Roger Waters recorded verses by Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish intended as a rebuke to President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with the intention of moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. “After the relics are gone/ Where, oh white master, are you taking my people … and yours?” Waters says on “Supremacy,” amid swirls of oud music.
In the accompanying video, the former Pink Floyd singer-songwriter’s face floats in a black void while the words run as subtitles beneath him. Waters recites the poem, called “The Penultimate speech of the ‘Red Indian’ to the white man,” over music by the Palestinian group Trio Joubran, three oud-playing brothers based out of Nazareth.
“On the surface, [the poem] narrates the last speech of the Native American to the white man, but it speaks also to Darwish’s beloved Palestine and its indigenous people,” Waters said in a statement. “In fact, [it’s relevant] to all victims of settler colonialism everywhere, always.”
Trio Joubran and Waters recorded the song in Paris and London after Trump’s declaration last December. The group said that the move endangers Palestinians who are being pushed out of Jerusalem. It timed the release of the video to the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian “Nakba,” the exodus of more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs as a result of the Israeli-Arab War.
“We have been touring the world with our ouds for the past 15 years, taking with us – from city to city – a bit of Palestine,” the band said in a joint statement. “We honor the struggles of indigenous peoples across the globe, and through our art, affirm that the relationship between people, culture and their homeland survives history.”