The Palestinian teenagers who came one after another into the True Love gift and music shop on a recent afternoon all had the same request: nationalistic songs — the new ones.Notice the euphemism used for songs like "Stab, stab" - that they are merely "nationalistic."
The proprietor quickly handed over the CDs that he had just started keeping at the checkout counter, like “Jerusalem Is Bleeding,” featuring the track “It’an, It’an” — “Stab, stab” — with its ominous backbeat.
“When I listen to these songs it makes me boil inside,” said one customer, Khader Abu Leil, 15, explaining that the thrumming score has helped pump him up for near-daily demonstrations where he hurls stones at Israeli soldiers.
“Stab the Zionist and say God is great,” declares one, a reference to the spate of knife attacks since Oct. 1. “Let the knives stab your enemy,” says another. A third is called “Continue the Intifada” and comes with a YouTube warning — the video shows the Palestinian woman who pulled a knife at an Afula bus station surrounded by Israeli soldiers pointing guns.
“Resist and carry your guns,” the song urges. “Say hello to being a martyr.”
New tunes pop up online every day, many by little-known artists and with low production values — the YouTube video for “Intifada of Knives” is a crude collage showing the Dome of the Rock with fire underneath and a man with a kaffiyeh covering his face holding a slingshot, then a dagger that eventually is stained with blood. Several simply lay spoken-word rants over Arabic percussion.
The NYT then mentions the song I reported on by Arab Idol winner Mohammad Assaf, but it downplays its message of violence and destroying Israel:
Popular stars have also joined the fray: Mohammed Assaf, the Gazan who became a United Nations good will ambassador after winning “Arab Idol” in 2013, released “Ya Yumma” on Saturday on YouTube, where by Thursday afternoon it had more than 365,000 views. Mr. Assaf’s contribution is more lyrical, less explicit, but also draws from recent events with lines like, “There is no perseverance like yours in Jerusalem and Afula.”The day after UNRWA admits that some of its teachers indeed spew hatred on social media - and the NYT cannot point out that their very own "youth ambassador" is violating UN policy.
One songwriter lies to the newspaper without being called out on it:
Mr. Balaweneh of “Continue the Intifada” is a 37-year-old father of three whose day job is writing for a Palestinian Authority military-style music troupe. He, too, threw rocks in the first intifada. By the second, which started in 2000, he said he was active “with my poems and with my songs.” Now, he does weddings and political events with his trio, “The Storm,” which he said is based in the West Bank town of Nablus. He said they were “against violence.”
This is the song with the lyric "say hello to being a martyr."
“Our songs are not telling people to go and carry out attacks, our songs are more concentrated on telling people to stand up for their rights, their country, their land,” said Mr. Balaweneh, who lives in Nablus. “Now, because of the current situation, our songs need to have a lot of action in them, in order to make the blood flow and boil.”
Older political songs, Mr. Al Arayas said, mixed protests of Palestinian oppression with dreamy, more optimistic yearnings. He sees the new ones as more blunt.For Palestinian Arabs, there is no distinction between "nationalism" and terrorism.
“This music is made as a way to make the Palestinian people get up and resist,” he said. “The words of these songs, and the music involved with these songs, is a lot more powerful.”
He was interrupted by another young customer, asking, “Do you have any nationalistic songs?”
Mr. Al Arayas asked if he was looking for anything specific.
“I want something hard-core and new,” came the reply. The teenager handed over 20 shekels for two CDs and was gone.
This article shows that to Palestinians, "nationalism" is simply a code word for eliminating Jews. Which is really what it has always been.
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