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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Neil Young's Donates To Coexistence Music Following Israel Concert Cancellation

Neil Young
Hyde Park, London - July 12, 2014
Photo by Paolo Brillo | Facebook
(Click photo to enlarge)

Tonight, Neil Young was scheduled to perform in Tel-Aviv, Israel, however the concert has been canceled due to the ongoing "tensions". (We examined those tensions and the decision to perform in Israel earlier this month, when we posted on the whole issue of Neil Young's Upcoming Tel-Aviv, Israel Concert: "Don't Feel Like Satan But I Am To Them", which included background, context, reader comments and a poll.)

Upon cancellation, Young announced in a statement: “I will be making donations to both the Louise & Tillie Alpert Youth Music Center of Israel, and Heartbeat, two organizations that teach music to Palestinian and Israeli youth simultaneously by enabling them to play music together.”.

Young Arab and Jewish musicians from Heartbeat (Courtesy Instagram)

Young Arab and Jewish musicians from Heartbeat (Courtesy Instagram)

From Neil Young's heart of gold | The Times of Israel:
Beit Alpert was established by the Jerusalem Foundation in order to make music education available to all children. It now serves as the home to music ensembles of children from all over Jerusalem, including the Arab Youth Band and the Ensemble for Jewish & Arab Youth.

Liat Rosner, a spokesperson for the Jerusalem Foundation, said that neither the foundation nor Beit Alpert had heard about Neil Young’s planned donation.

At Heartbeat, an organization of Arab and Israeli youth ensembles, executive director Aaron Shneyer said he received an email on Monday from Oren Arnon, the head producer for concert promoter Shuki Weiss.

“He’s been extremely supportive and he’s promoted us on quite a few occasions,” said Shneyer.

Once the announcement was written up in Variety and Rolling Stone, Shneyer said he received many congratulatory messages.

“It’s very heartwarming,” he said. “It gives us a lot of encouragement and we’re extremely grateful to both Neil Young and to Crazy Horse for understanding this work of bringing together Palestinian and Israeli youth. We’re touched that he sees the importance of supporting our youth musicians’ effort to develop a powerful alternative to violence.”

Heartbeat has about 30 active musicians, most of them high school students, with an ensemble in Haifa and an ensemble in Jerusalem. There are also graduate bands; Zaatar is made up of Heartbeat musicians who have been playing together for several years and Shneyer hopes another band of recent graduates in Haifa will also step into “this ambassador role.”

“I hope we can turn up the volume,” he said.

Shneyer reflected on the last month as time of contemplation and reflection for Heartbeat participants.

“They’re speaking with each other, asking tough questions and we’re making sure the Heartbeat space can be a strong alternative to the status quo,” he said. “We’re trying to take it one step at a time.”

Donating to both Israeli and Palestinian charities shows true solidarity for not just one side of the Mideast crisis but for all of humanity. And these charities support music education in an area that truly needs to hear and play music for all of its many attendant benefits. Music -- now more than ever.

With Neil Young supporting so many worthy causes with his time, energy and music, is it any wonder that he is known as Neil Young: The Humanitarian Rebel With Causes???

Praying for peace yet we are Still Living With War.


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At 7/17/2014 10:29:00 AM, Blogger Phil said...

This is deeply unimpressive.

What was the plan?

His management having made the mega-faux-pas of including Israel in a ‘European’ tour, he thought he’d stay quiet, go with it and slip in a cheeky ‘free the people of Palestine’ half-way through a song when he got to the Apartheid state?

This is the charitable interpretation. And if that was the idea, it was extraordinarily naive. The damage done by an artist of Neil’s stature and known views on human rights playing for the Israeli genocidists far outweighs the benefits of a stealth chorus line, even if he had the courage to do it. If he believes in freedom for Palestine let him say so openly and apologise for the huge capital the ethnic cleansers have made out of his silence.

In their quest to exterminate an entire people on the basis of their race, the Israelis are currently murdering as many Palestinian children as they can. Neil can’t undo the damage he has done by simply tossing money at people (and how typically North American is that?).

Congratulations to the magnificent people of Liverpool who demonstrated their solidarity with the Palestinians outside Neil’s concert. What an example to the people on the stage, whose silence was louder than their guitars.

At 7/17/2014 11:20:00 AM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Thanks Phil for the measured comment. Appreciated.

Here's where we're at. The net outcome on this is +/- 0. No change.

here's why. Neil certainly didn't make the decision to play Israel lightly. He was going in eyes open.

But we'll never know what would've happened at concert. If he played his regular set and walked off with only a "Thank You Tel Aviv!" then folks when have all sorts of conculsions. fine.

But supposed Neil ripped the most ferocious version of Rockin in the Free World and made some lyric changes? Maybe some rather pointed lyric adjustments?

What then? If there's anywhere in the world that needs to hear song of peace & love, it's the Mideast.

So here's a Mideast Vacation for you...

As Neil sings "Stop Sniffin' That Smokin' Gun"


At 7/17/2014 11:39:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7/19/2014 01:24:00 PM, Blogger Hunter Brown said...

Just bring the Horse to North Carolina for some great jams! We love ya Neil!


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