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A few years ago, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin made the following bizarre comment:
“It sounds silly to say it now, but when you’re a kid you think, ‘I’m going to burn in hell for eternity if I like other guys or if I marry someone Jewish’.”
The comment did not raise too much of a stink, at least partly because Martin had married actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who had a Jewish father. He was even on record as saying he was now an “honorary Jew.”
Coldplay made headlines on Wednesday when the group posted the music video for the single “Freedom for Palestine” to its Facebook page.
The campaign, also the name of the single by OneWorld, was endorsed by the UK’s Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Jews for Justice for Palestinians.
Coldplay took no part in the production of the song, but their Internet promotion nonetheless immediately caught the attention of major Jewish and Israeli media outlets.
The post, which directed fans to the website of the song’s producers, managed to pull in over 3,500 “likes” within six hours, a large number for most Facebook users, though the figure pales in comparison to a previous post on Coldplay’s page which reeled in nearly 11,000 “likes.”
In an e-mail to The Jerusalem Post, OneWorld media officer Paul Collins said, “We were delighted that Coldplay told their fans about the single, and hope this will make a big difference.”
The song calls for the West Bank security barrier to be toppled, for human rights and “justice for all,” while the video features a keffiyeh-clad breakdancer superimposed on animated scenes of Palestinians at IDF checkpoints. The song is scheduled for official release in early July.
Coldplay fans expressed predictably polar opinions of the band’s foray into politics.
While some praised the band using their fame to promote the Palestinian cause, others were decidedly disturbed by the move.
In a comment on the Facebook post, one such fan wrote, “Coldplay should stick to music.”
Most of the comments, however, in the typical fashion of political discussions, turned into expletive-filled personal attacks on other commentors.
The video, which has been on YouTube for over a week, had been viewed by over 21,000 people at press-time.
The media attention brought by Coldplay’s decision to share the song with their fans will likely boost the video’s exposure.
According to OneWorld’s website, the video is a response by international musicians to the injustices faced by Palestinians daily, including “human rights abuse and [living] in crushing poverty in refugee camps and under Israeli occupation.”
Collins told the Post, “We hope the single will communicate the realities of life for Palestinians to new audiences, and strengthen the call for change.”
Here’s the video:
If you are wondering what Gwyneth would think, don’t let her “pride” in her Jewish background or “Kosher for Passover” cookbook fool you.
Judged by Kate Moss and X Factor’s Louis Walsh, the event raised money for the Hoping Foundation, an organization that is dedicated to showing Palestinian refugee children that their struggle to transform their lives is encouraged and supported by people in Britain and throughout the rest of the world.
The evening attracted a plethora of British entertainers, including Lily Allen, Guy Ritchie, David Walliams, Jeremy Clarkson, Sienna Miller, Jemima Khan, Will Young, Tracey Emin, Shane MacGowan and socialite Kimberly Stewart. Lost’s Matthew Fox also made an appearance.
Last year’s event raised £319,000 for the charity, and featured Gwyneth Paltrow singing “Killing Me Softly”. 2007’s event featured Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley and Bryan Adams.
The Hoping Foundation provides grants to community projects working with children in Palestinian refugee camps.
Meanwhile, calling Gene Simmons. Can you organize a group of intelligent and moral musicians to produce a song in support of Israel?