Palestinian artist Mohammed Assaf’s song “Ana Dammi Falastini” has been removed from all streaming platforms on false allegations that it “incites against Israel.”
First emerging into the spotlight in 2013 after becoming the first Palestinian to win “Arab Idol,” Assaf is no stranger to clashes with the false state of Israel. In 2020, the Gaza native was banned from entering parts of his occupied homeland, including Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, after a video surfaced where he advocated for the “struggle against Israel.” In response Assaf stated that they could ban him from entering, but they “won’t stop me from loving my country.”
Released in 2015, his song “Ana Dammi Falastini,” which translates to “My blood is Palestinian,” makes no reference to Israel and is merely an expression of Palestinian patriotism. The banning of the Palestinian identity song demonstrates the terrifying trend of censoring Palestinian voices and the Israeli attempt to erase Palestinian identity.
Assaf, in an interview with “Al-Araby Al-Jadeed,” stated “I received an official email about it, on the pretext that the song incites the Zionist enemy, which makes me more honored that my songs express the Palestinian people’s resistance to the Occupation.”
Streaming platforms removed the song, alongside the whole “Muntasib Alqamah Amshi” album, after a petition circulated by pro-Zionist group We Believe in Israel (WBII) received a mere 4,000 signatures. The petition advocated for the removal of “violent extremist anti-Semitic content,” and yet “Ani Dammi Falastini” was targeted. Assaf notes that the song’s removal echoes attitudes of hostility towards Palestinian freedom and justice for Palestine.
The decision to remove the song actually came from Assaf’s label, MBC Platinum Records, who declined to comment on the transgression. Spotify higher-ups claim to “support Mohammed Assaf,” and plan on returning the song to the streaming platform in the future.
The censorship of the song seemed to have the opposite of the intended effect, only increasing Palestinian pride. Assaf claimed that even if they erase the song from every platform, its words echo in the hearts and memories of every Palestinian. The 33-year-old singer felt honored by the accusation against the song, only increasing “belonging to my homeland, Palestine and my just cause.”
Many citizens took to social media to express their outrage regarding the removal of the Palestinian heritage song. Users noted that the song is simply a celebration of the deep rooted Palestinian heritage that is constantly taken from them. From the forced explosion to their homeland, to attacks on their culture and life, Palestinians are constantly the victims of unjustified hate.
Removal of the singer’s number one song is Israel’s latest attempt at erasing Palestinian identity. Zionaset feel threatened by the everyday life of Palestians, proved by their 56 year long occupation, attack and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
Assaf, much like all Palestinians, simply longs for home. He has every intention of continuing to be a thorn in the side of Israel occupiers until Palestine is free.