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Musicians’ Union calls for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Middle East”

The UK’s Musician Union has addressed the Israel and Palestine conflict in a statement calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”.

The union’s executive committee has also agreed to make a donation to the Red Cross to support humanitarian causes in Israel and Palestine and will also give money to the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which educates young Israeli and Palestinian musicians.

According to the MU, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has seen its members “directly affected” by the conflict.

The MU add: “The orchestra’s purpose has always been to bring individuals impacted by war together through music. In an increasingly polarised world, the ability to listen to and understand the pain of others is ever more important.”

Explaining its plan to donate to both charities it adds: “We call for an end to war and violence,” before further discussing its support for a ceasefire: “We support the TUC and UN call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Middle East and strongly urge the international community to make all efforts to ensure that international law is upheld and all civilians are protected.

Palestine protest. Credit: Rasid Necati Aslim/Getty

“At the MU, we are aware of members being directly and indirectly impacted by events in the Middle East. We condemn the rise in hate that we know is happening in this country and the discrimination, harassment and cancelled work that members are facing as a result.

“Antisemitic and Islamophobic behaviour is never acceptable. The abuse that has been directed at Jewish and Islamic communities in the UK, in some cases masquerading as solidarity, is abhorrent.”

Meanwhile, artists have been coming together to sign open letters voicing their support for a ceasefire. Over 4000 artists including Pulp, Lucy Dacus, Sleater-Kinney and more came together under the collective Musicians for Palestine to demand a ceasefire last month.

Sam Fender, The Libertines, Fontaines D.C. and more also signed a #MusicForACeasefire open letter in conjunction with the Jeremy Corbyn-founded The Peace and Justice Project earlier in November.

Per Al-Jazeera, 20,301 Palestinians and 1,139 Israelis have been killed since Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.

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