Charlotte Church says she is 'in no way anti-Semitic' after singing controversial 'from the river to the sea' chant

26 February 2024, 19:24 | Updated: 26 February 2024, 19:27

Charlotte Church has been criticised for the chant being used at the concert
Charlotte Church has been criticised for the chant being used at the concert. Picture: Instagram/Charlotte Church

By Christian Oliver

Welsh singer Charlotte Church insists she is 'in no way anti-Semitic" after singing the controversial 'from the river to the sea' chant at a pro-Palestine concert.

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The 38-year-old singer led a choir who were singing in protest against the war in Gaza at a 'Sing for Palestine' event in south Wales.

The choir was also heard singing 'Stop the Occupation' at the event at the Bedwas Workmen's Hall in Caerphilly.

Church addressed the use of chant, which is widely considered to be anti-Semitic, and a call to abolish the state of Israel, in an Instagram broadcast on Monday.

"Just to clarify my intentions there, I am in no way antisemitic," she said. "I am fighting for the liberation of all people. I have a deep heart for all religions and all difference.

"It was a beautiful, beautiful event. But unfortunately the powers that be can't have that. [They] can't have such a powerful symbol of resistance as what we worked towards on Saturday."

She confirmed the concert ended with the 'from the river to the sea' chant, which has been subject to controversy in the UK at pro-Palestine demonstrations across the country.

The phrase "symbolises Palestinian control over Israel's borders, from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea", according to the American Jewish Committee.

Other activists generally in support of Palestine contest this, however, saying the slogan refers to "the right of all Palestinians to freedom, equality and justice".

Read More: 'Progress' made in Gaza ceasefire talks after Hamas 'drop some of its demands' that could see Israeli hostages released

Read More: Watch as hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists shut down Tower Bridge with intense Gaza protest

Tzipi Hotovely, Israel's ambassador to the UK, previously told LBC that people sing the chant "either [because] people don’t understand what they’re saying or they understand, and they ignore the consequences".

“From the river to the sea’ only has one meaning: that if you look on the map, Israel shouldn’t exist and Israel should be totally eliminated from the Middle East map. What is that, if not ethnic cleansing of Jewish people from their homeland?," she told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

Caller insists you can't critique Israel without being labelled as 'anti-Semitic or an Islamist'

It is not the first time Ms Church has been outspoken in her support for Palestine.

She released an Instagram video in November calling for the 'liberation of Palestine' amid the war in Gaza.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) group has since said it will ask the Charity Commission to investigate how the choir event was allowed to take place on the premises.

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