“Saint Levant is all about Palestine when it’s convenient for him, but when Israel attacks Palestinians in Al Aqsa or in Gaza, he suddenly disappears” is an old Tweet that certainly did not age well. Over the weekend, the 22-year-old polyglot, who is French and Algerian on his maternal side and Palestinian and Serbian from his father’s side, made his first-ever television appearance and used the opportunity to shed light on illegal Israeli occupation, while proving his hater’s unsubstantiated claims wrong in the process.
Born Marwan Abdelhamid, the trilingual Los Angeles-based singer was invited on French television show Quotidien to perform From Gaza With Love, one of the singles from his debut EP of the same name, on April 7. Following the performance, Abdelhamid used his first-ever interview on French national television to stand in solidarity with Palestine, amidst the brutal attacks they are facing from Israeli occupation forces who stormed the al-Aqsa mosque last week and assaulted Palestinian worshippers.
“I don’t know if you have seen or if you are aware, but in the last few days, the Israeli military have entered the mosque during Ramadan… and I grew up in Palestine and I have the privilege of growing up in Palestine, because many Palestinian families were expelled from their land in 1948 so I want to remind everyone that the Israeli occupation is violently present to this day and it is important to talk about it,” he said, with a keffiyeh hung around his shoulders, in a clip shared with his 542,000 Instagram followers.
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The television producers and hosts were no doubt screaming and throwing up internally considering that they told the young artist ahead of the show to “not be too political,” according to one of Abdelhamid’s Instagram Stories, which makes the whole scenario even better.
Naturally, a number of his fans took to his comment section to applaud the artist, who is clearly not one to be silenced, for using his platform to advocate for the Palestinian cause. “The moment you have a platform you use it to spread awareness. You sir are the definition of a hero,” wrote one user. “It takes an immense amount of courage to stand up and speak out against injustices by using your platform and not afraid of what it will do to your career. Bravo to you for staying authentic to yourself and your identity,” said another.
Indeed, in a society where most public figures are afraid to denounce Israel and express their solidarity with Palestine due to the immense backlash that tends to follow, Abdelhamid must be commended for coming out in the open (in a country where Islamophobia runs rampant, no less) to take a stand on the conflict that has killed and displaced thousands. We’ve already witnessed how celebrities who were vocal about their support for Palestine were treated in the media— Dua Lipa and Gigi and Bella Hadid’s advocacy got them a full-page attack ad in the New York Times accusing them of anti-Semitism— so we know all too well that pro-Palestine activism often comes with a cost.
But based on Saint Levant’s Instagram and TikTok accounts, it appears that for every one person unfollowing him for his recent comments, there are hundreds of others praising him for speaking out. To echo the words of one Instagram user, @aburecording: PROTECT SAINT LEVANT AT ALL COSTS!!!!!!!!