To quote the late, great Amy Winehouse, “What kind of f*ckery is this?”
In February 2011, British MC Mic Righteous spit a verse on late night BBC Radio containing the following words:
I still have the same beliefs
I can scream Free Palestine,
Die for my pride still pray for peace,
Still burn a fed for the brutality
They spread over the world.
The word “Palestine” however, was replaced by the Beeb with the sound of broken glass, something usually reserved for curse words. This obviously led to many a skewed eyebrow and justified complaints to the BBC, who have ruled last week that “Mic Righteous was expressing a political viewpoint which, if it had been aired in isolation, would have compromised impartiality.” Which is of course, patently ridiculous, not only because of you know, artistic integrity and freedom of expression ‘n all that, but because that “counterpoint” needed to comprise “impartiality” has no actual basis in reality.
Stating that Palestine is not free is not an expression of opinion but of fact. It is not antisemitic or unbalanced reporting to suggest Palestine is not free, rather the opposite. As everybody should be well aware, there is a conflict in Israel spanning generations that is only getting more complicated as years go by. Palestinians however, are denied free trade, transportation and often (those in Gaza) contained behind an illegal wall. Their economy has been systematically and intentionally ruined. Their remaining territories are colonized by armed settlers. They are cut off from sources of drinking water, their agricultural soil has often been seized without justification and their houses can be demolished on a whim by the military without consent from any judiciary body. A military by the way, that is not made up of Palestinians but by Israelis. Sure, they have their own government, but it’s outranked by the Israeli government that occupies them. How anybody can call a country free when it has foreign soldiers based within it’s boundaries controlling their moves is beyond me. Saying these things does not condone acts of terrorism in any way. They are statements of fact, backed up by historic reports, human rights studies, international law and the friggin’ UN:
In 1975, by its resolution 3376 the UN General Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), and requested it to recommend a programme to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty; and to return to their homes and property.
In short, implying Palestine is not free does not need to be addressed with a counterpoint as much as implying water is wet needs to be countered by some random random yahoo claiming it isn’t, for the sake of impartiality. Doing so is a slap in the face of millions of Palestinians, politically moderate Israelis and international law. The BBC needs to pull their heads out of their @sses and apologize to Mic Righteous, air his uncensored verse and fire the blithering idiot that made this ruling.
The only good thing coming out of this is that the verse in question, “Free Palestine” included, has now gained tons more traction than it would’ve had they simply let it pass. Below is Mic Righteous’ verse in full.