Welsh singer-songwriter Charlotte Church receives death threats for defending Palestinians in Gaza

Last Sunday, Welsh singer Charlotte Church posted a statement on her website revealing that she and her family had received death threats from Zionists and far-right elements because of her participation in events defending the Palestinian people.

Charlotte Church was briefly a classical music sensation as a child, her first album selling millions of copies worldwide when she was only 11. She later turned toward pop music, as well as an acting career.

Church has come under attack in particular for taking part in a Sing For Palestine event on February 25, a fundraiser held at a village hall in Caerphilly in southeastern Wales, in which the phrase “From the River to the Sea” in relation to Palestinian liberation was chanted.

Charlotte Church on her website

The event was held to raise funds for the Gaza Ambulance Appeal. Church described her reason for participating at the fundraiser, which featured songs sung in the Welsh choral music tradition, in these words: “Our support for Palestine is more important than ever, each of us must raise our voices against the tyranny of occupation, ethnic cleansing and genocide.”

While Church did not go into detail on the threats, she reported that police had visited her home to ensure the family’s safety.

This follows sustained harassment on social media, including, Church noted on her Twitter/X feed, messages that said “often violent, misogynistic and racist things” and “had phrases like ‘whites will not be replaced’ on their profiles, and images of iron eagles as banners.” These are fascist slogans and emblems.

In her website statement, Church put the blame squarely on politicians and the foul right-wing media frenzy that called her an antisemite following the event in Wales and her subsequent participation in an anti-genocide protest in London March 9.

My safety and the safety of my family has been threatened by some pretty scary people, emboldened by the rhetoric of frontline politicians, as well as cravenly irresponsible coverage by liberal legacy media outlets, including BBC News.

In her web statement, she detailed some incendiary headlines and lies promoted by the British media. “I sang a protest song in Bedwas Workmen’s Hall, and yet it sounds like I committed a hate crime.” She noted, for example, the March 3 headline in a BBC article: “‘Nuance is being lost’ that stated ‘Charlotte Church sang the controversial pro-Palestinian chant ‘From the river to the sea’ at a concert. (She denied she was antisemitic).’”

She continued: “No more context was given—not the fact that this was a charity event, specifically to raise money for an ambulance in Gaza—not even the fact that it was an event in solidarity with Palestine, calling for a ceasefire. Not that it was an interfaith, intergenerational choir singing freedom songs from all over the world, No mention of the actual history of the usage of the phrase. Just incredibly irresponsible ‘journalism.’”

Church added,

At a time when democratic norms in the House of Commons are being overturned supposedly due to fears for MPs safety, I have to ask the BBC and The Guardian, amongst others: what about my safety?

I have been called many things in my time, but not until this week have I received so much imaginative and violent hate. … And the BBC continues to publish articles, with extremely inflammatory language that does not accurately represent the reality of the situation. I’m pretty sure it has broken its own guidelines about being ‘accurate and fair.

She confronted the BBC’s Nick Robinson, the presenter on Radio 4’s “Today” program and former political editor for BBC News, who asked the fascist politician Nigel Farage on his show: “Do you think Charlotte Church should be arrested?”

The singer said: “I mean, are you real? To think that this was not only broadcast across multiple BBC platforms in a pre-recorded interview, but also that someone made an editorial decision to clip that bit up and toss it into the maelstrom of social media to promote the show, at a time of such febrile debate ... how is that contributing to social cohesion, let alone considering my safety?!”

Church defended her use of the phrase “From the River to the Sea” as a democratic slogan that had nothing in common with antisemitism.

Nevertheless, the British Tory government has reworked its definition of extremism—promoted by both the Tories and Labour—to make the phrase, and possibly Church’s actions in leading a chant, criminal. As the World Socialist Web Site recently noted, the definition, “is the criminalisation of opinion and thought, rather than actions taken.” Works of art, including musical performances could fit squarely into the government’s new definition.

The reactionary Sunak government, with the support of Labour, is doing everything in its power to suppress the mass movement against Israeli genocide, as it prepares with the rest of NATO for war with Russia.