Former American Idol Contestant Becomes Center of Argument at Pro-Palestine Protest
A former American Idol contestant and Berklee College of Music student known for his activism in trying to put an end to bullying was the center of a heated argument during and after a pro-Palestinian protest over the weekend.
As dozens of people gathered on Boston Common to stage a “die-in” Saturday, where they held the names of people killed in Gaza bombings against their chests in opposition to recent Israeli attacks both from the air and on the ground, supporters of Israel counteracted the action, leading to a very public shouting match between both groups downtown.
One of the Israeli supporters was Brett Loewenstern, a Berklee student who once captured the nation’s attention on American Idol when he talked about his struggles with being bullied in school. Protesters standing with Gaza during the event over the weekend claimed Loewenstern unleashed a tirade of misogynist epithets on the Common, and went as far as telling one elderly woman to “shove a rocket” into a part of her body.
Following the protests, the fight spilled over and continued online Sunday night, where people that were at the event asked Loewenstern if he was going to apologize for what he had said:
On his Twitter account, Loewenstern admitted to what he said to the woman, but claimed his actions were provoked by racial slurs and anti-Jewish chants directed toward him as he stood in support of Israel.
“This woman twice approached me and said some s*** in German…don’t even wanna think about it…and I told her something ratchet…Oops,” the singer posted on Twitter. “I should just stand there with my Israeli flag while these Jew-hating liberal entitled ignorant a wanna [sic] shout at me and when I respond?”
He said he wasn’t sorry for what he said, despite demands for an apology from those online. Loewenstern even brought up the fact that people were calling attention to his past statements about the perils of bullying when on TV. “I actually give no f****,” he tweeted. “They dig for my Twitter and try and hold my past experiences against me?”
He continued: “Wanna talk bullying? How about when I was being interviewed and a swarm of these people came behind me and started screaming at me?”
He later acknowledged all of the attention stemming from the controversy at the site of the rally and online, adding emojis of an old woman’s face:
Loewenstern’s real-life comments have also been reflected online with others, too. On Twitter, messages sent in response to celebrity tweets about the ongoing conflict in Gaza carried a similar message. In one tweet to singer Selena Gomez, Loewenstern tells the former Disney star to put artillery into an orifice of her body, echoing his words allegedly shared during the protests.
After Tweets from the day of the protest started to spread online, Loewenstern apologized for losing his temper, and said he only reacted the way he did because of the way people had shouted hateful things toward him.
“If anyone was hurt by my words on Saturday, I’m sorry,” he said in a series of tweets Monday afternoon. “I have to learn how to handle my anger in intense situations but don’t think for one second that this came out of hatred for everyone there…I now know to passionately stay on the level of peace and justice which is what Israel stands for and the Jewish people.”