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Bibi and Peres Sing ‘You and I, We’ll Change the World’ (Video)

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Dinah Shore is the first name that pops in the mid when trying to explain to Americans who exactly was Arik Einstein, Israel’s icon singer who died Tuesday night and was buried today (Wednesday).

For the under-60 crowd, Dinah Shore may not mean much, either. She was the face and sound of good ol’ America, when everything was clean and good. She used to close her television show with a resounding commercial, “See the USA in your Chevrolet/America’s asking you to call; Drive your Chevrolet through the United States/America’s the greatest land of all.”

The analogy is far from perfect, maybe even very distant, but Shore’s smiling voice and positive songs were the same message that Einstein left for Israel, both to the religious and secular, Ashkenazi and Sephardi and the left and right.

For good measure, throw in Perry Como – again for the old folks – as a macrobiotic substitute for Valium, because Arik’s voice and style were smooth and relaxing, especially for a nation living in constant tension.

Einstein’s classic “Eretz Israel” reflects his simple love for the country, without commercialism and without sickening-sweet patriotism:

I built you a house there in the sand/Land of Israel;
I sang a beautiful song about the blue sea /Land of Israel;
what is (left) of the night, oh guard, what is (left) of the night.

Evening hangs over the Golan again /Land of Israel;
there a young soldier lies still in ambush/Land of Israel;
how (far gone) is the night, watchman, how (far gone) is the night

Oh how much I love you/Land of Israel;
so then why am I so sad /Land of Israel;
how much (remains) from the night, oh, keeper, how much (remains) from the night

“Arik Einstein’s well-known reclusiveness, his ordinariness, his averseness to pomposity and grandiosity, his modest way of belonging to this place – these should not hide from those living here the fact that he is a very great and profound artist, with an acute artistic conscience, perfect and totally unique,” Ariel Hirschfeld wrote in Haaretz in 2009.

He was known as a rock singer, but Einstein never screamed, never growled and never shouted. He was Dinah Shore – positive and loving.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accurately described his songs as the “soundtrack of Israel.” President Shimon Peres stated that his songs would “continue playing life and hope” long after him.

Two people who should remember Einstein forever are the Prime Minister and President. In the mid-1990s, they were filmed singing “You and I, We’ll  Change the World” along with two celebrities, Dan Shilon and the late Israeli icon Ofra Hazan.

The lyrics are most fitting for the two leaders, one of whom is trying to keep evil from destroying the world and the other who is trying to convince evil to come to terms with true peace.

Skip to around 1:30 in the clip below, which was dug up by JTA, to see Netanyahu and Peres sing along – and shed a few tears, not only for Einstein but also for Israel that faces a world that refuses to stand in the Light unto the Nations that Israel beams.

Below the video are the lyrics of “You and I, we’ll change the world” in transliterated form.

Ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam
Ani ve’ata az yavo’u kvar kulam
Amru et zeh kodem lefanai
Zeh lo meshaneh, ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam.

Ani ve’ata nenaseh mehahatchalah
Yiheyl lanu ra ein davar zeh lo nora.
Amru et zeh kodem lefanai
Zeh lo meshaneh, ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam.

Ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam
Ani ve’ata az yavo’u kvar kulam
Amru et zeh kodem lefanai
Zeh lo meshaneh, ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam.
Ani ve’ata neshaneh et ha’olam.

Barbra Streisand to Sing at 90th Birthday Bash for Peres

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Barbra Streisand will make her official performing debut in Israel at the 90th birthday celebration for President Shimon Peres at the Israeli Presidential Conference, where 4,500 people are expected to attend.

Streisand is slated to perform at the opening ceremony of the Israeli Presidential Conference on June 18.

She has traveled to Israel several times but never has sung publicly.

Streisand is being brought to Israel through the music company Live Nation, which is organizing a rare European tour.

One of the best-selling musicians of all time, Streisand has 140 million in record sales. She performed at last month’s Oscars for the first time in 26 years.

Needed: A Conservative Counter-Culture

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

The last election has brought on essays bemoaning the conservative disconnect from popular culture and the need to somehow reconnect with it. The means of this reconnection are hardly ever stated, though there is the implication that conservatives would need to “evolve” on certain social issues in the hopes that its economic viewpoint will be taken seriously by a population whose social way of life doom it to be dependent on government support.

As plans go, this one is nearly as clever as trying to promote weight loss by opening a cake shop. And it ignores the obvious reality that the only way that conservatives will be allowed to participate in popular culture is as the butt of a joke. Whether it’s Sarah Palin’s appearance on Saturday Night Live or Rush Limbaugh’s Family Guy appearance, trying to be a good sport about liberal culture is the strategy of a good loser playing into the prepared stereotype, rather than destroying it.

The culture is polarized. That means there is no place for conservatives in it except by playing the villain’s part, and the villain’s part, whether played with good humor or reluctantly, is not the winning part. But it’s also a mistake to call it the culture, when what we really mean is the culture created and perpetuated by a small number of corporations, their affiliated creatives and their affiliated press.

Take Girls, an HBO series that is one part nepotism and nine parts artificially generated corporate trend, that was recently the subject of several essays insisting that we take it seriously because it is “the culture”. How big of a slice of the culture is Girls? It’s on HBO, which means it has limited viewership and unlimited publicity. HBO exists to promote the illusion, not so much of quality, but of relevance. And Girls is a triumph of fake relevance. It is the show that you must consider relevant, because well… it’s relevant. Isn’t it?

The Girls Season 2 premiere scored 866,000 viewers. After multiple airings it made it up to 1.6 million. It wasn’t exactly a case of the entire country tuning in. Nor its entire female population or even its entire population of women in their twenties. And since HBO only exists as a desperate effort by the dying cable industry to hang on to its subscribers, its episodes are not available on iTunes, Hulu Plus or any of the other concessions to the age of internet broadcast entertainment.

Girls is doubtlessly relevant to the daughters of wealthy urban liberal families who find themselves with too much money and too little common sense. And it’s probably not even relevant to them since its larger audience share is with men over 50 and its median viewer age is 43. Is it relevant to the culture as a whole? Not really. And its perceived importance highlights the disconnect between the Low Culture of the free TV sitcom and the High Culture of the cable indie drama. Both may have a leftie agenda, but one exists to be consumed by overeducated professionals, many of whom also work in media, in the major cities, while the other is mass culture entertainment.

Trying to tackle, adapt to or duplicate leftie High Culture is a senseless and useless task in every sense of the word. Their only relevance comes from their trickle down effect into mass culture. It’s mass culture that is relevant, but though that Low Culture is mass consumed, it’s still created by the same sort of people who create the High Culture and packed with many of the same agendas.

The difference between them is in tone and the perception of importance. Elites imagine that what interests them is important, because they are important. What interests the masses is less important, because they are less important. Important people and their important programs influence the culture or even are the culture. Unimportant people are not. In fact it’s the other way around.

Girls is not America. No television show is. But the closest to America may be American Idol or Sunday Night Football, which dominate the ratings and reflect the culture far more than it ever will. That’s not something to celebrate either. Not when you consider that most entertainment emerges out of the bowels of a cultural and corporate establishment well to the left of the country at large. And unlike Girls, much of what it spews forth does slowly push the country to the left. But that also shows why trying to run alongside it in the hopes of staying relevant is a dead end. Not unless the goal is to go on being the villains, comic relief or otherwise.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/daniel-greenfield/needed-a-conservative-counter-culture/2013/02/10/

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