Disturbed by sympathy and support shown for Hamas during this summer’s Israel-Hamas conflict, American Jewish rapper Ari Lesser felt moved to educate people about the true nature of the terrorist organization. So to set people straight, he has created a new video in partnership with the Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs.
The bearded, long-haired Lesser is not new to taking a pro-Israel stance and tackling political subjects in his songs. Almost a year ago, he made a strong statement against the BDS movement with “Boycott Israel,” which quickly went viral.
Like “Boycott Israel,” this new video about Hamas demonstrates that Lesser knows his stuff.
“Other artists start with a cool song, but I start with the research and the information and then I write a cool song,” says Lesser.
A graduate of the University of Oregon with a bachelors degree in political science, the 27-year-old musician makes sure he gets his facts straight.
“I know people will call me out if even just one things in the song is flawed,” he says.
He sums things up in a nutshell in the song’s chorus:
So you want to criticize Israel that’s cool
But if you support Hamas, you’re a fool
Unless you want radical Islamic rule
And stockpiles of rockets at your kids school
Remember they send their own people out strapped
With suicide bombs blowing up in their lap
You think they seek peace, that’s a bunch of crap
They just want to wipe Israel off the map
In the song’s several verses, the rapper addresses points such as Hamas’ extremist Islamist agenda and its use of human shields and terrorist tactics. It also includes mention of the organization’s summary execution of opponents within Gaza, poor rule in Gaza, and its charter calling for the destruction of the Jews.
“It’s crucial to get a song like this out there now because of all the misinformation and media bias,” Lesser says.
He wishes the video’s production had gone more quickly so that it could have been released while Operation Protective Edge was still going on. However, he believes that even with the media’s shift of attention to the Islamic State, the song’s message is still highly relevant.
“The focus on ISIS is not all that different,” he says. “People are starting to realize that there is a radical form of Islam that Israel is having to deal with.”
Lesser has been shocked and saddened by viewers who have taken issue with his making the point that Hamas is not to be equated with Palestinians in general.
Let me start off slow so you don’t get lost
Palestinians are not the same as Hamas
Though they may live in the same location
Hamas is a terrorist organization
“I know there is a lot of animosity right now, but I do believe that most Palestinians want peace,” Lesser says.
The central theme of Lesser’s music is Torah, but he also cares very much about Israel and devotes some of his songs to it.
“I definitely love Israel and want to show the world what is good about it and what threatens it,” he says.
“My heavy stuff about Israel tends to go viral,” he says.
This certainly seems to be the case with “Hamas,” which has garnered 52,500 views in just three days.