Its public image rapidly deteriorating, Israel and its supporters have repeatedly attempted to remove opposing voices from the airwaves or the internet.

By Alan Macleod, Mint Press News

A shadowy, Israel-linked pressure group is attempting to remove artists supporting Palestinian liberation from Spotify. We Believe in Israel, an outgrowth of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Center (BICOM), is lobbying both the U.K. government and the popular music streaming platform in their efforts to censor a range of artists – including MintPress News’ Lowkey. Studying these organizations’ key figures, MintPress can reveal that the lobby group may have sympathetic ears in key positions in both.

Dammi Falastini palestinian musician


Earlier this year, following a long campaign from We Believe in Israel, Spotify removed a host of Arabic-language songs containing incendiary lyrics towards the state of Israel. In a press release, the group welcomed the decision but made clear that they saw this as only the first step in a much wider campaign of censorship.

“It’s good news that Spotify have finally listened to public disgust about hosting clearly antisemitic content which contravenes their own content policies, including directly inciting violence against Israelis,” said the group’s director, Luke Akehurst (the notorious Labour Party operative). “Now we need them to look at why they are hosting explicitly antisemitic and conspiratorial songs by Lowkey and Ambassador MC,” he added, defaming both artists simultaneously, while clearly sending a signal that they were next.

It was also widely reported last month that We Believe in Israel was behind Spotify’s decision to remove Palestinian pop star Mohammed Assaf’s “My Blood Is Palestinian” from its platform. However, it later transpired that the reason the 2012 Arab Idol winner’s music disappeared was a contractual dispute between his record label and the streaming service.

We Believe in Israel – who have conceded that they work closely with the Israeli Embassy but insist they are not directed by them – had been campaigning for some time to cleanse Spotify.  Last year, it launched a petition which gained 4,000 signatures and directly lobbied the British Ministry of Digital Culture, Media and Sport on the matter.

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