Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reasons for and against hope

Jonathan Wittenberg, the much-loved rabbi, who I saw an inspiring presentation by at last year's South London Limmud (and who spoke at the Strangers into Citizens event), has a powerful article in the JC on ethics and solidarity after Gaza.

On a banal but important level, "There Must Be Another Way", the Hebrew/Arabic Eurovision collaboration between Yemenite Israeli singer Achinoam “Noa” Nini and Palestinian Israeli citizen Mira Awad (which came 16th last night), is an example of the sort of thing Wittenberg is talking about. Mira and Noa are active in OneVoice, for which they have been condemned by some anti-Zionists. Awad featured in the acclaimed Plonter and in Lemon Tree, the latter being paradoxically screened by my Israel-boycotting local cafe Crema.

On a related note, across the Atlantic, Fiesta Shalom is a cool-looking LA street festival aimed at bridging Latino and Jewish cultures, taking place today. Don PalabraZ reports that Quetzal, "the seminal East Los Angeles band", won’t be there. Apparently, Quetzal gave numerous reasons as to why they felt it obligatory to pull out from performing at Sunday’s Fiesta Shalom including: “Decades of Chican@ solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for Self-determination” and “Decades of solidarity with the non-zionist, non-imperialist peace-loving Jewish community.” Don PalabraZ also posts an mp3 of their song "Intifada".


ModernityBlog said...

You mean Cafe Creme is not boycotting Eran Riklis ?

Next they'll be saying "some of our best...."?

Brigada Flores Magon said...

Rabbi Wittenberg I was really impressed by on the occasions I put in a Celto-Gentile presence at his shul for the batmitzvahs of daughters of my friends.

Trabi Mechanic said...

OneVoice are an excellent organisation. Their strength is that they support politics against violence. This is very necessary in that part of the world. If kitsch misanthropic revolutionaries hate OneVoice activists because they look too much like our establishment in Britain or the US, they should think a little about the differences between our lives here and the lives people lead in the Palestinian Territories and in Israel.

The Contentious Centrist said...

"...for which they have been condemned by some anti-Zionists. "

Do the anti-Zionists also condemn Divan, Daniel Barenboim's and Edward Said's musical cooperation? I have a feeling that they wouldn't. But what's the difference, really?

bob said...

I agree with Trabi and CC. But, just to be contentious, as it were, don't lots of Zionists (and anti-anti-Zionists) attack Divan with as little justification as the PACBIers attack OneVoice?