PA police: Musician mocked statehood, so we stopped show

Musician forced to stop his performance New Year’s performance after allegedly mocking PA statehood bid.

arrest  311 R (photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard )
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 Ramallah.
Yusef Azarin, a spokesman for the Palestinian police, said his men were forced to stop the performance of Zayed because of a “provocative” song.
“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.”
He explained the message behind the song was the Palestinians don’t want halfstates or half-solutions.
Zayed also denied the claim his song had angered many Palestinians. He said many people in the audience liked and enjoyed the song.
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 well.”
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.