A British pro-Israel lobby group is demanding that Spotify delete the music of rapper and Palestine solidarity campaigner, Kareem Dennis, better known by his stage name, ‘Lowkey.’
We Believe in Israel, a pro-Israel British grassroots group, said the move is part of its efforts to remove “dozens of instances of problematic material, including Lowkey’s [2010 song], “Long Live Palestine – Part 2″.
In an interview with The Jewish News, the Director of We Believe in Israel, Luke Akehurst, claimed, “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, as we expect timely action to be taken.”
“Following the high levels of anti-Semitism 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 song that the pro-Israel group is campaigning to ban features Palestinian hip-hop group, DAM, British Palestinian artists, Shadia Mansour, Iraqi-Canadian rapper, Narcy, among others.
However, in response, Kareem described it as a coordinated campaign to brutalise the Palestinians.
“Palestinians are routinely arrested by Israel for posts on social media, even children. Dareen Tatour spent almost a year in occupation jail for posting a poem to her Facebook,” he 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 regime.”
The British-Iraqi rapper has been subjected to censorship attempts in the past.
Most recently, an Israeli lobby group unsuccessfully sought to cancel his appearance at Cambridge University earlier this year. However, an Israeli lobby group was successful at removing him from a National Union of Students (NUS) conference.
“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,” he added.