Supporting Palestine? Liza Soberano posts TikTok video with Palestine references

November 23, 2023 - 1:28 PM
Screenshots of Liza Soberano in her TikTok video where she played a watermelon filter and lip-synced Lorde's "Team" (@soberanoliza/TikTok)

Liza Soberano posted a cryptic video on TikTok where used a filter referencing a symbol of solidarity for Palestine. 

In the video, Liza finished the platform’s watermelon game filter while singing a chorus of Lorde’s 2013 hit single “Team.” The lyrics she sang were:

“We live in cities you’ll never see on-screen,

Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things

Livin’ in ruins of a palace within my dreams

And you know, we’re on each other’s team.”

@soberanoliza♬ original sound – nemahsis

The video clip has since garnered over 10 million views, 1.1 million likes, 27,000 bookmarks and over 3,000 shares on the video-streaming service.

Liza did not provide any details about what she was singing about and why she posted this video.

Several TikTok users, however, perceived the “watermelon” to be a reference to Palestine’s symbol of solidarity and resistance.

This symbol has surfaced in street demonstrations and internet posts in light of the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel.

Liza’s TikTok video was also posted on X. Filipinos praised her for making a stand in the decades-long war.

“I love how she’s vocal with everything,” an X user said.

“Using her influence not just because it is needed [but] rather it is THE right thing to do,” a Filipino on X reacted.

“Awww, kaya I’m rooting for her e. Sana talaga magthrive career niya. She’s always on the right side of things,” a Pinoy on X also cheered for her.

Behind the symbolisms

According to an article by Axios, Palestinians use watermelon as an expression of their political position because the fruit’s colors resemble that of their national flag.

“The red, green, black and white fruit — which matches the colors on the Palestinian flag — has symbolized unity for over half a century. It’s now accompanying calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and for greater Palestinian rights,” the report reads.

The watermelon-tracing filter was created by a TikTok creator through the app’s Effect Creator Rewards.

This creator then pledged to donate proceeds from this filter to fund Palestine causes.

“A TikTok creator had made that now-viral tracing filter depicting a watermelon through the app’s Effect Creator Rewards, which allows creators to monetize the effects they make,” Axios explained.

“The creator pledged to donate the proceeds from the filter’s monetization to charities providing aid in Gaza,” it also said.

A Palestine singer named Nemahsis, meanwhile, uploaded a now-viral audio and video where she sang the song’s chorus while showing the severe damage Israel’s attacks brought to her people’s homes in Gaza, a border between Israel and Palestine.

Nemahsis sang the song in acapella, thus giving the EDM track a more melancholic tone.

The video soon reached Lorde, who described the Palestine singer’s rendition as a “poignant piece.”

“I was so incredibly moved by this poignant piece. I have been frozen in grief and shock. I’m aware of the dissonance between my thoughts and the words that I am able to form,” the New Zealand singer-songwriter said through her Instagram Stories. 

“I am so grateful to my Palestinian sister for reminding me why I make art—it speaks when I cannot. It fills spaces where words are inadequate. She speaks through me, I speak through her,” she added.

Pro-Palestine social media users have since been using the watermelon and Lorde’s music to express their support and call for a ceasefire from Israel.

This initiative also came after Meta was perceived to be restricting Palestine-related content from its platforms.

Prior to Liza, Mathilda Airlines and Gazini Ganados have also used their platforms to appeal for peace and ceasing of Israel-Palestine violence.

READ: ‘An urgent appeal’: Call to stop Israel-Palestine violence mounted by Mathilda Airlines, Gazini Ganados