This is a guest post by Hadar Sela
On November 23rd the official Twitter account of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office sent out a Tweet promoting a Youtube video produced by that government office ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Here is the video
“British born Palestinian singer Shadia Mansour discusses what it means to her to be able choose her own path, and the support she’s received in the UK. The film is one in a series featuring individuals from home and abroad talking about their experiences of modern Britain in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
“Shadia is not, in fact, trying to reclaim the kufiya from commercialization as a fashion accessory for hipsters and celebrities. Rather, she is trying to reclaim it from a more dangerous group of kufiya appropriators, the creators of the “Israeli Keffiyeh”, embroidered with blue Stars of David and the words “Long Live the People Israel” stitched across the top.”
The song itself has some interesting lyrics:
Good morning cousins, y’all welcome, come in
What would you like us to serve you, Arab blood or tears from our eyes?
I think that’s how they expected us to receive them
That’s why they got embarrassed when they realized their mistake
That’s why we rocked the kuffiyeh, the white and black
Now these dogs are startin to wear it as a trend
No matter how they design it, no matter how they change its color
The kuffiyeh is Arabic, and it will stay Arabic
The gear we rock, they want it; our culture, they want it
Our dignity, they want it; everything that’s ours, they want it
Half your country, half your home; why, why? No, I tell em
Stealin’ something that ain’t theirs, I can’t allow it
They imitatin us in what we wear, wear; from this land enough, what else do you want?
About Jerusalem, Jerusalem, would they be worried, how can you humans?
Before y’all ever rocked a kuffiyeh, we here to remind em who we are
And whether they like it or not, this is our clothing style
Another song appears to glorify Hamas. Among Shadia Mansour’s frequent collaborations with the anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist and troofer rapper Lowkey – well known to readers of Harry’s Place – we find this video.
At a time when various British Government Ministers are Tweeting several times a day about their ‘concern’ regarding violence in the Middle East it seems incongruous – as well as diplomatically illiterate – for the UK FCO to be promoting a singer who incites violence and hatred towards Britain’s most stable ally in the region.
Surely the FCO could have found a more appropriate subject for a film aiming to promote the idea that Britain is a nation of tolerance.
The fact that it chose Shadia Mansour indeed enables us to “see Britain” through the eyes of the FCO and the sight is not pleasant.