Berlin Bans Overtly Antisemitic Palestinian Rappers from Rally

People wave Palestian flags at the Brandenburg Gate during a pro-Palestinian rally in Berlin on September 25, 2019. - Berlin authorities barred a planned appearance by two rappers during a pro-Palestinian rally at the Brandenburg Gate on the grounds of "anti-Semitic messages" in their lyrics. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / …

Palestinian rappers Shadi Al-Bourini and Shadi Al-Najjar, known for their antisemitic and anti-Israel lyrics, have been banned from performing at a rally in Berlin.

The pair were originally meant to perform in front of a demonstration entitled “rally on the Palestine question” in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday evening, until complaints about their lyrics forced the local government to prohibit their performance, Bild reports.

Examples of their lyrics were posted by the Jerusalem Post including some from a 2012 music video which stated: “Strike a blow at Tel Aviv. Strike a blow at Tel Aviv. Strike a blow at Tel Aviv and frighten the Zionists. The more you build it the more we will destroy it.”

The rappers’ social media pages have contained even more offensive content including glorifying a terrorist who killed an Israeli rabbi and promoting photographs of youths “resisting” Israel by targetting people with slingshots.

While the rappers were banned from performing, the city allowed the demonstration to go on. Bild spoke to several attendees including a Syrian migrant who claimed the antisemitic song by the rappers was justified.

“The song is from 2014, at that time there were many rockets on Gaza, many dead. That’s why this song is really justified,” he said.

Another attendee named Odai agreed, saying: “The Israelis have stolen our land, so we may defend ourselves.”

The group behind the demonstration, Palestine House Berlin e.V., was formed in 2012 and has organised several events in Berlin in the past calling for the “liberation of Palestine”.

Both Israel’s ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff and with United States ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell condemned the event and urged the Berlin government to ban the pair before the demonstration took place.

Germany has seen a surge in antisemitic incidents in the last several years with Berlin becoming a hub of antisemitic activity. According to a report from the Department for Research and Information on Antisemitism (RIAS), the city saw over 1,000 antisemitic incidents in 2018.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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