Day after IBA selects Israeli-Arab singer to accompany Noa in representing State in Moscow this year, Palestinian, Israeli Arab intellectuals and artists send Awad open letter asking her not to take part in 'Israeli propaganda machine'
Merav Yudilovitch, Israel Culture
In the politically charged letter, the signatories urged Awad to reconsider her decision. "Take back your agreement to represent the State of Israel in the Eurovision contest with Achinoam Nini," they wrote.
"The Israeli government is sending the two of you to Moscow as part of its propaganda machine that is trying to create the appearance of Jewish-Arab 'coexistence' under which it carries out the daily massacre of Palestinian civilians.
"Israel would not be able to proceed with its war crimes without the support of the international community and the United States and European Union in particular."
"Israel's image as a 'democratic', 'enlightened' and 'peace loving' state is what allows the international community to support it. Your participation in the Eurovision is participation in the Israeli propaganda machine.
"Every brick in the wall of this phony image allows the Israeli army to throw 10 more tons of explosives and more phosphorus bombs. We are sure that you also see these images and cry."
"Israeli artists, authors and intellectuals that take part in this propaganda machine, instead of working for justice, equality and the upholding of human and civil rights not to mention international law are also partners to the crime. Please Mira, for the children of Gaza and for the future of every child in this land Arabs and Jews don't be an accomplice to the killing machine."
Mira and Noa have a friendship based on mutual respect. Rare between Palestinians and Jews, the duo represents a departure from the normal friction and animosity. If everybody followed their example, there would be no war.
When they differ, they stick around to talk about it.
This is the first time that an Israeli/Arabic combination will go to the Eurovision Song Contest. Is the music the best way to join a divided town?
Noa: Mira and I are very proud to be the first Arab-Jewish Israeli duo to go to Eurovision. We are also proud that upon our demand, the internal laws were changed and Arabic was allowed to be sung as a formal language representing Israel in the ESC. Our duo sheds light on the complexity of our situation here in the Middle East. Israel has a very large minority, almost 20 per cent, of Palestinians, Christian (like Mira) and Muslim, who are Israeli citizens. This sector is still fighting for full integration into Israeli society. This is separate from the Palestinians living in the occupied territories, who are fighting for their independence and the establishment of the state of Palestine. In addition, Israel is surrounded by Arab countries most of which do not recognize her right to exist. So you can see the situation is complicated. Mira and I do not represent [Israel] to present reality, but what our nations can STRIVE for if we choose dialogue over violence. Our friendship is a symbol of how we CAN get along, based on respect and communication.
Art and music cannot solve the world's problems, but we can help. And we MUST help. We must do our part in the GLOBAL effort for peace and reconciliation that must include EVERY human being and every organization, each playing his part.