German-Palestinian Rapper’s Tour of West Bank Sparks Controversy

The government of Germany is facing criticism for sponsoring a West Bank tour featuring militant, German-Palestinian rapper Massiv.

 

Massiv, real name Wassim Taha, is viewed as one of the more popular and controversial emcees from Germany.

 

His songs heavily critique social discrimination and advocate armed revolution.

 

The rapper has refered to Al-Qaeda and other militant groups as freedom fighters who deserve to be praised for “their fight against the Israelis, the Americans, and the West.”

 

Massiv often wears a Palestinian keffiyah, a traditional garment, during his shows in support of the Palestinian’s fight for independence.

 

In one of his promotional posters, the rapper imitates the stone-throwing gesture seen by many Palestinian youths against Israeli forces.

 

Massiv and three other Palestinian rappers were sponsored for the West Bank tour by Germany’s Goethe Institute, a government backed organization which aims to promote cultural dialogue and understanding.

 

The institute claims they weren’t aware of Massiv’s controversial lyrics, or the fact that German authorities allege he is connected with Arab street gangs in Berlin.

 

During the tour the rapper did refrain from making controversial statements, but the outing still drew the ire from German political and parliament members, when participating London rapper Shadia referred to suicide bombings as “the weapon of the oppressed.”

 

Goethe Institute President Klaus-Dieter Lehmann conceded that his organization made an error in selecting Massive for the tour.

 

“Some of Massiv’s texts are not free of violence,” Lehmann stated. “In the future we should be more careful with whom we invite.”

 

At press time Massiv has not commented on the tour’s fallout.

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