Israel’s Internet Society Asks Members to Send Suggestions by Fax

Every now and then I stumble upon an idea that is just too Israeli to write about in English. In these rare instances I guest blog on Room 404 in Hebrew. That is what happened yesterday, when I got a snail mail from the Israeli Internet Society in preparation for the annual conference, asking me and other members to send ideas by fax. Send by fax? I thought that was strange and worth mentioning. And so I did.

Apparently someone at Israel’s Channel 10 also thought it was worth mentioning, as they contacted me today to confirm the accuracy of my post. A couple of hours later it was broadcast on Hayom Shehaya, their nightly news program with Guy Zohar:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL0hV3_fFo0

War, A Rock Opera – Read My Critique – or, Better Yet, Skip My Critique And Just Buy Your Tickets Today!

[singlepic id=59 w=200 h=300 float=right]War, A Rock Opera   has been running for a while now at Tzavta Theatre in Tel-Aviv, but I had the pleasure of watching it for the first time just this week. I really liked the show, but above all I think it is a very important show to watch. Kobi Vitman     , a young Israeli musician, started writing songs about his ordeals as a reserve infantry soldier during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 and about battling symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder upon returning home. Dialogues joined song and accumulated to an all-Israeli rock opera. Just like stand-up comics excel in the phrasing of our mutual experience into funny, Vitman and the cast serve the audience an intensive dosage of articulate Israeli bitterness, which, when served in the form of rock tunes, appeals to the sense of utter despair felt by an entire generation of my peers.

War, A Rock Opera - My Ticket

Highlights:
Cast: Dvir Benedek plays an excellent IDF commander, with just the right amounts of arrogance and smugness he reminds everyone the army commander each one of us had in our time.
Music: Vitman wrote some powerful songs, some of which are bound to enter the Israeli pantheon of political tunes. Most of the lyrics are written tongue in cheek and appeal to a cynical generation all too familiar with the knee-jerk sentences Israeli political figures dish out oh so easily.
Band: Electric guitarist Ron Bunker should be singled out for praise. While the entire band plays awesome rock, Bunker’s solos brought the roof down. Bravo!

Lowlights:
Sound: As I have said before, this is my biggest pet peeve when visiting the Israeli theatre. You always have to strain your ears to distinguish the words from the music. If they can balance it well abroad, why can’t they do it in Israel?

Have a listen to Sleep My Child (Shan Yaldi), one of many songs that so eloquently convey the pathos used in the efficient indoctrination of the Israeli citizen in the acceptance of perpetual war. My ad-hoc translation of the lyrics into English is provided for your listening pleasure.

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Sleep My Child (Shan Yaldi) – War, A Rock Opera – lyrics:

Maya (Ayelet Robinson):
Sleep now my wee child
You are not alone anymore
One day maybe we will fulfill the dream
Everything will work out
You will see one day
Instead of war peace will come

One day when you will grow up
Only if there will be no other choice
One day maybe you will be a soldier
You will run, observe, crawl, duck
You will think you have it all
I hope you will be fortunate

I as well wanted a son
That will study, get married,
That will build a family here
In the meantime there are laws, a constitution,
There is a cabinet office,
In the meantime you have no other choice

They’re building the future now
What is there else to say
My dear son
Go out and fight
Bring some warmth
To this cold world

Sleep now my wee child
You will see one day
We will not fear anymore
Sleep now my wee child
You will see one day
We will not fear anymore

Gever (Dvir Benedek):
It is a war for survival
It is who shall live – who shall die
My dear son
In a cruel world
Your narrow world
That is all that’s left

This is the war of existence
Forestall by slaying him
My son you will be grand
And you, give him love
You shall be filled with pride
Later we will mend it all

Cast:
Sleep now my wee child
You will see one day
We will not fear anymore
Sleep now my wee child
You will see one day
We will not fear anymore

Cast repeats: will not fear
indistinct speech in Arabic
Speaker in Arabic: Death to America!
Crowd in Arabic: Death to America!
Speaker in Arabic: Death to America!
Crowd in Arabic: Death to America!

Cast:
Sleep now my wee child
You will see one day
We will not fear anymore
Sleep now my wee child
You will see one day
We will not fear anymore

מאיה (איילת רובינסון):
שן עכשיו ילדי הקט
אתה כבר לא לבד
יום אחד אולי נגשים את החלום
הכל כאן יסתדר
אתה תראה שיום אחד
במקום המלחמה יבוא שלום

יום אחד כשתגדל
רק אם לא תהיה ברירה
יום אחד אולי תהיה חייל
תרוץ, תצפה, תזחל, תיפול
תחשוב שיש לך הכל
הלוואי יהיה לך מזל

גם אני רציתי בן
שתלמד, שתתחתן,
שתקים כאן משפחה
בינתיים יש חוקים, חוקה,
יש קבינט של ממשלה,
בינתיים אין לך ברירה

עכשיו בונים את העתיד,
מה כבר יש פה להגיד,
בן שלי יקר
צא ותלחם,
תביא קצת חום,
אל העולם הזה הקר

שן עכשיו ילדי הקט
תראה שיום אחד
כבר לא נפחד
שן עכשיו ילדי הקט
תראה שיום אחד
כבר לא נפחד

גבר (דביר בנדק):
זאת מלחמת השרדות
זה מי יחיה – זה מי ימות
בן שלי יקר
בעולם אכזר,
עולמך הצר,
זה כל מה שנשאר.

זאת מלחמת הקיום
להורגך תשקים לקום
בן שלי אתה תהיה גדול
ואת תתני לו אהבה
עוד תתמלאי בגאווה
אחר-כך נסדר הכל

כולם:
שן עכשיו ילדי הקט
תראה שיום אחד
כבר לא נפחד
שן עכשיו ילדי הקט
תראה שיום אחד
כבר לא נפחד

כולם חוזר: לא נפחד
נאום בערבית
נואם בערבית: מוות לאמריקה
המון בערבית: מוות לאמריקה
נואם בערבית: מוות לאמריקה
המון בערבית: מוות לאמריקה

כולם:
שן עכשיו ילדי הקט
תראה שיום אחד
כבר לא נפחד
שן עכשיו ילדי הקט
תראה שיום אחד
כבר לא נפחד

Here you can watch snippets. Here you can buy tickets.