Singer John Legend condemns IOF, supports Palestinian people
Singer John Legend has spoken out in support of the Palestinian people, stating in an interview on Monday that the United States must hold Israel to a "higher standard" when it comes to the treatment of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.
Legend told MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan that he "had to say something" about the fate of Palestinians because "it's not fair.
Because of their identity, Israeli authorities have uprooted, restricted, divided, and subjugated Palestinians, resulting in “crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution,” according to Human Rights Watch.
“We need to hold [Israel] to a higher standard.” What they're doing to the Palestinians isn't fair, and it shouldn't be done in our name, with [US] resources contributing,” the Grammy Award-winning musician stated.
The United States gave Israel $3.8 billion (about £2.7 billion) in funding in 2020, primarily for military purposes.
In late August, US President Joe Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for the first time. The US president stated that he wished to develop a "strong personal relationship" with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, adding that the two countries shared a "unshakeable partnership."
When I see what's going on in Palestine... where they clearly aren't getting the full rights that they deserve, it's an extremely unfair and difficult life,” Legend said.
The musician, who is of African American, European, and Native American ancestry, revealed that he became interested in Palestine after reading the works of civil rights leader Martin Luther King and American writer and activist James Baldwin.
They "taught me what justice, love, and equality meant," he continued.
Legend also stood out in support of Palestinians in May 2021, when Israeli forces struck Gaza, killing over 256 Palestinians.
He tweeted "Palestine Lives Matter," referencing a long discussion about how Palestinian rights should not be neglected and how they are being treated as "third-class citizens."
Palestinian-American models Bella and Gigi Hadid, as well as singer Dua Lipa, have also shown their support for Palestine.