Amichai’s Top 50/43 “East Jerusalem/west Jerusalem”
On the third day of the 1967 Six Day War East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem became one political entity – under Israeli rule. Today, 52 years later, many Israelis mark this memory as Jerusalem Day while in Palestinian and other communities this is known as El Quds Day – and not as celebratory.
As a kid, growing up deep inside the Zionist narrative, this day was a big deal and we’d travel to the Western Wall for prayers. Over my bed, at some point during my teen years, I hung the famous photo of the paratroopers who fought on that day and liberated/occupied this sacred site. Today’s photo is me, age 3, in 1972, peeking from the women’s side of the wall (notice the pink sweater!), as my older brother becomes a Bar Mitzvah.
These days and on this day I’m more ambivalent, and I peek across the invisible border and the very visible wall separating East and West Jerusalem with growing concern over the many growing divisions and the continued occupation.
Enter the legendary artist that I’m so honored to call a dear friend, David Broza, who is doing so much to build bridges over the divides, bringing together Arab and Jewish artists and connecting us all through music, hope, justice and beauty. His recent film and album ‘East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem’ (on Netflix) includes today’s song – featuring Wyclef Jean. I’ve heard David sing this a few times, including at Lab/Shul High Holy days – always bringing me to tears on as a simple prayer for what can be a simple solution that will make life holy and happy again for many millions and many more visitors in the holy city that so many of us call home. Amen. Inshallah. Thank you Ya David.
Amichai’s Top 50: Soundtrack of my life. 4/20-6-8 2019/Passover-Shavuot 5779