“Freedom for Palestine” Makes Glenn Beck Cry

By soysauce for Adalah — A Just Middle East, Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 08:16 AM PDT

In a recent diary, simone daud introduced us to a new UK song, “Freedom for Palestine”.


The song was written by Dave Randall of the UK dance band, Faithless, and has been promoted by Coldplay and Billy Bragg. The song opens with strong lyrics:

So many years of catastrophe/
more than six million refugees/
it could be you and your family/
forced from your home and your history.

This song made Glenn Beck cry on national TV. I never watch this guy…is he always this bad an actor?


Dave Randall and his band support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)including a cultural boycott of Israel until it abides by international law.

Faithless cancelled a scheduled Israeli gig after learning about the BDS call. Randall wrote in February:

Faithless last performed in Israel in June 2005. I invited my friend, Palestinian producer and rapper Jad Abbas (aka Boikutt), to be my guest at the gig. He declined, explaining that Israeli checkpoints meant the short journey to the venue from his home in Ramallah would be almost impossible.He added that, as a supporter of the cultural boycott of Israel, he would prefer it if our gig wasn’t happening at all. At the time, I knew of no western bands who had joined the boycott.

Since then, awareness of the true face of Israel and the suffering and humiliation to which Palestinians are subjected has become far more widespread, particularly in the wake of the siege of Gaza.

Significantly, people are coming to the realisation that Israel is an apartheid state.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was right to warn the Cape Town Opera: “Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa, in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for the Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel.”

No matter how progressive your particular fans may be, gigs do not take place in a political or economic vacuum. Beyond your fan base, a performance in Israel can only too easily be interpreted as an endorsement of business-as-usual in the apartheid state.

These artists join the growing number of international performers, such as Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, Carlos Santana, the late Gil Scott-Heron, and The Pixies, who maintain that there can be no “business as usual” with institutions complicit in apartheid. or or

Music video by

Palestine campaign song generates controversy ahead of release

By Harriet Sherwood, Thursday 9 June 2011

A campaign song, to be released early next month, called Freedom For Palestine, is already kicking up a row.

It’s a compilation number, along the lines of Feed The World or Free Nelson Mandela, and its artists include Dave Randall of Faithless, Maxi Jazz and the Durban Gospel Choir. Images from the West Bank and Gaza, along with the separation barrier, are featured in the video.

Its lyrics refer to catastrophes, refugees, crimes against humanity, prison camps, occupation, human rights and justice. “We are the people and this is our time, stand up, sing out for Palestine,” goes the refrain.

Coldplay initially linked to the video from the band’s Facebook page, prompting around 7,000 responses, both for and against. Earlier this week, the band removed the link (see update below).

The US media host Glenn Beck drew attention to the song on his Fox show, describing it as “evil” and “pure propaganda”. Referring to the song’s lyrics, he said: “Before you know it, ‘Israeli occupation’ will be standard fare. Everyone will just see it as they’re just occupying that land. That is a lie.”


If the song makes it into the UK charts, it is likely to cause a dilemma for the BBC. The corporation ran into controversy last month for masking out the words “free Palestine” from a number recorded by Mic Righteous. It did it in order “to ensure impartiality was maintained”, it said. On another recent occasion, the word “Palestine” was excised from a BBC script.

I have no idea whether this campaign song will sink or soar. But the controversy building around it even before release is an indication of what could be yet to come.

1.42pm update: I’ve just had an email from Frank Barat at OneWorld who tells me:

“Coldplay did not remove link from its Facebook page. Facebook removed the link because thousands of people (and computer generated posts) reported it as abusive.”

My apologies to Coldplay for misrepresenting them. or or

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