Nakba Day: 6 Songs for Palestine
May 15th is Nakba Day (Day of the Catastrophe) – it commemorates the deaths and expulsions of Palestinians from their homes during the creation of Israel. Although Palestinians face additional human rights abuses now, the Nakba is where it all started.
The Jewish Voice for Peace has a quick, basic overview of the history behind it, if you’re interested.
Since the start of the Nakba 66 years ago, Palestinians have lived in an illegal military occupation under constant fear of death, torture, home demolitions, imprisonment without trial or charges, and under constant violence and harassment by illegal settlers and the Israeli army. These are proven facts documented by Amnesty International and many other human rights groups.
53% of Palestinians are children and they face as many problems as adults do. According to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, in the 22 days of the Gaza War, 1385 Palestinians were killed, 318 of them children. (Update: this was written before July 2014. According to the UN, the last attack on Gaza killed another 2192 people, including 519 children)
Now that we have some of the facts straight, here are six songs for Palestinian rights:
Outlandish – Look into my Eyes
Outlandish are stars in their home country Denmark and known for their political activism as well as their music. Behind the nice melody of Look into my Eyes there’s a sad song about death, media deception, imprisonment, bombings and a decades-long military occupation. Still, it manages to get more positive in the chorus:
„Let’s not cry tonight, I promise you one day it’s through
Oh my brothers, oh my sisters
Shine a light for every soul that ain’t with us no more
Oh my brothers, oh my sisters“
Ska-P – Intifada!
Despite the party-inducing sound of their music, Spanish band Ska-P is a highly political band with lyrics against fascism, racism and in support of environmentalism, human and animal rights. Songs about Palestine are very common among Spanish and Latin-American bands, so it was just a matter of time before Ska-P made their own contribution.
Intifada is a musical call for a peaceful uprising against human rights abuses – with guitars, trumpets and in Spanish, so it can’t get much better.
Jasiri X – Checkpoint
US rapper Jasiri X wrote this song after witnessing oppression and violence at checkpoints during a visit to Palestine. The video and lyrics describe the realities of Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank.
Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has done a lot of research into freedom of movement for Palestinians – including checkpoints, siege, curfews and roads and buses that Palestinians are forbidden form using. You can read it here if you want more info.
NEXT PAGE: Roger Waters, Lowkey and Palestinian music legends DAM