Rabbi Avi Weinstein

Palestinian Hip Hop and Defense of Israel

In Bibi, Gaza, Hip Hop, Lieberman, Palestinian on March 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I happened on a documentary on the Sundance channel describing the emerging hip hop scene on the West Bank, Gaza, and Nazareth. Describing the art form as a healthy outlet for venting the frustrations of occupation, the film describes the frustration of ordinary Palestinians trying in vain to get from place to place. The point of view did not acknowledge any of the reasons for these restrictions–it wasn’t the film’s job.

What I found amazing, was the fact that someone in Gaza heard Tupac Shakur, and even though he didn’t understand English, he felt an immediate connection to the music and to what he imagined was somehow a parallel experience. The film did its job, you felt bad for these innocent rappers, and you wondered why letting these Gazan hip hoppers travel for a joint concert in the West Bank was so threatening? Of course, we know why. If they transport suicide bombers with ambulances, why take a chance on a concert?

Things have gotten nastier because for the first time in Jewish history, Jewish hatred is so great that people are willing to kill themselves just to make sure that there are a few less Jews walking around the planet.

I don’t think there is an Israeli who thinks there is such a thing as a benign occupation, but now they know what life would be like for the Jewish Island in a sea of Arab discontent. It is only walls and checkpoints that make day to day life possible.

These eye witness accounts of Israeli soldiers is a distraction. The root causes of which have already been articulated by both sides ad nauseum. There is a clash of civilizations here, and it’s the reason that Bibi is PM again, and it’s the reason that Lieberman is a power broker. In Middle East politics, it always has been a zero sum game. I can only be a winner, if you have suffered significant losses.

There is no win-win.

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