The Black Eyed Peas showed support for the Jewish community during their New Year's Eve concert in Poland when they dedicated one of their songs to those who were targets of hate throughout 2022.
During their headlining set at the Polish "New Year's of Dreams" music concert, hip-hop group members apl.de.ap, Taboo, new semi-member J. Rey Soul and frontman will.i.am performed their hit song “Where Is The Love?”
“The Jewish community — we love you."will.i.am
Will.i.am spoke to the crowd and singled out the Jewish community, as well as people around the world of African descent and the LGBTQ community who experienced hatred during the year.
“The Jewish community — we love you,” he said. “This song is dedicated to unity.”
During the show, which was broadcast to a watching 8.3 million people, the band members wore rainbow armbands in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
“We are the Black Eyes Peas…or, you can say, ‘Black Eyed Peace.’ We’re about peace, equality, harmony … We stand for unity, love, tolerance, oneness.”will.i.am
After the performance, will.i.am, took to Instagram Live and further said, “We are the Black Eyes Peas…or, you can say, ‘Black Eyed Peace.’ We’re about peace, equality, harmony … We stand for unity, love, tolerance, oneness,” according to The Daily Beast.
The rapper has a history of outspokenly supporting Israel and even used a Yiddish word to describe the feeling he gets in the Jewish state. Back in 2021, while on a visit to Israel to perform with his group, will.i.am, born William Adams, said that he would not boycott the country and added that being in Israel is like being among family — or “mishpocha.”
“I always wanted to come to Israel growing up in Los Angeles, a lot of my friends are Israelis,” said will.i.am, who is not Jewish. “My grandma came here. When she visited, she would say, ‘I’m going to the holy land.’ She came with her church. It was always a place of aspiration and wonder and when I first came, I brought my grandma…I always love coming here. It’s like mishpocha.”
Rise of antisemitism in 2022
In 2022, anti-Jewish bigotry continued a move from the fringes into the mainstream globally. In New York City, home to the largest number of Jews outside of Israel, antisemitic hate crimes across the city's five boroughs more than doubled at the end of 2022 from a year ago, New York Police Department (NYPD) data revealed. The concerning rise unfolded against a backdrop of high-profile figures making headlines for remarks targeting Jews.
There were 45 hate crimes motivated by antisemitism in November versus 20 in November 2021, according to the NYPD data.
JTA contributed to this report.