Israel and Palestine on the Same Page… of Music


Late musician John Denver was once quoted as saying, “Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.”

Indeed we are Mr. Denver, indeed we are…

For this week’s blog post I sought out to find a news article with some shred of positivity. Lately, it seems positivity is all but lost in media, especially when that media focuses on the Middle East. But alas! I stumbled upon a headline that was exactly what I was looking for: “Israel and Palestine sing from the same song sheet.”

The Shani Choir performing in 2012.

Even though Palestinians and Israelis have been engrossed in a conflict since roughly the beginning of the 20th century music has brought them together in a peaceful fashion. A youth choir which “advocates peace between their war-torn nations” is comprised of both Palestinian and Israeli youths. The choir was established in 2003 when Jezreel Valley Arts Center’s head of music, Uri Ben David, decided to unite the school’s Jewish and Arab choirs. They are called the Shani Choir and all three Abrahamic religions are represented in the group.

Their future plans include “a UK television appearance and a performance at the White House.”

I’d say that John Lennon would be proud of this choir. The members have clearly looked passed their differences and realized that essentially they are not all that different. I mean after all we are just beings sharing a common experience. It is honestly very difficult for me to fathom an argument against this choir. Not only do I believe that what they are doing is fantastic, but I also believe that this could (hopefully) be a small, very small, step towards resolving the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. It is in the very least a step in the right direction.

I am not the only one who believes this either. According to the Children of Peace, “The Shani Choir symbolizes hope for the future. Their message of peace and reconciliation comes from the young people from this troubled region.”

Let’s keep our fingers crossed and “imagine all the people living life in peace” as Mr. Lennon had once sung.

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One thought on “Israel and Palestine on the Same Page… of Music

  1. Nice find Tom! It is hopeful when you find that the youth of these populations can be educated in a way that could lead to a different future for their people. A step in the right direction is a nice way to phrase it, true and long-lasting changes occur from the bottom up. Each person is capable of making at least a small contribution towards something better.

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