Macklemore has delivered a rousing speech at a pro-Palestine rally calling the conflict a “genocide” – watch the moment below.
The rapper was invited to give an impromptu speech in Washington, D.C., where he spoke about the conflict. Al Jazeera has claimed that the current Palestinian death toll has hit 9,770 as of November 5. At least 4,000 of the victims were reported to be children. AP reported that around 1,400 Israeli civilians have died, mostly from the October 7 Hamas attack.
Addressing the crowd, Macklemore said: “First and foremost, this is absolutely beautiful to observe today.” He continued: “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.
“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.”
Macklemore speaks at the “Free Palestine” rally in DC:
“They told me to do my research, that it’s too complex, to be silent … In the last 3 weeks, I’ve gone back & I have done some research, I don’t know everything, but I know enough to know that this is a genocide.” pic.twitter.com/QQcjZQcSFQ
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 4, 2023
Today (November 7), Macklemore elaborated on his thoughts about his speech in a powerful statement: “Last weekend at the march in Washington D.C. I was reminded of our collective power as humans. Our similarities rather than our differences.”
“I witnessed solidarity with Palestine that extended throughout the entire human spectrum. Jewish and Muslim youth marching side by side, belting words of resistance together. Palestinian women at the podium moving souls with their voices, their stories. I had beautiful conversations with Jewish Rabbis who showed up to march for the same reasons my Muslim brothers Tamir and Moustafa did.
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 U.S.) are rooted in violence, they will never make us safer.”
Macklemore went on to emphasise that his stance “has no roots in Anti-Semitism”, saying: “I hold space and deep compassion for my Jewish brothers and sisters that are in pain, experiencing fear or have been subjected to any form of hatred for who they are. I whole heartedly condemn Anti-Semitism in any form.”
Expressing his observation of Jewish solidarity for Palestinian liberation, Macklemore called for “uncomfortable conversations” with “the aim of understanding one another”: “Are we committed to learning while unpacking our own fear, bias and self centering? Can we lead with love for wherever someone is at with the goal of unifying and not dividing? Can we see that our own liberation is contingent upon the liberation of ALL?”
He shared an anecdote about watching his 5-year-old daughter, Coco, swing from the monkey bars at a park. “I couldn’t help but think as I was watching her, what a luxury it is to not have to worry about a bomb being dropped on us at the playground. Or the impossible unease of not knowing if the rest of my family would still be alive upon our return.
“And until the people of Palestine can experience that same luxury of simple freedom and peace, we must keep going.”
He concluded his statement by continuing to “urge everyone to speak up” and “realize this is a humanitarian crisis and demands all of us to act urgently within our networks. You know enough and you’ve seen enough. Being against genocide, ethnic cleansing, apartheid and demanding a ceasefire doesn’t mean you’re against anyone else.”
Macklemore went on to share a list of people accounts to follow, including those based in Gaza and others who “speak out against oppression and injustice.”
Macklemore has previously expressed pro-Palestine sentiments on his social media. Two weeks ago, he wrote a lengthy Instagram post, stating: “I stand with all humans. I stand for peace. I stand for love. I stand for freedom. And because of that, I stand for a Free Palestine and an end to the looming genocide of its people.”
Macklemore was also one of many celebrities who recently signed an open letter urging President Joe Biden to call for a ceasefire. He joins Dua Lipa, Killer Mike, and Michael Stipe for “an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost.”