News / Ottawa

Three Little Birds take flack for song about Israel and Palestine

A local band that played a song about Israel's treatment of Palestinians on a morning talk show is taking flack from groups who say their message is anti-Semitic.

The song called Apartheid "focuses on the censorship of the oppression of the Palestinian people and references Israel's current discriminatory actions and laws," said Angela Schleihauf, co-founder of the band Three Little Birds.

Almost a month after the segment aired on CTV Morning Live in Ottawa on June 18, a clip appeared online and began stirring up controversy with Honest Reporting Canada, which bills itself "an independent grass-roots organization promoting fairness and accuracy in Canadian media coverage of Israel and the Middle East."

In an online article, which was reprinted on Shalom Life, the group writes: "CTV program host Jeff Hooper pitched a compact disc recorded by this group and then invited them to sing what turned out to be a slanderous anti-Israel song called Apartheid. The term, as is widely known, is considered 'hateful, divisive and a distortion of history.'"

Yet Schleihauf said the band's song is being misrepresented.

"HonestReportingCanada claims that the use of the word 'apartheid' in our song is 'rabidly anti-Israel', but we feel that they are misrepresenting our message," she said. "Our song is about achieving equality and justice for all people in that region of the world. We feel that HonestReportingCanada has glossed over the true message of our song in order to encourage the censorship of our band and the term "Israeli apartheid."

Schleihauf said she feels offended since she learned about the issues from her Jewish friends. "It was interesting to hear their point of view," she said.

Watch the clip Three Little Birds playing their song live.

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