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Spanish band defaces Israeli flag at music festival, uploads video to Instagram

Barcelona-based rap group that prides itself on social activism writes ‘Israel doesn’t exist,’ draws penis on Israeli flag at campsite after performing at Hungary’s Sziget Festival

Tobias (Toby) Siegal is a breaking news editor and contributor to The Times of Israel.

A member of the Spanish hip-hop band Tribade defaces an Israeli flag at the Sziget Music Festival in Hungary, August 14, 2022. (Instagram)
A member of the Spanish hip-hop band Tribade defaces an Israeli flag at the Sziget Music Festival in Hungary, August 14, 2022. (Instagram)

Members of a Spanish hip-hop band that prides itself on addressing social issues like LGBT rights and feminism in its songs have defaced an Israeli flag during an international music festival held in Hungary.

Performing at the popular Sziget Music Festival in Budapest on Sunday, the 3-member female rap group Tribade uploaded videos of their concert to their Instagram story, followed by a video of them writing statements against the State of Israel and in support of the Palestinians.

The video shows the band members walking past several tents apparently used by Israeli guests of the concert, before reaching the affixed flag and pulling out black marker pens.

They write various statements on the flag, including: “Israel doesn’t exist,” “Free Palestine” and “Eat this” alongside a drawing of a penis.

Tribade was founded in 2017 in Barcelona and has three members: Bittah, Sombra Alor and Masiva Lulla, who perform along with DJ Big Mark.

In an interview with the MadameRAP website in 2019, the band described its music as a “mix of speech (message) and esthetics. Culture, resistance and urban music.” In the same interview, they said they identified with “feminism that includes all the trans, dissident and gay identities under the ideas of antiracism and anticapitalism.”

The line-up of this year’s Sziget festival included some of the biggest names in current popular music such as Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala, Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, Justin Bieber and Kings of Leon. Also performing were Israeli Noga Erez, Lola Marsh and Echo.

The Foreign Ministry condemned the “ugly” incident in a statement, saying it would demand clarification from the event organizers and follow up on the matter.

Tribade did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Tribade: Bittah, Masiva Lulla, Sombra Alor, with DJ Mark. (Fegobe via Wikipedia)

Many international bands have come under pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel in recent years and some have subsequently canceled performances they had already booked in the country.

In June, US-based indie rock band Big Thief — one of whose members was born in Israel — canceled its upcoming shows in Tel Aviv after facing a wave of pressure from the boycott movement.

Other examples include Musicians like Lorde and Lana Del Rey, who made headlines for canceling shows in Israel in recent years.

And yet, Tel Aviv remains a destination for many international artists, and was home to the 2019 Eurovision contest — including a performance by Madonna — after Israel won the competition the previous year.

Maroon 5 appeared in Israel in May, rapper 50 Cent performed in Israel in July and One Republic is slated to return this fall.

In October, over 200 celebrities, including actors Mila Kunis, Billy Porter, Neil Patrick Harris and Helen Mirren, signed a letter denouncing BDS efforts to boycott an LGBTQ film festival in Tel Aviv.

Amy Spiro contributed to this report.

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