Musicians, including members of The Roots and Arcade Fire, sign letter supporting Palestinians

More than 600 musicians, including members of The Roots and Arcade Fire, have issued an open letter in support of Palestinian rights.

The group, calling themselves #MusiciansForPalestine, published the letter on Thursday, less than a week after Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire ending 11 days of hostilities that left hundreds, mostly Palestinians, dead.
“Today, we speak together and demand justice, dignity and the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people and all who are fighting colonial dispossession and violence across the planet,” the letter states.
    Among the signatories are Black Thought and Questlove of The Roots, Cypress Hill, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Royce Da 5’9″, Sarah Neufeld of Arcade Fire, Run the Jewels, Noname, Serj Tankian of System of a Down, Fred Wreck, A-Trak, Rage Against the Machine, Patti Smith, Chromeo, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Talib Kweli, and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd.
      Palestinian and Israeli artists — including Sama’ Abdulhadi and Ohal Grietzer — also signed the letter.
        Tensions boiled over into violence earlier this month over the potential removal of some Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem.
        On May 7 and 8, Israeli police clashed with Palestinian civilians following evening prayers at Al Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, with video showing stun grenades going off across the compound. Hundreds of Palestinians were injured, many by rubber bullets.
          The hostilities eventually moved to Gaza, which is governed by Hamas.
          Between May 10 and 20, Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire killed at least 248 people in Gaza, including 66 children, according to the health ministry there. Twelve people in Israel, including two children, died as a result of Palestinian militant fire from Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces and Israel’s emergency service.
          Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire that began on May 21.
            In their letter, #MusiciansForPalestine said “silence is not an option” and called on peers to add their names to the list.
            “We call for you to join us with your name in refusing to perform at Israel’s complicit cultural institutions, and by standing firm in your support of the Palestinian people and their human right to sovereignty and freedom,” the letter says.

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