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“See Britain through my eyes”

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 Mansour is dubbed ‘the First Lady of Arabic Hip-Hop’. Her 2010 song “The Kofeyye is Arabic” apparently expresses a political message.

“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 Lowkeywell 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.

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