Macklemore said he didn’t expect to give a speech at the pro-Palestine demonstration on Saturday (Nov. 4) in Washington, D.C. But he found himself at a podium in front of the thousands of protesters who showed up to call for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and the militant terror group Hamas.
“First and foremost, this is absolutely beautiful to observe today,” the rapper said of the crowd in front of him.
“I didn’t expect to be on a microphone,” said Macklemore. “There are thousands of people here more qualified to speak on the issue of a free Palestine than myself.”
“But I will say this,” Macklemore continued. “They told me to be quiet. They told me to do my research, to go back, that it’s too complex to say something, right? To be silent in this moment. In the last three weeks I’ve gone back and I’ve done some research … I’m teachable. I don’t know enough. But I know enough that this is a genocide.”
Saturday’s protest was in response to Israel’s retaliation for the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks, which killed more than 1,400 people. Since then, the Israeli military’s response has killed more than 9,000 people in Gaza, according to reports from CNN, with a large percentage of fatalities that have included children, women and the elderly.
Macklemore, who released a statement on the conflict via Instagram on Oct. 19, also shared a video from the crowd of Saturday’s rally in an Instagram Story.
In his Oct. 19 post, he wrote: “I have been in fear. I have felt a literal lump in my throat and I cannot stay silent any longer. I condemn the murder of any human. The bombings, kidnappings and murder of the Israeli people carried out by Hamas was horrific in every way imaginable. My heart deeply hurts for the Israelis that lost loved ones to such an abomination. As a father I cannot imagine if one my kids was at that festival, or was still missing after being kidnapped. It is absolutely unfathomable. But killing innocent humans in retaliation as collective punishment is not the answer. That is why I am supporting the people around the world who are calling for a ceasefire.”
Watch a clip of his speech from Saturday in D.C. below.