Mohammed Assaf received an official email citing accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ as the reason for the song’s removal from music streaming platforms.
Spotify has denied claims over the removal of Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf’s hit “Dammi Falastini” for alleged violations of its rules following a major uproar over the move.
The song, which translates to “My Blood is Palestinian”, was reportedly taken down this week from Spotify along with other music streaming platforms following a targeted attack by numerous pro-Israel groups.
In response to tweets over the reported removal, Spotify clarified that Assaf’s content was not removed due to a violation of its Platform Rules.
“The distributor made a request for its takedown, and we hope the content will be back soon,” the music streaming platform said.
The move by the streaming giant to remove the song came after a petition organised by pro-Zionist We Believe in Israel (WBII) and the Board of Deputies garnered nearly 4,000 signatures.
According to Roya News, Assaf received an official email citing accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ as the reason for the song’s removal from music streaming platforms.
“We have been and still are supporting the work and art of the artist, beloved of Arabs, Mohammed Assaf. We look forward to having his lost content back on our platform soon. Let’s enjoy some of his best work together on This is Mohammad Assaf,” Spotify said in a separate tweet.
In an interview with The New Arab, the Palestinian singer expressed his surprise upon finding out that his song had been removed from the platforms, emphasising that its removal only heightens his sense of honour as it demonstrates the Palestinian people’s resistance against the occupying forces.
Despite Spotify’s clarification, social media users’ demands to return the song persisted with questions over when it will be back on the platform.
Other users have shared the lyrics online as a testament to the positive message underpinning the song.
“@Spotify why are you involving yourself in the erasure of a people? Return Dammi Falastini,” another such frustrated social media user pointed out, drawing comparisons between the erasure of the ‘harmless’ Palestinian song and Israel’s long ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinians.
As the first Palestinian to win Arab Idol, Assaf was a wedding singer from a refugee camp in Gaza, who had captured the attention of millions of spectators, including President Mahmoud Abbas.
Following his victory on the show, the young singer paid tribute to the Palestinians, who have been suffering under occupation for decades.