Archibishop Desmond Tutu, South African human rights leader and advocate of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, officially endorsed the new song “Freedom for Palestine” as the track continues to gain global popularity.
As The Electronic Intifada recently reported, “Freedom for Palestine” hit the internet late last month and was instantly lauded by internationally-renowned musicians and artists, such as Coldplay and Billy Bragg. Since its release, the track has been viewed more than 254,000 times on YouTube. The song was produced by the OneWorld musicians collective.
Archbishop Tutu says in OneWorld’s YouTube video:
I visited the occupied Palestinian territories, and have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinians at Israeli military checkpoints. The inhumanity that won’t let ambulances reach the injured, farmers tend their land, or children attend schools. This treatment is familiar to me as it was to many Black South Africans who were corralled and harassed by the security forces of the apartheid government. It is not with rancor that we criticize the Israeli government, but with hope — hope that a better future can be made for both Israelis and Palestinians. Hope for a future where one people need not rule over another, engendering suffering, humiliation, and retaliation … True peace comes only with justice.
Tutu explains that it was the international boycott movement that led to the end of apartheid in South Africa, and that the movement was supported by artists and musicians who today lend their talents to the current boycott movement against Israel’s apartheid policies.
In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom without the help of people around the world, and musicians who are central to our struggle. Through music and art, we speak to a common humanity — one which transcends political and economic interests. For this, I am proud to support Freedom for Palestine by OneWorld … Let’s send a message to governments that a critical mass of people want to see an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the oppression of its people.
By acting together, we can break cycles of injustice, end the occupation, and build a new world based on our common humanity and justice.