The Music industry, links to Zionism

1
1808

Press TV: The music industry is at the forefront of the campaigns to boycott the Zionist state. As the impact of the cultural boycotts bite deeper, the Zionist lobby has gone to great lengths to marginalize all expressions of support for the Palestinian cause.

Universal Music Group

What words come to your mind when you look at these musicians? Powerful, brave, rebellious, all have one thing in common they are signed to a record label ran by individuals integral to the Israel lobby’s cultural war against solidarity with Palestinians.

The record label Universal Music Group is the world’s largest music company. The CEO, Lucien Grange, often seen in attendance at Friends of the Israeli Defense Force’s fundraisers, heads a company with significant power.

His wife, Caroline Grange, funds The Zionist Federation and the Conservative Party.  Billionaire Haim Saban also has his own subsidiary through universal and is known to be one of the largest donors in the organization’s history.

The infamous Lord levy also worked as a financial consultant to universal simultaneous to fundraising for former Israeli prime minister and close friend Ehud Barak.

Lord Levy

 

However, the most important Israel lobbyist to emerge out of the Universal Music Group is probably David Renza, former CEO of Universal Publishing. Renza, along with other well-placed figures in the music and film industry, started an organization by the name of Creative Community for Peace.

The name sounds innocent enough, however, examining the legal documents on its founding we see that it was part of an entity called Israeli Emergency Alliance with the infamous arm of the Israeli state, Stand With Us.

Stand With Us works closely with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and has in recent years obtained funding directly from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. You can see why Creative Community for Peace would use the word peace to obfuscate its intentions; As Stand With Us has said, always include the word peace in your answer. If the Israeli side says Peace more times than the Palestinian side says peace, Tel Aviv will win the PR war.

Despite their best efforts, the CCFP has not been able to live down their relationship with Stand With Us, the founder claiming there is no day-to-day relationship with it. However, that is hard to believe when they were legally the same entity, shared the same office address and board members, and, the founder Dave Ramsey is in fact married to Esther Enza, the founder and president of Stand With Us.

CCFP takes credit for lobbying stars like Alicia Keys and Macy Gray to perform in Israel following BDS campaigns asking to pull out in solidarity with the Palestinians. These operations included the mobilization of Israeli government figures. One of the organization’s ambassadors is Ziggy Marley, son of the late great political firebrand and Reggae legend, Bob Marley.

Bob Marley

 

They claim to have engaged with over 100 artists and boast over 50 leading executives in music, TV, and film, on their advisory board. The CCFP coordinates with the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles and the former Consul General there, David Siegel was full of praise for the organization. They are effective because they work from inside the industry.

We’re talking about artists who are used to having everyone love them, and now they’re getting hate mail and petitions so the best way to talk with them is from within the industry.

This is just one example we know about. So, what else has the Israeli lobby group done behind the scenes to not only encourage support among celebrities for Israeli crimes but also to blacklist those who choose to speak out?

Can we expect any major artists supporting BDS to be signed up by Universal Music anytime soon?


You’ve written about the so-called Creative Community for Peace Initiative. What is it, who’s involved, and what does it do exactly?

Sure, well, the Creative Community for Peace was established in 2011. Its founder was David Renza, as you said in your introduction, and it basically lobbies on behalf of the Israeli government to try to push a more Israel-friendly version of music and the creative industries more generally. It came into a lot of the headlines recently during the Sydney Festival, In January; the Sydney Festival is Australia’s largest cultural event on the calendar.

And the Israeli government actually sponsored the Sydney Festival, which prompted a lot of grassroots organizers to try to boycott the event, and in fact, well over 40% of the acts at the Sydney Festival, in the end, pulled out because of this controversial funding.

This was where the Creative Community for Peace came in. They organized to try to block the BDS events from spreading and what they did was they released this letter that said, you know, BDS is wrong, the way in which these artists are representing the ISRAEL PALESTINE conflict is completely incorrect., they’re, you know, demonizing Israel. And they got a huge amount of record industry executives and people in the film and television world also to sign on to this.

It really was a who’s who of the record industry. So ultimately, we have this situation where there was a sort of bottom-up pressure to pull out of the Sydney Festival and there was a top-down pressure from Creative Community for Peace to stay in, of course.

You know, they talk about peace a lot, but it seems that to be honest, their interests are more in just promoting the status quo with what’s going on in Israel and Palestine right now.

They talk about the need for dialogue and certainly the need to shun boycotting and divesting. But of course, if you are calling for dialogue that immediately eliminates one of the fundamental tenants of BDS, which is they don’t want to engage with the Israeli Government on this issue.

And so we could interpret the CCFP’s statement on the Sydney Festival as a threat to everybody in the music industry, everybody in the creative world, that if you continue to support BDS, you’re going to be shunned and it’s going to be very difficult for you to progress in the world of film or television or music.

Alan Macleod, Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News

What you thought to what are your thoughts on the implications for the music industry and would you say that artists are effectively being coerced into silence on Palestine?

It very much looks that way. When you look at the signatures on that letter, as Alan says, the panoply of who’s who of the music industry, and when you look at that you are seeing in front of you effectively a Zionist stranglehold over the top of the music industry. And many of the artists who are signed by these large companies, Universal is the biggest, there are many other large companies.

Artists who would instinctively be anti-racist, who would be pro-Palestinian, but their ability to actually either say such things, given the current contractual situations or even to be signed up in the first place, is extremely limited as a result of this, this is a really serious issue. The industry is supposed to be there to make money, Its suppose to be a capitalist-run venture.

And that, of course, has its problems, but we’re also seeing a very direct, strong political pressure from the top, with very strong Zionist sympathies for many of the people who are at executive and ownership levels in the industry.

And that’s really quite shocking for people who perhaps didn’t realize this and, of course, the effects on black artists or Muslim artists, and indeed all those who favor human rights and the Liberation of Palestine is quite significant and we don’t we simply don’t hear these stories.

I anecdotally heard lots of stories of people who’ve been either shunned from contracts or contracts offered and then withdrawn as a result of making statements in favor of BDS or in support of the Palestinian.

So this is a really very serious issue and it’s like we’ve seen in many past issues  … in many other areas of society, there is this extraordinary Zionist stranglehold at the top of industries and governmental organizations, which people don’t really know enough about, I think.

David Miller, Academic, Co-founder of Spin Watch


Can you enlighten us regarding the CCFP’s relationship with the right-wing organization, Stand With Us, which it likes to play down, and what exactly is the relationship and why is it controversial?

Well, those two organizations were very close to being the same one in the CCFS’s nascent era. For years if you wanted to donate to the Creative Community for Peace, you would have to do it through Stand With Us, and of course, the founder of Creative Community for Pieces, David Ramseur’s wife is Esther Ramseur, who is one of the co-founders of Stand With Us.

So we’ve got this very close relationship between these groups. And actually, you find this very often with a lot of these pro-Israel organizations, it tends to be the same faces and similar sources of funding and generally pushing the same sort of bias.

I think the idea is really to try to produce a sort of sense that there is a large community of people all saying roughly the same thing, but in fact, when you look at it, it tends to be just sort of different arms of the same broad organization.

Alan Macleod, Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News

 


Israel rushes to take action as BDS bites deeper

The CFP appears to have a relatively long reach to have 200 Hollywood stars put their signature to a petition in response to Israel’s attack in 2014 (the Protective Edge Initiative, as it was called) and they lobbied for Israel to host the Eurovision Song Contest and even penned a letter last year about the bombardment of Gaza complaining about the inflammatory one-sided coverage.

What are the implications of all this and what is going on here?

As Alan said, correctly, this was the same organization as Stand With Us from the beginning. Stand With Us, let’s remember, is not just any old Astroturf pro-Israel organization, It’s an organization that was set up, It’s reported, on the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has been a very core to the activities of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs since it took on the anti-BDS responsibility in 2015.

It was involved in all the ministry of strategic affairs conferences held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where they brought all sorts of people from across civil society who would support Israel’s abuses, and Stand With Us was central to that. It is, effectively, an arm of the Israeli state.

Ministers of the Zionist regime have said that they use it for force projection. It’s an actual sort of arm’s length body for the Zionist regime itself.

This is an asset of the government of the Zionist regime, and so that’s what its function is, that creative Community for Peace is to dissuade people in the entertainment industry from voicing anti racist and pro-Palestinian views and it tries to do that by Co-opting the people in the industry, all the stars in, not just the music industry, but also in film, television, and, in literature. Of course, that’s done through the management of those artists.

So many of the artists who are signed up will be signed up as a result of being managed by a particular company, or a particular talent agency, and that will be the price of them being managed, it is a quid pro quo, for them to be continued to be managed by these organizations.

Many of these organizations, it turns out, has Zionists at the top of them, which we knew, but that’s the case and this is the reason that we have so many people think the great and the good, of Hollywood or of the music industry because they’re effectively constrained into this not that they necessarily don’t believe some of them will go along because they have committed but really, this is a constraint on their freedom to express their support, which they would normally do in any other case except for Palestine.

So it’s a real issue of the reach of, of large cultural industry corporations who are able to constrain the roster of artists on their books, to voice some views, which they would probably not have done otherwise.

Alan Macleod, Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News

You’ve said that public opinion seems to be shifting following the bombardment of Gaza last year. Why do you think that’s happening and what impact do you think that’s having on the CCFP?

What’s a very long and slow process, generally, I think the rise of the Internet and social media have been able to break the lock that corporate media has over the means of communication; everybody, and their cousin, has a cell phone in their pocket. Everybody can become their own producer, can create videos and you know, show a different side of the story. And these sorts of images of Gaza are going viral all the time.

And so that’s helping a new generation kind of see the conflict in a different light. Another thing is, particularly in the United States, American Jews tend to be very liberal, tend to be very left-wing and Israel has generally been sort of moving rightwards for quite some time now. And so, particularly the younger generation of American Jews is a little bit disillusioned with where Israel is going.

Added to that there have been great scholars who have refused to give up on this issue. And so I think, just a confluence of many different little things have generally turned the tide towards a more sort of sympathetic view of the Palestinians.

Of course, in the global psyche, that’s always been the case, but in the United States, it’s starting to change as well.

The implications of this could be quite substantial down the road. We have to see where it goes. But certainly, for people who want to see Palestinian liberation, the signs tend to be pretty good right now.

Alan Macleod, Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News


Regarding the Sydney Festival and its impact, what do you think the significance of that is and what role, if any, did Stand With US play at the time?

Stand With US didn’t previously organize in Australia and Sydney which thrust it to organizing there from afar and it’s now going to launch its own operation in Australia. So that’s a sign that then there is a new front for them to fight which is in Australia, which is good, the more fronts that there are for them to fight on the better.

And of course, they will put lots and lots of resources into this and they will try their best to beat it back. But if  I can take the viewers back to a similar kind of incident that happened in the UK in 2014, just at the time when Israel was attacking Gaza, which was the boycott of the Tricycle Theatre, in London, which was boycotted by a number of scientists groups created for the purpose in order that the theatre would send back a grant that they got from the Israeli embassy. 

This theatre had already agreed that they would cover the shortfall from the Israeli embassy. They sent the money back to the Israeli embassy, but the protesters wanted the whole thing shut down, and they succeeded in getting the whole thing shut down.

So they won in that case, that’s a very close parallel to the Sydney Festival, where, on the contrary, what happened was the artists in Sydney all pulled out and said we’re not going to participate in this festival if it’s funded by the Israeli embassy and they won that issue in a way which was a defeat.

And this is a defeat in 2014 before Jeremy Corbyn was elected in 2015 as leader of the Labour Party here and before the massive onslaught, there was over antisemitism so they were able, back then, to be really quite successful quite easily. And yet now, suddenly, they’re facing real resistance. So I think we see the trajectory.

Alan says it is going slowly; it is going slowly, far too slowly. But there will come a moment, there will come a tipping point, where this becomes unstoppable and we’re building to that but BDS is building to an unstoppable momentum so that it will be impossible for the Israelis to put on these kinds of events, cultural festivals to art-wash or green-wash or whatever other work that they are washing as they’re trying to do with events all around the world.

So it’s a sign of hope, I think that Sydney has happened. It’s a sign that they are feeling that they’ve got to open new fronts in Australia and in other places. And it’s a sign that we are coming to a moment, which could be quite soon, where there’s a tipping point and Israel’s money will be diffused wherever it’s offered.

David Miller, Academic, Co-founder of Spin Watch


A lot of stars seem to have been appropriated in the ‘weaponization’ of antisemitism and you have written about JK Rowling as an example of that. Could you tell us a bit about the JK Rowling case and whether you feel that antisemitism is being used as a sort of political football?

Sure, so JK Rowling, if anyone doesn’t know, is one of the most beloved, richest writers in history, who wrote the Harry Potter series but really, from day one of that series, there were some pretty problematic portrayals, particularly of goblins, which used a lot of the antisemitic tropes that have been around for hundreds of years depicting Jewish people as obsessed with money or subhuman.

And these were really like baked into the Harry Potter series. This is constantly being talked about, but it went viral a few months ago when Jon Stewart spoke out about it pretty much saying that it was clearly antisemitic.

Interestingly, the organizations which went so hard after political figures like Jeremy Corbyn all rallied around JK Rowling saying that she’s a true friend of Israel, etc. And I think one of the reasons is that her politics have always been very pro-Israel. She is a centrist Blairite supporter of right-wing labor.

Not only that, her business partner, Neil Blair, who I think it’s fair to say pretty much runs her life. He is the person in charge of her charity. He is a producer of a lot of her television adaptations. He’s got all sorts of connections to her. He was very much involved in the Creative Community For Peace and other pro-Israel organizations.

And so really, I think we do see a huge double standard here when somebody like JK Rowling can produce some of the most antisemitic caricatures that we’ve seen in decades in popular culture and get a free pass.

But when somebody like Emma Watson posts a very anodyne message of peace, which can be interpreted as Pro Palestinian, she is viciously attacked for being antisemitic.

So I think your question when you asked if this is a political football, I think it clearly is. I think this has not very much to do with antisemitism and much more to do with which of these respective characters ‘positions on Israel and Palestine, but I think that’s really what’s going on here.

Alan Macleod, Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News

Can you say anything about the Abraham initiatives and what the implication of that is?

Yeah, so Blair is an ambassador for the Abraham initiatives, which is a similar group that promotes cultural connections between Israel and the West. According to the organization’s most recent annual report with the British charities commission, the Abraham initiative’s mission is to advance synergy between Israeli bodies, individuals, initiatives, and programs, with respect to agencies and institutions in the UK.

So I think translating that into plain English, it means that their job is to try to amalgamate British government institutions or civil society institutions, and really push this pro-Israel message there.

The Abraham initiative is directly funded by the Israeli government and also by USAID. It’s also sponsored by the State Department through the Middle East Partnership Initiative, and government cables released by Wikileaks showed that the Middle East Partnership Initiative was actually the vehicle through which the US, the US government actually sent money to jihadi groups in Syria.

So I mean, really, the underscoring point here is that the Abraham Initiative is a group that’s, you know, intimately tied to the Israeli government and its nation-building project, and I think the fact that so many of its directors come from that milieu is a test of something that we can really look at here. The core Executive Director of the Abraham Initiatives, for instance, is a former spokesperson of the Israeli Ministry of Immigration, and the director of the Jerusalem Foundation, which is a group that builds illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

So this idea that the Abraham initiatives are really about dialogue and peace, I think when you start looking at it, I think it’s really about reducing anodyne soporific language, which kind of, you know, whitewashes what’s going on in Israel and Palestine right now.

Alan Macleod, Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News

US film documents Israeli regime's 2021 atrocities against Palestine kids

US film documents Israeli regime’s 2021 atrocities against Palestine kids

Source:  Press TV

SOURCEPressTV

ATTENTION READERS
Due to the nature of independent content, VT cannot guarantee content validity.
We ask you to Read Our Content Policy so a clear comprehension of VT's independent non-censored media is understood and given its proper place in the world of news, opinion and media.

All content is owned by author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images within are full responsibility of author and NOT VT.

About VT - Read Full Policy Notice - Comment Policy

1 COMMENT

  1. The impoverishment of the musical & cultural content of the media occupied by these Khazar Jews, whether in the USA or in France (where I live) has been noticed for the past ten years.
    The so-called popular culture in France, is shown as an emanation of artists mainly from this community and presenting themselves to each other as “specialists” in everything! . Alas , the mediocrity of the elements chosen above all for their conforming racial line , transforms these essays into ridiculous satires . They are very funny just because the promoters, convinced of their high competence, are totally out of touch to understand the gross discrepancy between what their imagination sees as perfect (cultural & French!) when it is only an involuntary caricature due to their real ignorance of the subjects! All wrapped up in pedantic circumlocutions of high fat. (a taste of “gongorism”) A real pleasure for field humorists! Because it is sincere in an idiocy induced by racist certainties: very difficult to invent and depict … but a marvelous compensation.