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What's in a song?

Reader comment on item: Israeli Arabs in High Places
in response to reader comment: Song written only for Jews.

Submitted by Rebecca Moulds (United States), Mar 11, 2008 at 14:48

The English lyrics to the Hatikva are as follows:

As long as deep in the heart,
The soul of a Jew yearns,
And forward to the East
To Zion, an eye looks
Our hope will not be lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free nation in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

One can understand how Raleb Majadele can't sing this song, as it says " the soul of a Jew." And since he is Muslim, he cannot repeat these words. However, when in grade school, we were taught songs by many religions, including the "Channukah" song, which we sang with as much gusto as "O, Tannenbaum."

When living overseas, one must often sing or stand to the national anthems of the host country. Although never in a government position, this was often the case for me in Indonesia, Egypt, France, the UK, the Philippines and Russia. (The Hatikva, by the way, is a beautiful song which I play often on the piano ). Mr. Majadele is, after all, in the Israeli cabinet and although he cannot be convinced of the conviction of the lyrics, the next time he is presented with this song, perhaps he can just hum along.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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