By Gabriella Horowitz
Imagine a fusion of African, Arab, Caribbean, Latin, and hip-hop music, combined to create a unique Israeli flavor. That’s what Shotey HaNevua, an Israeli band whose name translates to mean, “The Fools of Prophecy,” has created in their music. Their first CD, released in 2000, was very lighthearted, upbeat, and much less cynical than other left-wing Israeli groups, such as HaDag Nachash. They quickly became popular for their multi-cultural and joyous melodies, but their second album was much more calm and serious. In 2005 they were selected as Israel’s Band of the Year, and they also toured the United States that same year. The band broke up in 2007, and the singer, Avraham Tal, went on to pursue his own solo career. The rest of the band continued to play under the name Pshutei Ha’am.
The song, “BaMalon BeRabat Amon,” which translates to mean, “In the Hotel in Amman,” was released on their first album. The song tells about a hotel in Amman, where people from all over the world interact and get along. In the chorus, various cities are named, including Tel Aviv, Hebron, and B’nai Brak, followed by the sentences, “Let peace arrive… you guys are cool people.” The song manages to be peaceful without necessarily being political, and sings about how all people, from all places, are just trying to live their daily lives.
I appreciate that this song promotes peace without endorsing any particular political position. The specific cities mentioned in the chorus express an unusually high level of tolerance and acceptance for all people, as I think it’s easier for many secular Israeli Jews to identify with the Arabs in Hebron than to identify with the religious Jews in B’nai Brak (or with the Jews living in Hebron, for that matter). To acknowledge that all people from all over the map have the right to live their daily lives is a seemingly simple sentiment (yet certainly easier said than done) that we all must recognize in order to achieve peace.
At the end of the song, Shotey HaNevua sings, “Let understanding flourish and bloom… One person is a big manager, two other people are merchants in the shuk