British band launch "Massive Attack" on Israel at Longitude Festival in Dublin
Award-winning band and veteran political activists Massive Attack used their headline slot at Longitude Festival this weekend to highlight their solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.
The musicians played at Marlay Park, Dublin, on Sunday, kicking off their set with ‘Battlebox’ before using their backdrop to send out messages to the packed audience.
As the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) continues to bombard Gaza with air strikes while Hamas fires rockets into Israel, Massive Attack used its position to show its long-time support of Palestinian freedom.
A lit-up message behind the performers said: “Gaza has been ocupied [sic] or under restrictions since 1948.”
The group also displayed the number of lives lost in Gaza, the Irish Mirror reports, during a performance of ‘Unfinished Sympathy,’ which was met with huge applause from the crowd.
At least 600 Palestinians – most of whom were civilians – and 29 Israelis have died in the two-week conflict raging between Gaza and Israel.
Massive Attack’s lead singer, Robert Del Naja, told the New Statesmen in 2010that musicians have an important part to play in shaping public discourse.
He spoke of his backing the cultural boycott of Israel as it “applies the continual pressure that’s needed.”
“The boycott is not an action of aggression towards the Israeli people,” Mr Del Naja said.
“It's towards the government and its policies. Everyone needs to be reminded of this because it's very easy to be accused of being anti-Semitic, and that's not what this is about.”
The band also says on its official Facebook page – which has 2.8million fans – that its social media page “has a forum of debate on the issue of the Freedom For Palestine.
“We don't intend to delete or moderate but rather encourage debate in an open democratic way. After all this is what the medium is for...”