arrest 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard )
A Palestinian musician who allegedly mocked the Palestinian Authority
leadership’s statehood bid in the UN Security Council was forced to stop his
performance in Ramallah on New Year’s Eve.
The musician, Basel Zayed, was
invited with his group Turab to appear at an openair concert in the center of
Yusef Azarin, a spokesman for the Palestinian police, said his
men were forced to stop the performance of Zayed because of a “provocative”
“The singer enraged many people because of the words of his song,
prompting police and security forces to intervene and stop the concert,” Azarin
said. The police spokesman said the decision to stop the concert was taken “out
of concern for the singer’s safety.”
The controversial song, “Bokra Ilan
Al Dola” (“Tomorrow the state will be declared”), allegedly scoffs at PA
President Mahmoud Abbas’s failed bid to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian
state last September.
However, Zayed denied the song was intended to mock
at the statehood bid.
He was quoted as saying the song was a “sarcastic
commentary about the state promised to the Palestinians.”
the message behind the song was the Palestinians don’t want halfstates or
Zayed also denied the claim his song had angered many
Palestinians. He said many people in the audience liked and enjoyed the
Palestinian blogger Jalal Abukhater quoted the singer as saying he
also “raises the issues of freedom of speech and questions the kind of state
that is being negotiated on the Palestinians’ behalf by people who do not
officially represent the Palestinian people.”
Abukhater said the singer
wanted to “challenge people to look critically at oppression and injustice, not
only from the occupation, but from their own society and government as
Also on New Year’s Eve, the PA banned a well-known Israeli Druse
singer from performing in Ramallah. Palestinian policemen raided the hall where
the singer, Mike Sharif, was supposed to perform and ordered the organizers to
cancel his appearance.
The ban was taken following protests by
Palestinians opposed to “normalization” with Israel.