Canadian band attacked by Israel lobby group after playing song titled ‘Apartheid’

The following article is a press release from a Canadian music group.

Ottawa musical group Three Little Birds sings “Apartheid” on CTV Morning Live, and is subsequently attacked by pro-Israel media watchdog HonestReporting Canada.

The band’s segment on CTV promotes their self-titled debut album, Three Little Birds, and their performance at the Ottawa Jazz Festival. HonestReporting Canada’s call for its subscribers to write to CTV and condemn the band’s use of the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel is an attempt to censor open debate on the state of Israel’s policies.

“We do not use the term ‘apartheid’ lightly,” says band member Angela Schleihauf. “According to the definition of apartheid under international law, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa Report, Israel is undoubtedly operating as an apartheid state.”

Three Little Birds’ song “Apartheid” was originally a response to the banning of a poster at Carleton University that featured a cartoon representation of the Gaza Strip bombardment in 2008-2009, which killed over 1,400 Palestinians. The poster banning gained significant media attention, both in Canada and around the world, due to the questions it raised about censorship and Israel’s policies.

“The song is our reaction to attempted censorship,” says Erin Adair. “It’s ironic that HonestReporting Canada is asking its subscribers to censor CTV’s coverage of music and politics. They are calling upon CTV executives to never again present anyone on the air who criticizes the current actions of the state of Israel through use of the term ‘apartheid’ like we did in our song.”

“Like any other country the policies and practices of the state of Israel should not be immune from debate and criticism” adds Amelia Leclair.

  1. I am blown away by the bandmember’s eloquent and succinct rebuttal, she leaves not one centimeter of wiggle room for the pro-israel camp to attack her back with. Wow! I am just in awe of the response, so spot on both legally and morally.

    It is getting harder and harder for the pro-israel camp to spread their lies and spin.

    • Good point Adele.

      The legally based response kinda makes a mockery of this group that has the audacity to call themselves HonestReporting.

  2. Wow, great song! What beautiful and luminous human beings these fine women are.

    This press release could be improved by adding an address to write to in support of the band. The producers at CTV may be unaware of the aggressive nature of the pro-Israel apartheid types; they’ll feel better about hosting such acts in the future if they get supportive messages citing Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Jewish voices for justice. So: send your considered comments to CTV Regional Vice-President Richard Gray: Richard.Gray@bellmedia.ca

    It’s also a good idea to give the band some well-deserved publicity. Here’s their FB page: link to facebook.com
    link to facebook.com

  3. Thank you HonestReporting for giving this band free publicity. Out of 4,179 videos on the CTV YouTube channel, this song ranks 10th.
    Also, beautiful voices and great song. Please don’t give in to the lobby.

  4. In response to our complaint, CTV Two’s Regional Vice-President Richard Gray stated the following on July 13:

    “I respect and can understand why your supporters are displeased with the recent appearance by “Three Little Birds” on our station since their performance of the song “Apartheid” states a contrary point of view.

    I can assure you, however, their inclusion on CTV Morning Live was not done to promote intolerance in any way. They were instead on the program in celebration of a local musical success story.

    The Ottawa based band was promoting the Ottawa Jazz Festival, one of the biggest summer events in the City, at which they were going to be performing live after previously also appearing this spring at the Ottawa Tulip festival. They were also discussing an about to be released CD.

    That they chose to make a political statement during their performance is not uncommon for bands and also not something we are overly concerned about. Our viewers have become accustomed to what I’m sure you’re also keen aware—creating controversy is what musicians often do.”

    kudos to Richard Gray

  5. does anyone know where we can find the lyrics? i thought they said ..’it’s time to self-divide’ which is interesting framing. i’d love to read the lyrics.

    • E-mail info@threelittlebirdstheband.com and we’ll send them to you. They aren’t online anywhere as of yet. The line you quoted is actually “it’s time for you to self define”. It has a couple potential interpretations in the context of the song as far as we can tell.
      Thanks for the interest!

  6. Haunting and beautiful.

    This band should give a call to the Dixie Chicks to get advice on how to handle this stuff.

  7. I just checked out CTV on Wikipedia and was pleasantly surprised to learn that CTV is the “top-rated network in total viewers” in Canada. Not bad, not bad at all!

    per Wikipedia:
    CTV Television Network (commonly referred to as CTV) is a Canadian English language television network, owned by Bell Media, which is a subsidiary of BCE Inc.. It is Canada’s largest privately owned network, and has consistently placed as Canada’s top-rated network in total viewers and in key demographics since 2002, after several years trailing the rival Global Television Network in key markets.[1]

    • I wish they wouldn’t disable comments on YouTube for I/P. They also disabled the “likes” button on the Three Little Birds video.

      Must’ve hit a nerve.

  8. What a song. wow these girls rock . Honest reporting haha i used to have heaps of fun with that guy. Dont you love when words like Shalom, and Honest reporting, and the most moral army in the world. there is a pattern here folks

  9. In related news, I wonder when the Ziobots will start going after Serj Tankian for “Occupied Tears.” I just know that Serj has the courage to stand up to bots. He has a huge following in the U.S.

  10. Check out the lyrics (and the video) to Bowie’s Loving the Alien which escaped zio-censorship in the early 80s. (TPTB were much more worried about drug references back then, with Nancy R doing her thang)

  11. There is another rapper/hip hop artist nicknamed Lowkey, he’s half Iraqi and half British. His music is also heavily entrenched in political/social issues, primarily regarding the Middle East. Here are just a few of his tracks:

    Terrorist:
    link to youtube.com

    Soundtrack to the Struggle:
    link to youtube.com

    Cradle of Civlization:

  12. HRC are anything but — DISHonest MISReporting and unfortunately in Canada, would be more like it. Really, media thugs who beat up on editors who even mention anyone who speaks out for human rights or against apartheid. Until recently their website read “help us win the media war for Israel”.

    CONGRATS to these fine musicians, and to the station for standing their ground!

    And for all the other artists out there who might be wondering about the consequences of letting your principles be known, let’s show them that musicians CAN BENEFIT from a principled stand — tweet them, like them, buy their music, spread the word!