Yesterday, gunmen attempting to topple the current Lebanese government assassinated Pierre Gemayel, Industry minister, and scion of a major Lebanese Maronite family. In the aftermath of the summer war between Hezbollah and Israel, Lebanon seems to be sliding slowing into chaos. And it is a crying shame. Lebanon is precisely the Middle Eastern country which could exemplify democracy, entrepreneurship, innovation and tolerance if it was given half a chance. Unfortunately, too many outside agents feel they have too much at stake to let Lebanon live in peace. This is why you have Iran and Syria manipulating Nasrallah like a marionette to do their bidding within Lebanese politics.
The local bloggers I feature at Israel Palestine Blogs have been writing for weeks about the ominous speeches delivered by Nasrallah and company which accuse March 14th supporters of being traitorous lackeys of Israel and the U.S. The words murder and coup have been on the tips of peoples’ tongues there for some time. Whether we are entering a Night of the Long Knives or a period that can be transformed into a victory for democratic forces remains to be seen.
During the height of the recent mad war, I conceived the idea of a radio program showcasing Israeli and Lebanese music of peace (at this post, you can find a program playlist and lyrics translations). I thought it was the least I could do to show that there are those on both sides who have not yet lost their minds. There are those on both sides who have their priorities right, who want peace.
Richard Isaac, who has a phenomenal command of contemporary Israeli music, collaborated with me on the show and Barbi Danielle DeCarlo aired it on KBCS’s The Old Country. Rabih AbouJaoudé guided us through the Lebanese music we chose. We’re all very proud of the wonderful music and the political message we were trying to make.
You have another opportunity to hear the show this Sunday at 7 PM on KCBS FM (91.3–live audio stream). And for those of you who will find it difficult to catch the show live, I’ve just uploaded the audio file.
Finally, after listening to the show, won’t you consider purchasing an album by one of the performers? Above, I feature Marcel Khalife’s The Bridge, which contains a song aired on our show. In this way, you will put your money where your mouth is in terms of supporting peace and those who make it through music. And you’ll also make a contribution to support the work of this blog through a small Amazon commission.