Nakba Day: 6 Songs for Palestine
Roger Waters – We Shall Overcome
Pink Floyd-member and music legend Roger Waters is a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause. He even gave a speech about it at the United Nations, representing the Russel Tribunal on Palestine. He also traveled to Palestine where he wrote “We don’t need no thought control” on the Separation Wall in the West Bank – a line from Pink Floyd’s famous song The Wall. He explained his reasons for supporting Palestinian rights in this article and wrote many other articles on the issue.
Because of all that, it wasn’t a surprise that he dedicated his version of We Shall Overcome to the Palestinian cause.
Lowkey – Long Live Palestine!
Rapper Lowkey from London is well-known for his political activism. Shortly after the end of the Gaza War, he released Long Live Palestine. At the same time, he travelled to Palestinian refugee camps around the West Bank, performing charity shows to raise money to help rebuild Gaza. As soon as he landed in Tel Aviv (because all Palestinian airports are destroyed), he was detained and interrogated for nine hours, while his passport was confiscated.
Later, Lowkey told NME: “I was eventually released, knowing that no matter how frustrating what I just went through was, I knew that it was not even a miniscule fraction of the degradation Palestinian people are subjected to on a daily basis.”
He’s right: thousands of Palestinian children have been arrested and beaten in the last few years, mostly for the horrible crime of throwing stones at innocent tanks that invade their cities. And the adults went on mass hunger strikes because they were held without charge or trial with no hope of release.
DAM and Abir al Zinati – Born Here
DAM (Arabic word for eternity and Hebrew for blood) is a Palestinian rap group from Lod in Israel. They are descendants of Palestinians who managed to stay in their homes and now live inside Israel (20% of Israel’s population are actually Palestinians).
In the song Born Here they rap about being treated like second-class citizens in their own country – in Hebrew with an Arabic chorus by Abir al Zinati. One example of this discrimination is that to enter their neighborhood in Lod, you have to cross eight train tracks, resulting in the deaths of 10 Palestinians.
After DAM took Israeli celebrities on a tour around Palestinian neighborhoods to show them how they live, the media reacted and the Israeli government was forced to build a bridge over the train tracks. All the other problems remain unsolved.