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PACBI-Kanyes West Bank blind spot: Is Yeezy missing an opportunity to speak truth to power?

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Matthew Pulver | Salon | 8 April 2015

Kanyes West Bank blind spot: Is Yeezy missing an opportunity to speak truth to power?

A future Palestinian rapper, perhaps one the age of Kanye’s daughter now, might eventually pen lyrics reminiscent of the deepest of Ye’s racially oriented rhymes, perhaps lyrics that call to mind West’s bitter account of mid-century racist abuse of his much beloved late mother on “New Slaves” or “Never Let Me Down.” Echoing the black struggle Kanye so often addresses, the Palestinian rapper might recollect his or her childhood when there were Israeli-only roads, Israeli-only neighborhoods, and Israeli-only schools in the middle of Palestinian land. A rapper from Gaza’s lyrics will likely be much more bleak and bloody.

The rapper from Ramallah or Gaza City might describe newly reelected Prime Minister Netanyahu like Jim Crow-era Alabama Gov. George Wallace, whose “Segregation Forever” speech was, in a way, echoed by Netanyahu when he declared that Palestinians would never be citizens on his watch, only subjects of the occupation. The popular, if divisive, leader stated in the days before his reelection that the Palestinian West Bank, militarily occupied in contravention of international law, would remain under military rule as long as he remains prime minister. There are no term limits on the prime ministership in Israel.

Kanye and Kim are visiting Israel in April, news that was celebrated with much fanfare in each of Israel’s biggest newspapers. “The Holy Land will soon be blessed” by the power couple, joked the Times of Israel. The papers report that the couple will visit Israeli holy sites and then head on to Jordan, effectively hopping over the occupied West Bank. Israeli papers also report that the Kardashians are purchasing a multimillion-dollar home in Tel Aviv, which is rumored to be shared by Kim and Kanye as a vacation home when the couple returns to Israel.

Posted on 09-04-2015

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