Ziggy Marley is being blasted for signing an open letter in support of Israel in the ongoing conflict with Gaza that has killed more than 5,000 Palestinians, half of whom are children.
Israel has been bombing Gaza non-stop for more than a week, and accounts from inside Gaza shared by Gazans and press members show the devastating effect of the bombs, which maimed and killed thousands of children, women, and men.
The latest conflict appears to have started after Hamas allegedly kidnapped Israelis and launched an attack on a music festival in Israel.
In return, Israel has launched a cruel and persistent attack on Gaza, funded and greenlit by the United States, which has left thousands of dead, including workers from the United Nations and other organizations and citizens, including children of all ages and babies.
Videos shared online by activists show the devastation wreaked on Gazans, including the destruction of buildings reduced to rubble and residents dead and buried underneath while others try feverishly to transport others to hospitals that are struggling with limited supplies, no electricity, or running water.
The Jabalia Refugee camp and several hospitals and churches housing displaced Gazans were also bombed with more threats from Israel to leave and evacuate or face airstrikes while the Rafah border remained closed by Israel despite many nearby countries, including Egypt, waiting for aid including food, water, and medical necessities to enter the country.
However, despite all of what’s happening, more than 700 Hollywood celebrities have signed an open letter sharing their support for Israel, including Ziggy Marley, the son of Bob Marley and father of Jewish children.
The letter was written by Creative Community for Peace (CCFP). According to the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, CCFP’s role is to mobilize Hollywood music executives and pop artists to promote support and a positive image of Israel abroad. The main intention is to use public figures to establish “a strong online and print media presence to create a distinctive circle of influence where industry insiders educate their artist friends and clients who, in turn, educate the general public about Israel.”
The letter called on other Hollywood members “to speak out forcefully against Hamas, to support Israel, to refrain from sharing misinformation about the war, and do whatever is in their power to urge the terrorist organization to return the innocent hostages to their families”.
The letter was released on October 12, long before the escalation and United States involvement and the massive loss of life became evident.
Ziggy’s label previously made a post where it seemingly straddled the fence on what’s happening between the two nations.
“It is absolutely reasonable and logical to be opposed to the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians while simultaneously calling for the protection of Jews in Israel and around the world. Hamas is a terrorist organization that is attacking civilians by land, air and sea. The images of kidnapped Israelis are shocking and devastating. Given the thousands of years of persecution of Jews, please know that your Jewish friends – even if they are not in Israel – are hurting and are fearful when things like this happen and non-Jews are silent. I understand many of us are afraid to voice an opinion because the crisis there is so nuanced and hard to understand, and are afraid of saying the wrong thing. But we can – and must- always use our voices to denounce terrorism and the senseless murder of civilians.”
The label is run by Ziggy’s wife, Orly Agai Marley, who is Israeli of Iranian-Jewish descent. Ziggy has since updated his stance, seemingly referencing the loss of life by Israel.
A poster shared on Sunday read, “To whom it may concern: Civilian lives matter, innocent lives matter, children lives matter.”
In another posts, Ziggy Marley shed some more light on his stance and previously statements, while also turning off the comments on the post. “If you have time think, i ask who really profit from never ending wars and conflicts The wickeds , the devils. For its business model to work it needs to continually incentivize, foment and educate hatred and fear between tribes and peoples,” he wrote.
“You can pick a reason for there are many to SELF justify any action,” Ziggy Marley continues. “Thats the genius of it’s game. Give human beings a reason to commit the worst acts on eachother and human beings will. They say it’s in our nature and we cannot evolve past it or resist its wicked pull. For some of them money is the payoff for others it’s power for the devil it’s human blood and it doesn’t matter who’s or from which side it doesn’t matter whatsoever . Human beings are the victims of it’s sinister game some willing some unwilling and most caught in the middle. Sounds crazy right?
He’s since closed off his comments section due to backlash. That has not stopped followers of Marley from roasting him about his father’s stance on apartheid.
Bob Marley is known for famously calling out apartheid in South Africa and supporting the cause of Nelson Mandela, who was arrested and jailed for his resistance. Mandela was called a “terrorist” for pushing back against apartheid.
Many online reminded Ziggy about his father’s stance and being on the right side of history.
One fan from Zimbabwe wrote- “Mike, a friend of mine who I was with when Bob Marley came to Zimbabwe in 1980, says that he is dismayed at Ziggy Marley’s support of Israel given his father’s revolutionary stance…. When Marley came to celebrate Zimbabwe’s Independence in 1980, Mike and I briefly spoke to Ziggy, aged ten at the time. He was clinging on to his mother, Rita. After greeting them both, we asked Ziggy if he was going to follow in his father’s footsteps as a revolutionary singer. His response was simply, ‘Yeah man!’ So signing a petition in support of Israel is not what one expects from a Jamaican-born revolutionary and son of Bob Marley given the history of Israel and the Palestinians since 1948. However, I can understand Ziggy Marley signing this petition. Ziggy Marley has a personal connection to the country through his Israeli wife, Orly, and their Jamaican-Israeli daughter, Judah Victoria.”
One fan also raised Ziggy’s connections to raising funds for Israel’s Defense Force. “Google Ziggy marley fidf (Friends of Israeli Defence Forces) fundraiser 2018. He raises money for apartheid and sings songs of freedom.”