Saturday, 8 March 2014

Musical bridge-building between Israel-Palestine -- David Broza

Singer-composer David Broza was born in Haifa in 1955, lived in England, Spain (where he learned flamenco, a major element in his music), while still in his teens served in the Israeli army and played in cafes. Since then he has lived in the USA and Israel, where he has become one of the leading voices of the peace movement. In 1977, when he was 22, he wrote יהיה טוב (Yehieh Tov: Things will Get Better) which became the anthem of the peace movement. This is his 2013 performance of the song in New York.

In the 1980s his grandfather joined the bicultural Arab-Israeli peace settlement, NeveShalom – Wāħat as-Salām (The Oasis of Peace) and its School of Peace, which in 1989 won the Beyond War Award, and inspired a continuing Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group in the USA. Grace Feuerverger's book Oasis of Dreams: Teaching and Learning Peace in a Jewish-Palestinian Village (2001) quotes one of the villagers:
The Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam experience humanizes the conflict.It is called an oasis, but only as compared to other areas in the country. The village has many difficulties but at least we are not being broken. We do have personal squabbles as in any village, but we are living the conflict instead of fighting it.
Out of this experience has come his latest album, East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem (listen to the online sampler), just released on S-Curve Records, in which Israeli and Palestinian musicians, including the Mira Awad, Shaa'nan Streett of Hadag Nahash, West Bank rap duo G-Town and Wyclef Jean play together. 
One of his best-beloved songs is בלב שלי (BelibiIn my heart) from the album Parking Completo. In this 2009 video it is sung at Masada with a joint Arab-Israeli child choir:

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