Latest update: December 30th, 2013
“I understand the ennobling feeling of taking up the causes of oppressed people,” Lesser continued. “But while many of the people promoting the anti-Israel mantra aren’t malicious, they really just aren’t aware of the facts.”
Those are the people Lesser hopes will really give a listen to “Boycott Israel” and think about the consequences of their activity. He hopes they will see that solely criticizing Israel isn’t just unfair to Israel, it is a betrayal of their best intentions. Lesser hopes the education provided through the video will arm them against turning into unwitting hypocrites, instead of advocates for just causes.
Lesser is a bal tshuva. He grew up in Cleveland and attended the University of Oregon – he really has seen the ever-growing demonization of the Jewish State from his college days, and is happy to be able to play a role in the Here is Israel effort Weiss has put together.
“My ‘gateway drug’ into Judaism was the psalms,” Lesser explained.
“When I began reading the songs of David, I recognized them as my family’s songs. King David’s messages have lasted 3000 years, what other musical messages have endured that long?”
“The psalms, the chumash, the tanach, these are incredible gifts we’ve been given, gifts to the Jewish people, gifts to all people.”
Lesser put one myth to rest. He is not Israeli. In fact, the first time he was in Israel was on a 10 day Taglit Birthright Israel trip in January, 2012. Of course, Lesser takes everything he does very seriously and explores it fully. He went on the 10 day trip and stayed for 10 months.
Yirmiyahu BenZion of Maameen Productions, is an accomplished reggae musician with whom Lesser also worked on an album, Tzfat Reggae. BenZion is the one who worked the music to Lesser’s lyrics in “Boycott Israel.” He put the reggae spin to the song.
In closing the interview, The Jewish Press asked Lesser who is his intended audience.
“I want the compassionate leftwingers to also find their compassion for Israel,” he said. That’s who he was thinking about when he wrote the song which packs an incredible amount of hard facts into a relatively short, catchy, rhyming paean to throwing off hypocrisy.
“But most of my songs are written for HaShem,” Lesser concludes quietly.
Next up for Here is Israel? A song addressing the mythic Israel as Apartheid State. It’ll be coming along in a few months. We’ll let you know when it’s here.
And here’s the video, “Boycott Israel.” Lesser and the Here is Israel team packs in more concrete information in this 6 minute video than most history professors bother to share with their students throughout a semester’s long hate fest with Israel in the dock as sole human rights demon.
Shame on them.
And many cheers for the entire Here is Israel team.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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