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Boaz Sharabi

Considered the greatest Israeli soul singer, Sharabi began his career as a drummer and a percussionist and later became a successful singer. Since his return from the USA in the 90′s, he has been prominent as one of Israel’s most diverse and successful stars, uniquely combining Pop, Rock and ethnic Eastern-Arab music.

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Ninet Tayeb

The successful singer and actress started her career as the first winner of the Israeli version of American Idol in August 2003. Since then, the young soldier from Kiriyat Gat has managed to conquer the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Israelis, and recently even came out with a new album that won her the title of 2007′s best female singer.

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Mosh Ben Ari

A former part of the successful "Sheva" band, Ben Ari combines soft rock with a pinch of eastern Arab ethnicity and has published three very successful albums since June 2001. His last and best selling album included a special tribute to the legendary Led Zeppelin band, and he recently preformed with the dance singer Sean Paul in his last visit to Israel.

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Knessiyat Hasehel

Coming from the southern city of Sderot, this unique band erupted into the public realm after the unprecedented success of their self-titled 3rd album after years of hard work in a small southern Tel Aviv apartment. Knessiyat Hasehel has created a special blend of rock, new wave and Eastern-Arab origins.

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Ehud Banai

Banai, who writes and composes all of his songs, combines his Jewish roots with social and political protest which comes forth in an original mélange of eastern sound with western guitars, 60’s harmony and the British new wave. Banai’s uniqueness positioned him as one of Israel’s most diverse and prominent artists which awarded him the best singer, best writer and best album award for his last album in 2005.

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Mashina

Considered Israel’s most important, successful and influential band, Mashina recently won the “All Times Band” title, and sold over 400,000 copies of their albums.

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Keren Peles

Peles, a young successful singer that broke through in 2005, started as a song writer and has since pursued a successful singing career that awarded her a golden album, the 2006 discovery of the year award, the culture minister award, and the best song of the year award for 2 consecutive years.

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Ha Dag Nachash

One of Israel’s most successful and best known bands, famous for their sharp and critical language, Ha Dag Nachash makes “Zionist hip hop” without taking prisoners or skipping social and political wrongdoings. It was this bold irreverence that granted them the privilege of being the first band in the world to be invited to perform in Hebrew in an official NBA match.

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Miriam Tukan

Miriam Tukan, AKA the Israeli Fayrouz, broke through in the last Kohav Nolad show (the Israeli version of American Idol) with her special voice and touching renditions of known Hebrew songs. Tukan, a Christian Arab from the village of Eiblin in the north of the country, gave unique performances portraying the desired coexistence with her amazing mix between Hebrew songs and Arab trills.

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Rami Fortis

Considered one of Israel’s most influential musical pioneers, Fortis greatly affected the Israeli rock scene style which gave him the nickname “the Crazy”. He is known for his musical cooperation with Mashina’s Shlomi Bracha, Berry Sakharof and many others that brought Israeli rock to its glory days.

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If you build it, will they come?

Published under Uncategorized Oct 01, 2007

After a year of very hard work to build the OneVoice Summit: One
Million Voices To End The Conflict, things were approaching the
haywire (is that the right expression?) and looking quite hairy. A
top Arab Head of State who had committed to lead had backed out,
hurting morale and momentum. No musical talent had firmly signed up.

People were literally panicking. Yes, the grassroots effort was
picking up powerfully, but without some dignitaries or celebs, the
media would not give this meaningful coverage, which in turn would
decrease popular participation and hurt the message.

So much hard work, so much dedication from a wonderful team across
three continents, so much riding not just for OneVoice but for the
mission. Were we going to disappoint ourselves and our supporters?
Were we going to fail when the stakes are so high?

In the meantime Hamas has been increasing its attacks on Palestinian
President Abbas, calling him an illegitimate traitor and questioning
his mandate to negotiate with Olmert. Is the November conference
going to be another wasted photo opportunity without a clear forceful
mandate from the people?

Some good things started happening.

The Palestinian line up was cemented earlier, with Ilham Madfai, a top
Arab musician beloved by the Palestinian people, agreeing to come
(thanks to M Morad’s intro), and inspiring leading Palestinian
performers to join. It doesn’t hurt that George Ibrahim, legendary
Palestinian maverick of arts, was driving the artistic line-up.

But the Israeli local line up was all still contingent and shaky.

Many had already discounted our chances two months ago. It’s too
close. People are scared to come. We heard it all.

But our partners stayed steadfast. Shuki Weiss invested himself.
Chris Wangro gave it all he had. And Michael Lang, well, the guy is
the coolest pickle around (like the Fonz)…

I asked Michael Lang if he was worried we were running out of time.
He said, “you know, it always seems like its going to unravel, and
then somehow things always come together at the end.”

Prophetic words of destiny? Or sheer determination? Or both?

All of a sudden good things started to happen.

My friend Yasmine Shihata told me Bryan Adams had heard about this,
and wanted to find a way to help us push to end all the suffering.
Now he will be performing both in Jericho and Tel Aviv.

Michael briefed Rage Against The Machine and they really connected
with the message of – enough with excuses and failures of leadership,
let the people stand and, well, rage against the machine! Though they
won’t all be able to come their lead hopefully will.

Michael also reached the Foo Fighters, and Perry Farrel of Jane’s
Addiction, who understood the importance of mobilizing the moderate
voices to demand an end to the conflict and will hopefully send a
contingent.

Shuki confirmed Machina and Ehud Banay – and started getting phone
calls from dozens others. Now we have the biggest musical line-up in
Israeli history – precisely bc this is not about music alone, but
about something far bigger that brings us all together.

Our surfing partners, Doc and David Paskowitz of Surfing for Peace,
signed up Kelly Slater, the biggest surfing star in the world, who in
turn will hopefully help bring some of the rockers…

Now we have the fortunate problem of making choices.

Same is true on dignitary front, which I’ll blog about separately.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos
.

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From the printing press…

Picture16

To distribution,

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To posters across Israel advertising Oct 18

Picture17

To people as walking signs…

 Picture21

To "VanVoice" – the OneVoice Van!

 Picture18 Picture25 Picture26

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Let me introduce you to Michael Shapira, who is in charge of our signatory member outreach campaign on the Israeli side.

  Picture13 IMG_0144

He is one of our newest staff members, and yet already an integral part of OV.

He has built a network with chapters of recruiters across different parts of Israel…

Copy of IMG_0142 Copy of IMG_0141

He takes OV very seriously and passionately and believes about its mission as much as any of our most die-hard activists.  And he passes on this energy to his activists:

Picture14 Picture11 Picture7

He brings great energy to the team, and a lot of great ideas, as I will share in another post…

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My friend Alan Khazei, who founded City Year, is on to a very bold new effort to build a national youth service movement network among social entrepreneurs. 

He quotes President Truman to remind people that the highest office in the land is that of Citizen.

Alen is looking to hire a whole slew of new team members for this new venture, called "Be the Change."

If you are interested in applying or getting more information, email Emily at Cherniak@gmail.com.

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Here are a couple of hits on the Israeli press about our meeting the important milestone of signing up over half a million citizens against violent extremism and towards a two-state solution…

On Ynet, the largest portal part of the largest newspaper group in Israel

On Kol Israel Radio

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Can this be true? Is it a dream? A reality? Or does that depend on us?

And also visit www.Goal2018.org – the campaign site!

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Antonio Soave, a producer and director who heads Capistrano Productions, helped us put together a filming session to record PSAs from Danny DeVito, Jason Alexander, Annie Cusack, and Elliot Gould.

Doug Deluca from the Kimmel show helped us do this at Kimmel Studios in Hollywood, and Barry Meier was the DP.  If you want to see some pics of the filming, click here.

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Arianna Huffington and Craig Newmark spoke powerfully at an event that Leah Jones from Edelman helped organize on behalf of the OneVoice Movement, hosted by the guys at Think Tank 3.

Craig always cracks me up with his signature wit.  He is funny, self-efacing, down to earth and extremely bright.  He provided an interesting analogy to how Craigslist thrives because the overwhelming amount of people are decent human beings, and there are far and few bad apples, which the system monitors to do away with.

Craig also quoted his favorite newscaster, Jon Stewart from the Daily Show on Comedy Central, that the reason we hear so much from violent extremists who are so active is "because moderates have shit to do in real life."

IMG_0386 IMG_0388

Arianna’s Huffington Post is an example of how new media can play a positive role by highlighting the voices of moderation.  She explained how OneVoice has to stay on course no matter what challenges or setbacks or skepticism because it has to eventually achieve the critical mass to get to the tipping point that will get moderates to seize back the agenda. We just have no other option.

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Bloggers from Arabisto.com to Jewtopia were present, all in all about 30+ people…

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People should never confuse freedom of expression with the freedom not to have to listen or lend credence to bad people, which is as fundamental a freedom as any.

Giving Ahmadinejad the floor at Columbia buttressed him and enhanced him not just globally, but, more dangerously, also at the local level in Iran, where many more moderate figures want to expose and highlight the damage that he has caused to the Iranian people.  Now the Iranian News Agency will edit the portions of the Columbia speech where he got applause (!) and will use this to advance its propaganda.  You see, even some Americans are starting to welcome and respect Ahmadinejad’s message, they will say.

For me the best way to highlight the idiocy of having propped up totalitarian, misogynistic, fatalistic and apocalyptic tyrants like Ahmadinejad by giving him the mantle of legitimacy that came with the Columbia invitation, is to point to how nobody would argue that we should be promoting Hitler’s ideology as worthy of public debate.  Would we really want to give Hitler a podium from which to spew his genocidal hatred?

Alas, Columbia seems lost enough to say it would have supported this too!

"If Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform from which to speak, he would have plenty of platforms to speak in the United States," said John Coatsworth, dean of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, in an interview with Fox News. "If he were willing to engage in debate and a discussion to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him." New York Sun

I reject reactionary hawkish right wing extremists as much as reactionary left wing extremists.  But here I guess they are right to wonder whether we have lost our moral compass.

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