DISTURBED's DAVID DRAIMAN 'Stands In Solidarity' With Jewish Man Who Was Allegedly Punched For Wearing IDF Shirt

December 29, 2021

DISTURBED's David Draiman has thrown his support behind two Jewish men who were allegedly attacked in Brooklyn, New York on Sunday (December 26).

According to the New York Post, Blake Zavadsky and Ilan Kaganovich, both 21, were in a shoe shop in Bay Ridge when two attackers allegedly approached them.

"They asked us what we were doing in their neighborhood," Zavadsky told the New York Post.

Zavadsky, who was sporting an Israel Defense Forces sweatshirt, said the pair took particular issue with his hoodie.

"The one who punched me said if I don't take my sweatshirt off, he's going to rock me," Zavadsky said.

"'How can you support these dirty Jews?'" Zavadsky said the man allegedly asked.

When he refused, he got punched twice in the face and doused in iced coffee.

The NYPD said Monday the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

Draiman took to his Instagram late Tuesday (December 28) to share a photo of him wearing an IDF shirt during DISTURBED's July 2019 show in Tel Aviv, and he included the following message: "I stand in solidarity with the two young Jewish men who were attacked in Brooklyn NY yesterday, one of whom was wearing an IDF t shirt. We will not be intimidated. #IDFShirtChallenge #amyisraelchai".

Last week, Draiman said that he had lost thousands of social media followers since publicizing his trip to Israel in November.

On November 30, Draiman lit a candle at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel at the Old City site of the terror attack that killed South African immigrant Eli Kay.

At the time, Draiman, who is Jewish, took to his Instagram to share a few photos of his appearance, and included the following message: "A truly wonderful experience. Thanks so much to everyone who came out!"

On December 24, Draiman returned to Instagram to lament the fact that thousands of his fans had apparently taken offense to his decision to share pro-Israel content on his page and had unfollowed him on the platform.

He wrote: "Here's food for thought.

"Before my recent trip to Israel, I hadn't used my Instagram account since the DEVICE experiment. It was at 87k followers. I used it again specifically to make my trip and demonstration at the western wall public.

"Since the pictures of my trip and the demonstration were posted, I'm now down 4K followers.


"Very telling isn't it? #AmYisraelChai".

A week prior to his visit to Jerusalem, Draiman told The Jerusalem Post that he wanted to make a statement by coming to Israel after seeing the coverage of the attack in which a Hamas gunman opened fire on pedestrians in the Old City.

"The coverage was reprehensible in the vast majority of American and European media," Draiman said. "It's scandalous how they presented it. Headlines like 'Palestinian shot dead.' Well, why was the Palestinian shot dead? Because he was perpetrating a terrorist attack. I love how the context is always flipped around."

Although David — who has some 200 relatives living in Israel — had visited the country many times before, DISTURBED's 2019 show in Tel Aviv was the band's first performance in the Jewish state. Draiman addressed the crowd in Hebrew at many points during the show at Live Park Rishon LeZion and sang the Israeli national anthem "Hatikvah". Draiman proudly displayed his IDF t-shirt during the concert and at one point declared: "This is for all the IDF soldiers."

DISTURBED's song "Never Again", from 2010's "Asylum" album, was written about the Holocaust and calls out people who deny it.

The Tel Aviv show marked the first time DISTURBED performed "Never Again" since 2011.

Both of Draiman's maternal grandparents were survivors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, while many others on his mother's side were wiped out by the Nazis.

The United States Holocaust Museum has featured Draiman in its "Voices On Anti-Semitism" podcasts.

In recent years, Draiman spoke out against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which calls for economic pressure on Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian land, grant Arab citizens equal rights and recognize the right of return to Palestinian refugees.

Nearly two and a half years ago, Draiman spoke to KAN radio, where he called BDS advocates "idiots" and "Nazis in suits."

Draiman has in the past battled with Twitter trolls who have harassed him about his sometimes-controversial views regarding Israel and its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians. Draiman has had frequent heated exchanges with followers on Twitter, some of whom believe that Israel is not blameless in the ongoing conflict with Palestinians.

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