Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and political activist Serj Tankian (SYSTEM OF A DOWN) has posted the following message on his Facebook page:
"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 U.S. 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 U.S."
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."