Pro-Israel cancel culture denounced by artists supporting pro-Palestinian rapper – Middle East Monitor
Dozens of musicians and celebrities have shown their support for rapper and Palestine solidarity activist Kareem Dennis, better known by his stage name, Lowkey. The British-Iraqi artist has been the subject of a hostile smear campaign by a pro-Israel group believed to be affiliated with the apartheid state.
The anti-Palestine lobby group last week demanded that streaming giant Spotify remove Lowkey’s music, specifically the 2010 track “Long Live Palestine Part 2”. The song the pro-Israel group is campaigning to ban features Palestinian hip-hop group DAM, British Palestinian artist Shadia Mansour, Iraqi-Canadian rapper Narcy, among others.
Denouncing the campaign, Lowkey said: “The attempt to remove my music from Spotify by a group born and cultivated by BICOM (Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre), worked with the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and publicly identified as an Israeli lobby. group is ultimately a target for the apartheid regime.”
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Lowkey received support from many artists, who put their names on an open letter defending the artist, while denouncing the smear campaign to silence him. The letter, seen by The Electronic Intifada, was signed by rappers Wretch 32 and Ghetts, model Anwar Hadid, actor Michael Malarkey, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters and hip-hop DJ Charlie Sloth .
The signatories call “on Spotify and all other platforms not to give in to pressure groups who would rather have your music removed than address the issues it highlights”. They describe Lowkey as “the target of a coordinated smear campaign to demonize, defame and de-platform him.”
“Lowkey’s music has inspired and energized millions around the world and sparked an interest in many for the issues he raises in his work,” the signers explained. “As a staunch defender of Palestinian human rights, he is a target for many who would rather his message go unheard.”
Lowkey’s attempted de-platforming is part of a growing phenomenon that social commentators call cancel culture. With its threat to free speech, the UK Conservative government is seeking to introduce new legislation to combat its rise.
Critics, on the whole, argue that the government should not legislate limits on free speech. But their biggest worry is the apparent hypocrisy. The Conservative government is believed to be seeking to target left-wing activists with the new legislation, and critics point out that it is the right, and in particular pro-Israel groups, that are most guilty of the non-platform and the ugly rise of cancel culture.
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