Macklemore has shared his feelings about the ongoing catastrophe in Israel and Palestine in a lengthy statement on Instagram. In it, the rapper/singer condemned the “horrific” Hamas terror attacks against Israel, which he called an “abomination.”
In addition, he called for a cease-fire in the region and an end to “collective punishment” against innocent Palestinians, and expressed support for a “free Palestine,” while also dismissing as “false” that criticism of the Israeli government is antisemitic.
He began, “I have been in fear. I have felt a literal lump in my throat and I cannot stay silent any longer. I condemn the murder of any human. The bombings, kidnappings and murder of the Israeli people carried out by Hamas was horrific in every way imaginable.”
“My heart deeply hurts for the Israelis that lost loved ones to such an abomination. As a father, I cannot imagine if one of my kids was at that festival, or was still missing after being kidnapped. It is absolutely unfathomable. But killing innocent humans in retaliation as collective punishment is not the answer. That is why I am supporting the people around the world who are calling for a cease-fire.”
He continues, “We are witnessing an unfolding genocide in Palestine at this very moment. A U.S.-backed human catastrophe in front of our eyes. Gaza is being demolished. Well over 1 million people have lost their homes. Schools, hospitals, places of worship obliterated.”
“People can’t get out. They are literally fenced in. Israel isn’t allowing water, food, and medicine into the open-air prison that is Gaza. And yet we remain silent. I have. There’s the fear of immediately being labeled Anti-Semitic when you say anything against the Israeli government. This is false.”
“I can wholeheartedly love my Jewish brothers and sisters while simultaneously condemning the Israeli government for their mass killings and Apartheid,” he added.
“I have been backstage at night before the shows, tears uncontrollably streaming down my face in absolute disbelief at how we as a country are supporting these murders with our weapons and financial backing. We are collectively praying for Israel before NFL football games, projecting Israeli flags onto our buildings and watching in-depth news stories on the catastrophic bombings in Israel.”
“All are important ways of honoring the Israeli lives lost and those that are suffering because of it. But why are we not doing the same for Palestinians? How are one group of people’s lives worth more than others?”
“By no means am I an expert on this conflict,” he continued. “I am relatively new to this and learning as I go. There’s 75 years of Palestinian occupation and deeply rooted pain on both sides, stemming back far before I was born. But there is no side to take when it comes to our collective human spirit. We all have a voice and a platform to stand for what is right and just. Even if it’s a one-on-one conversation with someone.”
“I understand my privilege in speaking out publicly because I have financial resources and am void of a boss or company to answer to. A lot of Americans are afraid that if they say something it could put their livelihood at risk. But if I’m putting my business, career, or Instagram followers above using my platform to speak out against genocide… what does that say about me?”
He added, “I keep coming back to this MLK quote: ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’”
“I have so many close lifelong Jewish and Muslim friends and I don’t want to cause any additional harm to any of them. But I trust in our friendships that even if we disagree we can be rooted in love and acceptance in whatever dialogue transpires. I trust that these potential challenging and emotional conversations will not divide us in the end but lead to more compassion. Killing the innocent is never the answer. Revenge only breeds more hatred. Thinking of ourselves as separate from one another is a lie.”
He concluded, “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 if its people.”
The current conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories began on Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked Israeli civilians, brutally killing and injuring some while taking others hostage. In the days that have followed Israel launched a full military offensive and is preparing a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, a section of the territories controlled by Hamas.
A number of Hollywood leaders and stars have called for a cease-fire in the region, including Tilda Swinton and Steve Coogan. “Outlander” star Sam Heughan later recanted his support for the letter, writing on Twitter, “I believed it was a simple call for PEACE…it wasn’t.”