Does songwriter/activist David Broza's documentary "East/West Jerusalem" augment or diminish the conflict?

David Broza appeared at the L.A. Skirball's screening of the "East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem" documentary which depicts the making of his multi-cultural album of the same name. From their publicity:   "Can music bridge a decades-long political divide? Legendary Israeli musician David Broza heads to East Jerusalem to find out when he gathers a group of Israeli, Palestinian, and American musicians into a recording studio for eight days to record his latest album, "East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem." 



The groundbreaking album, produced by American producer/singer Steve Earle features Arabic rhythms, a Palestinian rapper, Broza's signature Spanish-influenced guitar playing, and more. Through soulful music and personal conversations, this new documentary follows the creation of the album, as well as the relationships of several Israelis and Palestinians, including the Israeli and Palestinian children who comprise the Youth Choir of Jerusalem and Broza's lifelong friendship with Israeli-Arab musician, Issa Freij.

Despite the tensions in the outside world, the musicians in the studio come together with a shared sense of optimism and love of music that transcends conflict, and gives us all hope that maybe music truly can change the world."


Our videotaped conversations with an Israeli peace-activist and a Gazan nationalist-activist (who currently resides in the West) reacting to the movie- reveal much about the religio-political divide. The liberal Israelis feel guilty about the Palestinian conditions (reinforced by Mr. Broza's film's polemic objections to the West Bank security fence and visit to a Palestinian refugee camp) and hope that granting sovereignty will end the Arab/Muslim terror against them. The Gazan man intends to conquer the Jewish state of Israel and sovereignty in a State of Palestine won't appease or deter them (as Israel's withdrawal from Gaza since 2005 has proven).   



Multi-cultural arts initiatives rarely emanate from the Muslims towards the Jews. One reason is that reconciliation is not in the interests of the global-Muslim mafias who rule Gaza and the West Bank. Perpetuating terror attacks necessitating the Security Fence/Wall and 3-generations of Arabs in refugee camps are the products of kleptocratic Palestinian politicians who have rejected reasonable sovereignty offers from Israeli leaders. By showing the appealing Palestinian singer, Ms. Mira Awad and Palestinian musicians in the recording of the songs, directors Henrique Cymerman and Erez Miller and Broza co-writer Gidi Avivi cinematically blame Israel's politicians and voters for the Palestinians "statelessness."  

This vilifying only hurts public perceptions of Israelis (many, like Mr. Broza, who view themselves as "citizens of the world"). But it condemns all Zionists (Israelis and Zionistic Jews and Christians) and rationalizes and encourages the jihadists' irredentist movement to conquer the Jewish state. While the intercultural music in "East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem" does feel good in the short-term, in the long-run, as it doesn't enlighten the world to push for reforms in Palestinian governance (and ending the Muslim war against Israel) which would genuinely advance the Palestinian interest, though perhaps not those invested in the bash-Israel/Palestinian sufferage business.

David Broza will perform in concert December 19th at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

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