Yesterday (May 16th), the Godfather of Palestinian rap and founder of break out group DAM, Tamer Nafar, gave his thoughts on the ongoing violence in Israel. Born and raised in Lod, Israel, which has a significant Arab population, Tamer is also an activist.
He uses his music to advocate for Palestinian identity and autonomy while condemning racism and inequality. In the wake of a spate of attacks by some Israeli youths on Palestinians, Nafar spoke to Channel Four about the dire situation.
At the outset of the interview, hosted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Nafar speaks on the campaign held by his rap group DAM on their Facebook page “where we are approaching the UN” for protection. He also talks of the Israeli youths doing “illegal things protected by the cops.” Murthy asks the iconic rapper if he feels afraid, to which Nafar responds: “I’m unarmed, and I have armed people outside of my house protected by the cops. Of course I’m scared. I have two kids, man.”
Murthy then posits that Palestinians are armed too. Nafar says, “Of course some are armed”, but “if you wanna talk legally about the Palestinian population, we are not armed.” Nafar maintains, “The only weapon I held in my life was a microphone and I don’t think I can use it in combat.” Nafar then talks about the Israeli population and how they get armed by the government “from the age of eighteen.”
The rapper says these are the reasons DAM have approached the UN for protection. Nafar also maintains that as an “Israeli-Arab”, he does not “even have the right to define himself.” Nafar then talks about the historic nature of the conflict and the effect it has had on the native Palestinian people.
Nafar also discusses the conflict being “a confusing thing”, getting bombed by his own side. He wants Israel to “leave the Palestinian alone”. Asked by Guru-Murthy about what he wants to see Hamas do in Gaza, Nafar maintains: “The last thing I wanna see is war, the last thing I wanna see is people get killed, the last thing that the people in Gaza wanna see is walls, the last thing that the people in Gaza wanna see is poverty, no way out and no future, not even a present.”
The rapper finishes by saying you “should point the finger” at the Israeli state and military.