Columbian pop star Shakira, who is more famous for her hip-gyrating dance moves than her personal politics, is the target of a new Facebook page urging her to stay out of Israel.
The Grammy Award-winner, who has a Lebanese father and is rumored to have made anti-Israel statements in the past, is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. She is slated to visit Jerusalem in her United Nations capacity on Tuesday to join in the third annual Israeli Presidential Conference. “Shakira: Say NO to apartheid and YES to Freedom for Palestine” was created as a plea for her to change her plans. The Facebook page has 804 “likes” and purports to be written by a joint team of Israelis and Palestinians. The signatories bear traditional Hebrew and Arabic names. At the top of the page, it reads, “Shakira, who has been accused of making an anti-Israel statement, is putting an end to the rumors on her relations with the Jewish state and will visit the country as the founder and representative of her ‘Barefoot Foundation.'”[…]
It will be the first visit to Israel for Shakira, whose father is Lebanese. There were rumors in March that Shakira would perform in Israel sometime in the spring during her European tour, though those rumors were never realized.
The accusations of her anti-Israel slur in the past were pure internet hoax, and her trip to Israel will hopefully put an end to the rumours.
Shakira also has very positive politics when it comes to migration. History is Made at Night writes:
Last night I floated the idea of voting for Amerie in the UK elections (even though she’s not standing!), on the basis that her critique of the new racist anti-migrant powers in Arizona showed that she was far ahead of the bulk of the British polity when it comes to racism and immigration. Good to see that Shakira too has joined the fight, visiting Phoenix yesterdayespecially to denounce the new Arizona Senate Bill 1070 law:
‘I heard about it on the news and I thought, ‘Wow’, It is unjust and it’s inhuman, and it violates the civil and human rights of the Latino community … It goes against all human dignity, against the principles of most Americans I know… We’re talking about human beings here’. Shakira also made a stop at the state Capitol in downtown Phoenix, telling a group of a few hundred community members that if the law were in effect, she could be arrested since she didn’t bring her driver’s license to Arizona. “I’m here pretty much undocumented,” she told the crowd… “No person should be detained because of the color of their skin” (Washington Post, 28 April 2010).
The law, which is due to come in to effect in July, makes it a crime to be an ‘alien’ in the US without specific registration documents and requires police to check people’s immigration status if they have a ‘reasonable suspicion’ . It will also make it a crime to give shelter to undocumented migrants, or transport them. Appalling, but not so different from the UK situation where employers are required to check papers and are increasing turning people over to the Borders Agency.
Still at least in the US, the She Wolf is on the case!
Fusion shaped Shakira’s life. She was born Shakira Mebarak in the coastal city of Barranquilla, the youngest of eight children. Her father William is of Lebanese descent; her mother is Colombian. By age 8 she was writing her own songs; by age 13 she had released her first album, Magia (Magic). On her past two studio albums, the affable 1996 release Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet) and its 1998 follow-up, the excellent ?Donde Estan Los Ladrones? (Where Are the Thieves?), she grew more ambitious, giving her sound a rawer edge and drawing on a wider range of influences, including Mexican mariachi and Middle Eastern grooves (she’s given to doing a kind of belly dance when she plays her Arabic-influenced song Ojos Asi). “Yo soy una fusion. I am a fusion,” says Shakira. “That’s my persona. I’m a fusion between black and white, between pop and rock, between cultures–between my Lebanese father and my mother’s Spanish blood, the Colombian folklore and Arab dance I love and American music.”