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May 28, 2021 12:42 pm

Questlove, Julian Casablancas Among 600 Musicians in Letter Calling on Artists to Boycott Israel, Proclaim ‘Solidarity’ With Palestinians

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The Roots’ Questlove. The band is the house band for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

About 600 musicians signed an open letter on Thursday that asked fellow artists to stand with them in boycotting Israel and publicly expressing solidarity with Palestinians.

Some of the biggest names who signed the “#MusiciansforPalestine” letter included The Roots members Questlove and Black Thought, Patti Smith, DJ Snake, Roger Waters, Anwar Hadid, Rage Against the Machine, Run the Jewels, and Julian Casablancas of The Strokes.

“In solidarity and empathy, as musicians, we cannot be silent. Today is essential that we stand with Palestine,” the letter began. “We are calling on our peers to publicly assert their solidarity with the Palestinian people. Complicity with Israeli war crimes is found in silence, and today silence is not an option.”

The letter accused Israel of a “brutal Israeli bombardment of a besieged Gaza” during May’s 11-day Israel-Hamas conflict and alleged that Palestinians are being “continuously forced out of their homes” in Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem. It also claimed the Israeli government “operates a settler-colonial project committed to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population.”

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Other notable artist signatories included Patti Smith, Cypress Hill, Noname, Talib Kweli, Vic Mensa, and Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene.

“We call on all governments to stop funding all resources and technologies that back the Israel state and their war crimes,” it added. “We call for you to join us with your name in refusing to perform at Israel’s complicit cultural institutions, and by standing firm in your support of the Palestinian people and their human right to sovereignty and freedom. We believe this is crucial to one day live in a world without segregation and apartheid.”

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