Serj Tankian: 'It's Time to End This Misery Known as the Israeli Occupation of Gaza and the West Bank'

Serj Tankian called for peace via social networks.

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Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and political activist Serj Tankian (System of a Down) has posted the following message on his Facebook page (via Blabbermouth):

"It's time to end this misery known as the Israeli Occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. [The song] 'Occupied Tears', from my solo record 'Harakiri,' was written about this and the hypocrisy of a people who have gone through the horrible atrocities of the Holocaust now serving as occupiers of another people. John Kerry and the US had been placing a lot of pressure to restart the peace negotiations. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority united to negotiate as one. Netenyahu tried to separate them but couldn't. Eventually the kidnappings served as a political excuse to recapture released Palestinian political prisoners by Israel. Hamas fired rockets in response and Israel got off the hook on having to make permanent peace by invading Gaza and changing the conversation from permanent peace to temporary truce.

"One more thing: calls for anti-semitism should never be used to cloak honest discussion of these issues, especially here in the US."

In a 2012 interview with Red Bull, Tankian - who has always been outspoken with his leftist political opinions - was asked if he has noticed audiences becoming more open-minded about his political views. "There's definitely been a change in the culture every year based on technology, awareness and other factors," he replied. "One thing's for sure, though, and that's that bad presidents make for good music.

[System of a Down's] 'Toxicity' was the No. 1 album the week of 9-11. It was a time of fiery reactionism and flag-waving. When the first single, 'Chop Suey,' came out, it was taken off the radio, along with thousands of other songs. Around that time, I wrote an essay called 'Understanding Oil' that I put up right after 9-11 to explain what was going on and recommend a multi-lateral approach to not just go after those responsible, but also understand our foreign policy in a way to make sure we did the right things in the future so that nothing like that would happen again."

He added: "Every time you make a political stance, you're opening yourself up to criticism. Politicians tend not to take sides because they have to get as many votes as possible, but we're artists. We don't have to do that, so we can speak the truth."

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31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Free Gaza from the Hamas if anything.
    Difficult to do in practice, but that's the thing. You hit the nail on the head, as it were... Unfair how civilians are being caught up in this because of some thugs
    That's the exact problem. The world turning against Israel is what Hamas wants. And judging by this - they're winning..
    Well I doubt they're turning against Israel; Hamas has a lot of militia who have attacked Syrians fighting against their dictator, they have terrorist groups there and tunnels leading to Israel. The sympathy goes to the people in the Gaza strip who suffer from the actions of thugs, not the militia/terrorists (depending on how you see things).
    Do people really make up their own realities? He is delusional, and quite hateful. Why doesn't he speak out when Syria slaughters their population by the hundreds of thousands, or when ISIS is marching through Iraq butchering non-muslims forcing conversions or death upon whole cities, or when coptic christians are murdered in Egypt? or when BOKO Haram ravages africa in the name of Islam? Or when homosexuals get stoned to death in Islamic countries? Where women are property of men and not free citizens? Israel -the ONLY democracy in the ME- withdrew from Gaza in 2005- Palestinians are autonomous there- Hamas took office- slaughtering many political oponents. They use funds for themselves lavishly, feeding propaganda, and for war. It is quite simple. The Hamas charter literally says "The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.' Only the Gharkad tree would not do that, because it is one of the trees of the Jews." How do you deal with someone as insane as that as your neighbor?
    The same way you deal with north americans being proud of the country they stole from the indians. All countries kill, and until you surrender and give up on war (which the U.S. does the opposite) you have no morals to curse, judge, or condemn any other nation.
    Also time to end the misery of holding up System's next album for your solo career
    a video of hamas using their citizens as human shields. IDF sent a message that the area is about to be bombed and that the citizens need to evacuate. this video shows how hamas is making the citizens stay, and die.
    Oh as long as IDF warned them. That surely justifies cold murder. 2 wrongs don't make a right. Anyone deliberately killing a human being used a shield is a murderer and belongs in hell.
    There is no Israeli occupation of Gaza as Israel withdrew from the area back in 2005. Ever since then Hamas has abused the area and used it as a launching pad for rockets in to Israel.
    That's just not true, Isreal claimed to end it's occupation, yet it still controlled it's land, sea and air borders, controlled it's power supply, water supply (you can imagine it wasn't particularly generous with these) and prevented freedom of movement of both people and goods. Gaza has effectively been an open air prison. While the international community and news condemns Hamas for refusing ceasefire terms, you have to understand that these terms are to end the blockade (essentially a siege) on Gaza. It's difficult to argue against this, if I was from Gaza I would want to end the blockade too, regardless of my political leanings. Isreal actually started this conflict too, Hamas did not take responsibility for the kidnappings, and they usually do boast when they are responsible. The response from Israel was invasion and hundreds of arrests, destroying homes of Hamas members etc. Of course this was going to result in retaliation from Hamas, and of course the only retaliation they're capable of is rockets, Israel knew this when it started this conflict. I don't support Hamas, they're violent backwards thugs who hide behind women and children, but Israel started this conflict, and it's killing far more civilians than Hamas is. Israel for every militant they kill, they also kill 4 civilians in a conflict that Israel started. This is unacceptable. Anyone who has been following this conflict can see that Israel felt threatened by the formation of the Fatah-Hamas unity government and its tentative western support, so Israel threatened to destroy it, and just weeks later they did by starting a new conflict by invading and arresting hundreds of Hamas members regardless of the fact that there is no evidence of their guilt. This slaughter was engineered by Israel.
    if you let hamas control the things that comes in gaza they will get tanks and even more missiles
    You forgot the important part where he welcomes other opinion and discussion of this in the comments section. You know, because he doesn't pretend to know it all...
    I'm pretty sure Israel left Gaza 9 years ago. I don't know what Serj is referring to in this case.
    ok,,cool,,,,when is the next system of a down album?
    the minute a republican gets elected cause they can't make an album that might criticize the Obama admin, same with RATM. They would get kicked out of the "cool liberal anti-war musicians" club.
    For a peace solution everyone should watch the 3-5 episodes of the West Wing that involves Gaza and peace in the middle east
    Completely inappropriate I know, but resistance was futile. To address the actual article: I do hope the conflict in question (and all of that type of phucking shit, actually) is swiftly resolved. \m/
    Fuck up, Serj. The man writes some cool songs, and I'm all for politically charged music, but J.H. Christ, he's so wrong here (and in various other places...) it's unbelievable.