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Paul Weller shares support for Palestine

Paul Weller has expressed his support for Palestine amid the ongoing Israel-Gaza war.

The soloist and former Jam frontman’s recent live shows have seen him perform onstage with a Palestinian flag draped on his guitar amp.

When asked about this during a new interview with The Guardian, Weller responded: “Am I against genocides and ethnic cleansing? Yes, I am, funnily enough.”

He continued: “I can’t understand why more people aren’t up in arms about what’s going on. We should be ashamed of ourselves, I think. One minute you’re supplying bullets and bombs and guns, and then you’re sending over food. How does that work?”

According to Al Jazeera, the latest death toll stands at 36,615 Palestinians, and approximately 1,139 people killed in Israel since October 7, 2023.

This week, the Israeli army expanded its incursion into Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip – an area where the vast majority of displaced Palestinians had been told to seek refuge. BBC News reported this morning (May 28) that at least 16 people had been killed overnight.

Weller then turned his attention to UK politicians like Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Labour Leader Keir Starmer and Reform UK’s Nigel Farage.

In response to being told that they had all “been spotted in old-school Adidas Samba and Gazelle trainers”, Weller said: “Were they wearing them with a suit?” (Starmer wasn’t; Farage was; Sunak was in suit trousers and a white shirt, interviewer Miranda Sawyer noted).

The musician added: “That’s not right, is it? But anyway, fuck all the people you mentioned. Mugs, all of them. You can either vote for Rishi Sunak’s Tory party, or you can vote for Keir Starmer’s Tory party.”

However, Weller did say that he was a fan of Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner – “the one who’s a normal working-class mum”.

His comments came ahead of the UK general election on July 4, which was announced last week.

Earlier this month, many acts pulled out of this year’s Great Escape Festival in solidarity with Palestine – including Soft Play, Picture Parlour and Alfie Templeman. The likes of Massive Attack and Brian Eno also spoke out in support of the boycott.

The event was sponsored by Barclays, which has been a source of controversy amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza because of the bank’s financial investment in companies that supply arms to Israel.

Last week saw Pillow Queens become the first act to cancel their appearance at Latitude Festival 2024 because of its Barclays sponsorship.

Elsewhere, this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was plagued with controversy and protests over Israel’s inclusion. The competition still broke global viewing figures, however.

Israel’s entry Eden Golan earned 323 points from the voting public for her song ‘Hurricane’ (the second most in the contest), and 52 from the jury.

Paul Weller released his 17th solo album, ’66’, last Friday (May 24) – the day before his 66th birthday. He recently talked about how getting older had made him more “experimental” and “open-minded”.

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