Spotify urged to remove content ‘inciting hatred and violence against Jews and Israel’

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Spotify urged to remove content ‘inciting hatred and violence against Jews and Israel’

We Believe In Israel confirm campaign to get streaming service to remove extremist content - including Lowkey rap

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Ambassador performs in the video for his song Free Palestine 2 (Gaza Under Attack) (YouTube)
Ambassador performs in the video for his song Free Palestine 2 (Gaza Under Attack) (YouTube)

Music streaming service Spotify is being urged to remove extremist content over claims it is promoting songs whose lyrics “incites and promotes hatred, violence, and disinformation against Jews and Israelis.”

The grassroots campaign group We Believe in Israel (WBII) has confirmed it will be campaigning for Spotify to remove “dozens of instances of problematic material”, including Lowkey’s Long Live Palestine – Part 2 rap.

WBII point to lyrics in Lowkey’s re-working of his Long Live Palestine track in which he states it is time to have “globalised the Intifada”.

The same song also included the claim that the rapper had “studied the Torah and learnt by their own admission Israel’s actions are not kosher in their own religion”.

Contributing to the same Lowkey track is artist Hasan Salaam who rapped “So whether it’s the Mossad or the FBI policing you it’s all one struggle till the final breath is leavin’ you.”

Luke Akehurst, Director of We Believe In Israel said: “Spotify has a responsibility to uphold its platform rules which quite clearly state that content promoting, threatening, or inciting violence is unacceptable. Our research has identified dozens of such breaches, and we expect timely action to be taken.

“Following the high levels of antisemitism experienced by British Jews during and after last May’s escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, it is remarkable that content directly inciting violence and hatred remains available.

The presence of Lowkey’s music is particularly offensive.

“We view his comments about globalising the Intifada as a direct incitement of violence towards Jews and Israelis, while Hasan Salaam promotes commonly held and nefarious antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish world domination.”

WBII also point out that the first released version of Long Live Palestine contains a popular antisemitic conspiracy theory with “Every coin is a bullet, if you’re Marks and Spencer and when you’re sipping Coca-Cola that’s another pistol in the holster of the soulless soldiers. You say you know about the Zionist lobby but you put money in their pocket when you’re buying their coffee.”

Other songs to be identified as problematic by the campaign group include rapper Ambassador MC –  real name is Safeer Hussain- whose “Free Palestine” claims “what happened in America on 9/11 happens in Palestine, 24/7” and that “The Zionists and Jews are different types of people. The Jews ‘ain’t bad, but the Zionists are evil. Even the Rabbis know the Zionists are crazy”.

Meanwhile his 2021 rap “Free Palestine 2” states “Most [Palestinian prisoners] are killed brutally but some are set free”, and that “Israel wants every Palestine to bleed.”

Another track highlighted by WBII is Shadi al-Bourini and Qassem al-Najjar’s “Strike A Blow At Tel Aviv” which says “Oh you settler, with your sidelocks, in your shelter you cower with fear” and “We don’t want no truce or solution. All we want is to strike Tel Aviv.”

Rachel Blain, Campaigns Manager of We Believe In Israel says: “We will put pressure on Spotify to ensure that problematic content is removed in a timely fashion. We Believe In Israel’s research is an ongoing project and we will continue to highlight music and podcasts which breach the platform’s rules.”

Jewish News has contacted Spotify for comment.

Lowkey later told Middle East Eye:”The attempt to remove my music from Spotify by a group which was birthed and cultivated by BICOM (Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre), worked with the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and publicly identified itself as an Israel lobby group is ultimately an own goal for the apartheid state.

“Artists and musicians should never have to fear threats to their livelihood or person for the music they make. We will not be silenced on Palestine, not now, not ever.”

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