Rap superstar and tech company founder Will.i.am has a message for people who are calling for a boycott of Israel: Ignore them.
“There’s more than one correct way to speak out on the atrocities and corruption in Israel and Palestine,” he said in a video posted to his Instagram account Friday. “I will always speak out for my people, whether it’s with peace or war or otherwise.”
Will.i.am is one of the Black Eyed Peas, who came out with their massive hit “Where Is the Love?” in 1998. He’s also a founder of a startup called I.am+, which works with using AI to help people understand the inner workings of big data, artificial intelligence and supply chains. In March, Will.i.am tweeted that he has the “pride of being Jewish and proudly bringing my heritage into a role where I can help others.”
According to Vulture, over the past several years, leaders of many anti-Israel organizations, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, have “put out directives to boycott the Black Eyed Peas.” I.am+ is now facing increased scrutiny for its Israeli investments after The Intercept reported that Don Henley of The Eagles recently claimed Will.i.am does “a lot of work and charitable work for the Palestinians.” (Henley later apologized.)
In his video, Will.i.am addressed his fellow artists, saying, “A lot of people are asking me what I’m going to do.” He added that he decided to try and figure out what the answer was for himself.
“Hopefully, the answer will come in the next couple of days as I sit down and think about it,” he said. “This isn’t a weakness in me. It’s not in my character. This is not me. The creativity will never stop. The contribution will never stop. It’s just how we do it.”