Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Singing for Peace in the MidEast

With all the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic hate and negativity currently being pumped out on campuses across the world during "Israel Apartheid Week", it's easy to forget that most Palestinians and Israelis want the same thing: Peace.

Though it may seem idealistic and cliche'd, the recent announcement that two young people - one Arab, on Jewish - who love music and just want to sing together in beautiful harmony, have just been selected by Israel to be its entry at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.

Achinoam Nini and Mira Awad, two emerging Israeli stars, will sing together at the contest in the hope of bringing Israel its fourth Eurovision award (the first was won by Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta in Paris in 1978 with the song "A-Ba-Ni-Bi". The second by Gali Atari & Milk and Honey in Jerusalem in 1979. The third was won by transsexual Dana International in 1998 for her song "Diva").

Nini and Awad will sing "There Must Be Another Way".

The singers' friendship, belief in coexistence and attempt to show the world that Israeli Arabs and Jews can and do work together without blowing each other up, there were those in Israel who are working overtime to scuttle their appearance in Moscow. This from a report on Ynet news in January:

Several Arab artists and intellectuals, both Israeli and Palestinian, sent an open letter to Israeli-Arab actress and singer Mira Awad, asking her not to represent the State in this year's Eurovision Song Contest with Israeli artist Noa on May 16 in Moscow.

In the politically charged letter, the signatories urged Awad to reconsider her decision. "Take back your agreement to represent the State of Israel in the Eurovision contest with Achinoam Nini," they wrote.

"The Israeli government is sending the two of you to Moscow as part of its propaganda machine that is trying to create the appearance of Jewish-Arab 'coexistence' under which it carries out the daily massacre of Palestinian civilians.

Both Nini and Awad brushed aside these allegations and are proceeding undaunted.

And another... just because I can. Isn't harmony a wonderful thing?

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