Have you heard the Palestine Lied?

Rumours have been twittering all day as to who the big celebrity will be on the next Gaza flotilla. The best best is Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple and a veteran pro-Pal activist.

Meantime, a bunch of international bandsters have been doing the Geldof thing – ‘Sing out for Palestine’ – for release in the first week of July.

OneWorld: Freedom for Palestine

‘More than six million refugees/This could be you and your family…’ runs the opening stanza, heedless of history, reality, poetry. In case you hadn’t figured it out yourself, illegal occupation is a cheap rhyme for political segregation.

The artists involved are Maxi Jazz (Faithless), Dave Randall (Slovo/Faithless), LSK, the Durban Gospel Choir, members of the London Community Gospel Choir, Jamie Catto (1 Giant Leap) and more. You can hear a preview here, if you’re in the mood for a bit of amateur agit-prop.

I’ve listened to the song twice and remain puzzled. With talent of this order on board it shouldn’t have sounded like bottom-drawer propaganda – a takeoff on one of the low comic moments from Mel Brooks’s The Producers – this one, perhaps. Enjoy.

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  • Art criticism is subjective and should always remain so. On the other hand, it becomes unethical if one’s comments are based on purely political motivations that bear little relation to the art work being reviewed or commented upon. That is the case in your blog entry above. Even if one disagrees with the political message in the video about Palestine, its quality is apparent. It is simply not factual to refer to it as “amateur” or “bottom drawer.”

    I think this link might help readers understand something about your perspectives and that there are alternative views held by respected members of the Jewish community:


    Anti-Semitism is a very real and very serious problem in the world. When journalists trivialize this situation with false warnings and hidden agendas, it puts Jewish people in even more danger because it serves to de-legitimizes the real problems they actually face.

    That said, I would like to say that in all other respects I deeply admire your work.

  • If this is indeed “quality” work, it escaped my ears because I heard no such thing here. Amateurish agit-prop this little ditty most certainly is. I’m referring solely to the musical material itself. Never mind that this song seems blissfully unaware of historical reality. But, hey, who cares about such trivialities as the deeply complex reasons for Israel’s existence, the fact that Europe had long dreamed of creating a Jewish state (in Eastern Europe) to solve its “Jewish problem”, or the fact that Israel is the only non-dysfunctional democracy in the Middle East when one can band-wagon onto the latest trendy political cause and make a buck or two (to say nothing of media attention)?

    By the way, I’m looking forward to reading news of a “Free Constantinople” concert one of these days. Or how about “Free the Ezo Republic”?

  • Someone on Norman’s Facebook page called it “uninspired,” but IMHO, the real problem with this song is that it’s uninspiring. The groove is OK, but that’s not enough. It’s catchy, but it’s more like an advertising jingle than a rallying cry. You could plug in the name of a soft drink or brand of sneakers and it would make no difference. A song for a cause should move people emotionally and move them to action, and this left me strangely cold. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems to me that something to rally people to a cause should grab the heart and engage the mind. This song didn’t cut it in that regard for me. The rap section was so fast that I couldn’t make out most of the lyrics; how do you expect people to understand your words and ideas if they whiz by too fast to be heard? Also, the repeated sight of the break dancer was distracting, and had nothing to do with the subject matter. I don’t think it’s just my age; I am 52, and rap music and break dancing have been around for most of my lifetime. Rather, it just struck me as being superficial. I should have been in tears and/or moved to action and thought, but i wasn’t, and I don’t think the problem is entirely mine. I notice others were also not that impressed. A voice teacher of mine used to say if she wasn’t satisfied with my renditions, “Now, dear…I’m not CONVINCED!” No matter what the cause, if someone is going to do something like this, they need to put in more of their feelings and thought to convince me…and I just don’t think they put enough of themselves into this, no matter how good their intentions were. In the wise words of David Bowie, “Ain’t there one damn song that can make me break down and cry?”

  • I think it’s over-simplistic and inflammatory for people to suggest that disapproval of Israel’s actions leads to anti-Jewish feeling in the UK (not ‘antisemitism’ – Arabs are Semites too). These are not religious actions, but expansionist political ones. It would be a bit like blaming all Muslims for the actions of Al Khayidah (although I know some small-minded people do) or all Christians for the atrocities of Nazi Germany.

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