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‘Palestine freedom is non-negotiable’: Indonesian musicians perform free shows to raise funds for Gaza

JAKARTA: Indonesian musicians have said that the freedom of Palestine was non-negotiable as they started performing a series of free shows in Jakarta this week to raise funds and awareness for Gaza.

The Indonesian government and people, who have been staunch supporters of Palestine for decades, have also been showing up in solidarity with Gaza amid the ongoing Israeli onslaught that has reportedly killed at least 14,100 people in the Strip, including 5,600 children.

Sixteen Indonesian bands and musicians are lined up for the Humanitarian Concert for Gaza initiative, comprising seven shows that will be held until Dec. 13 in the Indonesian capital.

All of them are performing for free, as proceeds from their ticketed shows and merchandise will be donated in full to the Palestinian Embassy in Indonesia.

“It is our duty as human beings to help other human beings,” Indonesian singer Danilla Riyadi told Arab News.

“There is not much we can do about the politics of what is happening, but as much as we can we want to try to lessen the burden of our brothers and sisters. In this case, it’s participating in this concert,” she said.

Indonesian rock band The Brandals claimed that the land of Palestine belonged to its people.

“For us, the freedom of Palestine is absolute. It is non-negotiable,” the band said in a statement. “Let us do what we can. No matter how small. From prayers to donations. May the land of Palestine return to its people.”

More than 87 percent of the tickets for the series of concerts that began on Tuesday had already sold by the opening day, Wendi Putranto, of shows’ organizer M Bloc Foundation, said.

“The biggest support, aside from the bands who are performing for free, is certainly coming from their massive fans who are donating directly to watch their idols in concert,” Putranto added.

“When words no longer speak, it is time for music to take over and take control … From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

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