Rage Against the Machine, never ones to keep silent on political issues, have spoken up in defense of Palestinian people in a new message shared on social media. At least 51 people in Gaza and the West Bank have been killed this week, with at least 10 of those people being children.
While guitarist Tom Morello has retweeted messages critical of the Biden administration, the band took a more straightforward approach writing “The violence and atrocities we are witnessing in Sheikh Jarrah, the Al Aqsa compound and Gaza are a continuation of decades of Israel’s brutal apartheid and violent occupation of Palestine. We stand with the Palestinian people as they resist this colonial terror in all its forms.”
On Twitter, they followed it up with another tweet, joking "Awaiting the 'stay out of politics' and 'stick to music.'"
As for what's going on in the region, according to Vox, here's how things escalated:
Israeli police in the city blocked off the Damascus Gate, a popular gathering place for Arabs during Ramadan, sparking protests. An attempt by Jewish settlers to evict longtime Arab residents of Sheikh Jarrah, an Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem, inflamed tensions, leading to violent clashes with Israeli police. Arab youth attacked ultra-Orthodox Jews in the city, and Jewish extremists assailed Arab residents. All of this culminated in a violent Israeli police raid on the al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem’s holiest site for Muslims, located on the Temple Mount (the holiest site in the world for Jews).
Then Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem. Ostensibly, this was a display of solidarity with the protesters on the ground. But it appears to have been a political calculation — Hamas attempting to capitalize on Palestinian anger over the violence in Jerusalem to expand its own influence, especially in the wake of recently canceled Palestinian elections that likely would have strengthened its political position.
In a statement, President Biden said "My expectation and hope is this will be closing down sooner than later. Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory." Biden made no mention of Palestinians in his comments.
Morello retweeted a statement from Intercept journalist Jeremy Scahill saying "The Biden administration position: the Israeli government, a nuclear power with sophisticated weapons and a powerful military, can ethnically cleanse Palestinian neighborhoods, the Palestinians do not have a right to self defense, and Israel can kill children with impunity."