Bushido was presumably making a political statement when he updated his Twitter profile picture on Friday to a map of Israel and the Palestinian territories as one country, filled in with the black, white, green and red colours of the Palestinian flag.
The rapper, who has 280,000 followers on Twitter, has not explained what he meant by posting the map, which is used as propaganda by Hamas and extremist Palestinian organisations who deny Israel’s right to exist.
Commentators and politicians, however, have interpreted Bushido’s message for him: the map says there’s no room for a Jewish state in the Middle East, it must be destroyed to make way for a free Palestine.
German politicians were quick to condemn the German-Tunisian rapper, who has made efforts to distance himself from his former bad boy image in recent years.
“This map does not serve peace, it sows hatred,” German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Bild am Sonntag on Sunday and demanded that Bushido remove the picture immediately from his Twitter profile.
The post came as a shock – and an embarrassment – to many who had forgiven the rap star’s earlier violent, homophobic, misogynistic and thinly-veiled anti-Semitic song lyrics. Bushido’s image makeover worked so well that in 2011 he was even given a “Bambi” award for successful integration, which may now be rescinded.
“Bushido must remove this picture immediately from his Twitter page, or he will no longer be able to serve as an example of successful integration,” warned Minister Friedrich, who once posed for a photo with the rapper.
“We’re looking into the incident and will react accordingly,” Patricia Riekel, head of the Tribute to Bambi Institute responsible for giving out the awards, told the paper.