Like his older brother Ziggy Marley, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley will has performed in Israel, which is quite possibly the biggest apartheid state in the world today. “Some think that money rules when all else fails, so they sell their souls and keep their shells” – Tracy Chapman.
It is sad to see the children of Bob Marley supporting such a regime but what is more sad is the lack of outcry from the reggae music community. We are talking about reggae music that not only railed against apartheid South Africa but chanted against the evil regime with words, power and sounds. From Dennis Brown, Barrington Levy, Tiger, Papa San, Admiral Bailey, Cocoa Team to Brigadier Jerry, they all lit a lyrical and spiritual fire under the then president Botha and apartheid South Africa.
So why is Reggae not crying out against the atrocities being committed against the Palestinian people? Are our brothers and sisters in Palestine lives not valued the same as our brothers and sisters in South Africa?
When Jimmy Cliff performed in apartheid South Africa he faced a tremendous backlash. The backlash was so huge that it almost ended his career and it actually took Jimmy Cliff some years to get his career back on track.
Now that apartheid in South Africa has ended, does reggae no longer care about the people who are subjected to this kind of living in other parts of the world? Of course Ziggy Marley tried to justify his support of Israeli apartheid with the idiotic story that Rasta has a close tie to Israel through the lineage of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Does that mean that if the Twelve Tribe Rasta sect started oppressing the Bobo Shanti Rasta sect in Jamaica that would be alright?
Injustice and oppression in any form should not be tolerated, accepted or supported regardless of who is carrying out the injustice.
Apartheid Israel is no different than apartheid South Africa was. The fact that the Marleys would support such evil under the guise that they are doing it because of Rastas close tie to Israel is a crying shame and disgrace. It is being done because money is taking priority over equal rights and justice.