‘Thrift Shop’ emcee Macklemore recently gave an impromptu speech at a pro-Palestine rally in Washington DC, where he urged the crowd to have “uncomfortable conversations” with “the aim of understanding one another.”
The Seattle musician also labelled the current Israeli military operation as a “genocide” following the recent news that the Palestinian death toll has hit 9,770, with at least half of the casualties children. Rallies have been held across the US, including in New York City and Chicago.
Addressing the crowd, Macklemore exclaimed, “First and foremost, this is absolutely beautiful to observe today. There are thousands of people here that are more qualified to speak on the issue of a free Palestine than myself, but I will say this.”
He continued, “They told me to be quiet. They told me to do my research, to go back, that it’s too complex to say something, right? To be silent in this moment. In the last three weeks, I’ve gone back, and I’ve done some research. And I am teachable. I don’t know enough. But I know enough that this is a genocide.”
The rapper (real name Benjamin Haggerty) has spoken on political issues before and at the rally in the country’s capital, proclaimed, “Last weekend at the march in Washington DC, I was reminded of our collective power as humans. Our similarities rather than our differences.”
He continued, “Conflicts like this feed off of our division as humans. Violence as retribution will never bring us lasting peace. Collective punishment is never justified. And as long as the actions of Netanyahu and the Israeli government (with the unequivocal support of the US) are rooted in violence, they will never make us safer.”
So far, Joe Biden has shown unwavering support for the Israeli government and doesn’t look like he will be altering his stance any time soon, although several members of Congress have called upon him to denounce any potential war crimes being committed by Benjamin Netanyahu.