Anyone who has been alive during the past decades is painfully aware of the intense tension between Palestine and Israel. What most are not aware of is the extreme of these emotions taking place in the home of both: Jerusalem. Divided East from West, Jerusalem is routinely known for violence between factions who profess absolute claim over the land possessed by each other; a conflict that has lasted decades and has routinely covered front pages of the world.
Israeli David Broza goes where few have dared to go before with his album, East Jerusalem / West Jerusalem, where he bridged this gap to record with a Palestinian friend. The album includes songs featuring such names as Steve Earle, Steve Greenberg and Wyclef Jean, Israeli musicians Gadi Seri and Yossi Sassi, Palestinian hip-hop duo “G-Town” and Arab/Israeli singer Mira Awad, as well as the activistic Palestinian Muhammad Mugrabi.
One song, “The Lion’s Den”, features lyrics based on a poem written by the father of Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Pearl, Judea. The album, with original songs as well as covers by infamous bands, all pertaining to peace, brings together all different cultures involved in this conflict with a message asking: Why can’t we live in Utopia?
Perhaps if politics and goodwill efforts cannot heal the gap between these two peoples, both descended from Abraham, the father of all, art, can.
Music has, for as long as it has existed, been a way to heal wounds. Perhaps, and with all hope, it will begin healing for this conflict as well. If an artist such as David Broza can gather such a diverse group peacefully, it’s possible to believe that his music can reach an even larger scope and create a discussion of peace.
Give peace a chance. Believe the impossible dream. Listen to this brilliant compilation and let it touch you in a way to stir action to peace.
East Jerusalem / West Jerusalem is available on iTunes.
— Aaron Wallace | @Aaronforever87