Celebrated Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf’s hit song Ana Dammi Falastini (My Blood is Palestinian) was taken down from the popular music streaming platforms Spotify and Apple Music. This happened following allegations of incitement against Israel. Talking about the removal of his most popular patriotic number from the music applications, the singer expressed utter surprise. He said he received an official email stating that the song was removed due to “incitement against the Zionist enemy.”
He further said that “This accusation increases my honor and belonging to my homeland, Palestine…even if they delete this song, it is present in the memory of every Palestinian.” The ambassador of peace for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees has faced this kind of humiliation from Israel supporters a number of times in the past.
The internet has been divided between Assaf supporters and non-supporters. While his fans are supporting him and calling it a suppression of freedom of expression, his anti-fans are pointing at him, calling the song an incitement. Spotify also has given clarity over the removal of the song and said that it is not completely responsible for the removal of the song and that the decision-making authority is with the distributor of that particular region. It also apologized to its fans for the inconvenience and hoped that its songs would return to its platform soon.
For the unversed, Mohammed Assaf is a well-known Palestinian musician who rose to fame through his songs, which frequently depict the Palestinian experience and struggle. Many listeners all over the world have found meaning in his music, giving the Palestinian people a voice. We have to wait and see how the music giants will tackle this situation and if the songs ever return to the platforms in the future.