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Music for Peace in Gaza and Israel: Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle, Daniel Barenboim | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Music for Peace in Gaza and Israel: Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle, Daniel Barenboim

Three timely offerings.

One of the great songs of our time, apt today, but (sadly) timeless, “Jerusalem,” from Steve Earle.

One of the highlights of the opening ceremony of the London Olympics was a surprise (to me): One of the eight flag bearers at the end was Daniel Barenboim, the great classical pianist for decades but here honored for his incredible work (with famed Palestinian writer Edward Said) in founding the West-East Divan Orchestra—made up of Israelis and Arabs, and mainly young people, against great odds. They have played everywhere from Ramallah to (next February) Carnegie Hall (and I will be there). As I have noted, Barenboim and Said deserved a Nobel Peace Prize, and perhaps Barenboim will still get it. Here’s a current video:

Three years ago Leonard Cohen, who is Jewish--and a Buddhist and more--on a world tour, booked a concert in Israel. But unlike many others, he insisted on full access for all people, and donated full proceeds to peace organization for parents of victims of in the conflicts—which he established. And here is his statement and then his classic “Anthem.” The “holy dove” being “bought and sold again” this month. And below that, his finale blessing to those putting aside revenge and seeking peace there. And below that, a news report.

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