Pharrell Williams’ appearance at a fundraiser for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has drawn unsparing criticism on social media.
The Friends of the Israel Defence Forces hosted the show that included fellow musician Ziggy Marley on stage at a November 1 gala in Beverly Hills. It was performed to a crowd that included Israeli soldiers in uniform, the National reports.
— Pharrell W. World (@PharrellWWorld) November 2, 2018
The choice of the song “Happy” and the audience both came in for critical attack, coming as it did just days after the Grammy-award winning musician tweeted to demand U.S. President Donald Trump stop using the same song as a sound track to his midterm campaign.
WOWZA. Check out this cease and desist sent by Pharrell Williams to Donald Trump for using “Happy” on “the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings,” as the letter puts it. pic.twitter.com/Mst83Vp0kO
— Eriq Gardner (@eriqgardner) October 29, 2018
Williams was rounded upon by those keen to claim a juxtaposition of his views.
Here’s a #double_standard for u: @Pharrell sings Happy @ Friends of the IDF Gala (https://t.co/snMuEbzlz0), supporting army maintaining brutal #occupation & violating basic rights of #Palestinians , but dislikes Happy being played @ Trump rallies (https://t.co/iuiudzzQjQ).
— Fady Khoury (@FaddyKhoury) November 5, 2018
Palestinian-American hip-hop producer Fredwreck – real name Faird Nassar – was quick to add his voice.
To my friend @Pharrell you performed for the IDF who murdered 252 Palestinians(49 children) this year protesting for their rights against being occupied. And you sing “Happy” to them?! What a shame ♂️ #freepalestine https://t.co/pdeZu2ApGP
— FredWreck (@Fredwreck) November 5, 2018
U.S. think-tank, the Institute for Middle Eastern Understanding, also denounced the move.
A response to the Hollywood IDF fundraiser, “It is difficult to understand how actors and performers, who carry the message of life, can support an army that carries out systematic killings, which contradict the essence of life and art”-Ahmed Abu Artema. https://t.co/g4OqgDrgO9 pic.twitter.com/3d3Iu3Y4Ml
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) November 11, 2018
This is not the first time politics and the 11-time Grammy award winner have crossed over in the public arena.
Williams’ 2016 debut performance in Israel was cancelled amid some speculation that the singer may have succumbed to pressure from the boycott Israel movement, as Breitbart Jerusalem reported.
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