The worldwide campaign of support for hip hop artist and political campaigner Lowkey is growing. Following the publication of Monday’s open letter backing the British-Iraqi rapper’s right to freedom of speech, more than 100 academics, journalists and other public figures have signed a letter of public support, denouncing what they see as a “coordinated smear campaign to demonize, defame and deplatform him.”
Among the most notable signatories include Princess Dana of Jordan, a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, American linguist and political scientist Noam Chomsky and philosopher and political activist Cornel West.
In recent weeks Lowkey – a tireless campaigner for Palestinian human rights – has been the target of a disingenuous attempt to destroy his career, led by pro-Israeli groups, many of whom are either directly funded or staffed by individuals from the Israeli Embassy in London. Following their pressure campaign, his talks and performances at universities have been postponed or canceled. Meanwhile, the lobbying group “We Believe In Israel” is trying to remove his music from streaming platform Spotify. Even British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has involved himself in the affair, seemingly fully supporting the witch hunt against him and signaling this could be the first of many similar efforts to silence pro-Palestinian voices.
In addition to Chomsky, dozens of prominent Jewish voices have rejected the Israel lobby’s attempts to silence Lowkey and signed the letter. These include writer and activist Naomi Klein, Professor Peter Beinart, editor-at-large of Jewish Currents magazine, and journalist and lawyer Glenn Greenwald. A number of prominent Israelis have also endorsed Lowkey, including historians Avi Shlaim and Ilan Pappé, as well as activist Miko Peled.
Since its publication on Monday, more musicians and entertainers, such as electronic music legend Brian Eno, comedian Frankie Boyle, and rappers Akala and Immortal Technique, have also asked to have their names added to the letter.
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