News / Middle East

Although Peace Proves Elusive, Young Israelis, Palestinians Find Harmony

As Peace Proves Elusive, Young Israelis, Palestinians Find Harmonyi
|| 0:00:00
March 14, 2014 2:15 PM
As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tries to bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders together on a framework peace agreement, a group of young Israelis and Palestinians is already working in harmony. They are the musicians of Heartbeat, a social movement using the power of music to transform conflict. VOA reporter Julie Taboh caught up with them as they wrapped up their American tour in Washington before heading home.
As Peace Proves Elusive, Young Israelis, Palestinians Find Harmony
As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tries to bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders together on a framework peace agreement, a group of young Israelis and Palestinians is already working in harmony. They are the musicians of Heartbeat, a social movement using the power of music to transform conflict.

The young musicians performed at a Congressional office building in Washington to raise awareness of their vision of a better future for the Middle East.

Since 2007, Heartbeat has brought Palestinian and Israeli high school students and young adults together to talk, listen and make music. The songs they write weave traditional and modern Eastern and Western styles. 

The lyrics, in Arabic, Hebrew and English, reflect dialogue that takes place among group members and the often tense society they live in.

“We have this song which asks, ‘What’s the Wall good for?'" said Israeli Guy Gefen, 22, who has been with Heartbeat from the start. “I think when people are afraid, they put those walls. They put those physical and psychological walls and it makes it that much easier to be afraid; it makes it that much easier to hate. And I say there’s no need for that. You don’t need to be afraid, you don’t need to hate.”

Moody Kablawi, a Palestinian hip-hop artist from Haifa, joined Heartbeat in 2011.

“If I go back home and tell the guys ‘I’m working for peace, man, I’m a peace-maker,’ they would probably tell me, ‘Bukra Fil Mishmish,” which is similar to the English expression, ‘When pigs fly,’" he said.

But his friendship with the other Heartbeat musicians inspired Kablawi to change that expression to something more hopeful, in one of the group’s most popular songs.

“So we said, ‘Bukra Fi Mishmish,' without 'L'  which is similar to the expression, ‘Pigs are flying,’" Kablawi said. "So it just shows our hopes and our dreams that we want to make the future now, which is bringing peace now, bringing that trust and understanding.” 

American musician Aaron Shneyer founded Heartbeat with the goal of building trust between young people from both communities, and, he says, to amplify their voices.

“We believe that the silent majority of Israelis and Palestinians desperately wants the same thing yet has almost no opportunity to be heard and we understand that music is an incredibly powerful tool to amplify the voices of the silent majority,”  Shneyer said.

Heartbeat musicians use that tool in performances at schools, community centers and music venues, and in workshops and camps - presenting living proof that peace and harmony between Israelis and Palestinians is possible.

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Comment Sorting
by: Shein Ariely
March 15, 2014 1:40 AM
James Adams said:
""No wise man tries every day what he has proved wrong the day before.""

The western politicians, including Secretary Kerry, misunderstand why the Arabs and Islamists oppose to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and could miss the opportunity to help those in the Arab and Islamsit world willing to live peacefully with all the world cultures.
No- western politicians, you don’t understand the Arabs and Islamists narratives.
No- western politicians, your solutions to the Palestinian Israel conflict do not bring peace not worldwide ( from Phillipins to Paris and not from China to USA) from non Islamic cultures and not Israel.
Yes- western politicians , if you would bother to understand the Arabs and Islamists narratives you will understand that:
---What you call peace they call it temporary truce with the infidels to be broken when they will accumulate more power
--- What is your policy is a sign of weakness, encouragement for more demands and aggression for their quest of worldwide domination.
Before making statements and policy you should know the basics:

1:In order to legitimize their hold on power, Islamist theocrats and pan Arabic's dictatorships need antagonists.
They blame the west for all their structural problems and Israel the land of the Jews.
2: Their goal is that the world will be Islamic because of the ""truth of Islam” needs to be proven true in the real world.
And the proof in the real world begins with the destruction of Israel.

3: Al Jazeera- quote:
"If we say that we want to wipe Israel out its too difficult.
It’s not acceptable policy to say so.
Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.
Everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go.""
3: Peace and quiet for Christians and Jews is possible only under Islam wings""
"The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)""
Western politicians you have the key the help changing the above paradigms>
By demanding the Arab and Islamist world to recognize Israel as the Jewish state you will help those who whant to break the violent cycle and open the gate for fundamental changes in the Arab and Islamsit societies.
The changes that will depart from the 7 century values and bring 21 century values of peace and quiet to large parts of the world in ME,Europe,Africa,Asia and America.
Western politicians:
Keep demanding the recognition of Israel as the Jewish state.
In Response

by: swej kcuf from: West bank
March 24, 2014 4:25 PM
No one will legitimize stealing Palestinian lands then ask them to recognize you as "jewish" that means you had rights to stolen land. If G_D who you allegedly gave you the land couldn't keep that promise why ask human to do what G_D couldn't
The inbreeding Hebrews sooner or latter will make aliyah in reverse.

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