tweeted: “ROGER WATERS…ANTI SEMITE.”
Waters is well known as a vocal activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid” and “international crimes” in a November 2012 address at the United Nations. Last Fall, he was also at the forefront of efforts to boycott an Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
In Thursday’s emotion-filled Twitter-sphere, Draiman went on to engage Twitter users who challenged his comments. “Seriously its not anti-Semitism he’s against the actions of the state nit the religion or the people as a whole,” wrote user Curtis Deck.
“HE CAN GO F*** HIMSELF. THE STAR OF DAVID IS A JEWISH SYMBOL. HE DIDN’T PUT THE ISRAELI FLAG ON THERE (WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN–JUST AS OFFENSIVE) HE PUT A STAR OF DAVID. HITLER USED A STAR OF DAVID TO IDENTIFY JEWISH PRISONERS. THERE’S NO MISTAKING–HIS INTENTIONS,” Draiman wrote in three separate tweets.
“You guys could be right but I’m not sure that the crowd he draws cares, or even understands anti-Semitism. Ignorance abounds,” wrote user Jack Durrell, to which Draiman responded, “HIS CROWD IS DIVERSE AND HUGE AND THEY SHOULD CARE.”
Draiman, the lead singer of heavy metal band Disturbed and new group Device, has family in Israel, including his brother, Jerusalem-based folk rock and ambient musician Ben Draiman, and his grandmother, according to Loudwire magazine.
Earlier this year, Draiman told Ultimate Guitar magazine that rock and roll and Nazi symbolism don’t mix: “I don’t give a f*** who you are. If you’re going to brandish Nazi symbolism, I’m going to have a problem with you because I don’t understand how anybody could think it’s OK to wear something on their body that symbolizes the annihilation and genocide of my people. I’m not OK with that and there is no excuse and there is no explanation.”
Draiman said in the interview that he wrote the song “Never Again,” on his Asylum album, “about the Holocaust and the people who deny it, like Ahmadinejad. And part of our live show includes a video presentation depicting him as the new Hitler.”
Draiman’s comments came as Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called the display a “classic disgusting medieval anti-Semitic caricature” in a statement, after yesterday urging all entertainers to denounce Waters’s “anti-Semitism and bigotry.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Center, told The Algemeiner that “with this disgusting display, Roger Waters has made it crystal clear. Forget Israel, never mind ‘limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.’ Waters is an open hater of Jews.”
Other groups have also let it be known that his public comments would have repercussions; El Al Israel Airlines last week canceled a promotional package bringing Israelis to a Roger Waters’ concert in Budapest next month.