A Belgian public radio station kicked out of its studio a rapper who on air inveighed against Israel and “Zionists” while introducing a song whose lyrics speak of “money-loving Jews running after each cent.”
The incident occurred last month at the Antwerp studio of a department of the VRT public broadcaster during an interview with Bissy Owa, an up-and-coming performer who is Muslim, about his recently released song titled “Money till the Death,” the Joods Actueel news website reported Wednesday.
The VRT studio muted Owa’s microphone after he said during a live interview: “F**k the Zionists, revolution, Israel must go, free Palestine.”
The song, which begins with the expletive about Zionists, shows him dancing while wearing a black hat and fake side-locks and singing about Jewish greed. He also says “I can’t hang with a Jew.”
After Owa’s interviewers muted his microphone, he secretly filmed himself having a heated argument with them before they closed the studio door on him and his two friends. “You shouldn’t have done that,” one interviewer, Astrid Demeure, told him. Another, Brahim, said: “I have every respect for you but some things you can’t say on national radio, this is dangerous – for us.”
Owa responded by shouting: “This is nothing, you haven’t seen anything yet! There will be worse coming, much worse!” as he walks away from the closing door. Owa uploaded the secret filming on Wednesday to YouTube.
Before the confrontation, he said the song he presented was written “in reaction to the situation in Gaza.”
Philippe De Backer, a cabinet minister in the government of the Flemish Region – the Belgian state whose capital is Antwerp, told Joods Actueel that politicians need to speak out against the content disseminated by Owa. “We cannot allow the Jewish community to be threatened and stigmatised like that in our open society,” De Backer said, “also not in the context of anti-Zionism.”
André Gantman, a lawmaker on the municipal council of Antwerp, called on authorities to initiate a criminal investigation against Owa for incitement to violence or hatred.
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