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Time for a "real" flotilla for regional peace

Reader comment on item: Turkey in Cyprus vs. Israel in Gaza

Submitted by Bill J. (United States), Jul 20, 2010 at 14:53

Your mention of the impact that America's entertainers can have is worth stressing. While the USO was a major organization that provided entertainment for our troops beginning in WWII, Korea, and even today in the Middle East, our rock stars could do the same to promote "peace," not just their egos or personal opinions. Inactive and active performers have their own wealth that they received from America's youth. They can certainly afford to put on more free concerts, alone or in small groups. But not simply to get money to feed the poor, as they did in Bangladesh or for hurricane or disaster relief.

Their appearance in places like Israel - one of the rare ME nations that knows and appreciates our music - could be used with some clear goals, for example: To force Arab nations to officially recognize Israel as a member state (something even the PA and Hamas still do not do!); force Hamas to release an illegally held and probably tortured Israeli prisoner (kept in secret even to the Red Cross); to focus on rights for women throughout the Arab world; to focus on promoting peaceful relations between Pakistan and India, Turkey and Cyprus, or to protect the Kurdish minorities from continual abuse. While it's probably true that success on America's stage can lead to wealth and comfort, there is no reason why at least Jewish entertainers need to join the club of "apathy and ignorance."

Leonard Cohen and Madonna at least made the effort a few times, to combat what Cohen once described in a song as his "cowardice and shame." Some other Jewish entertainers (most of which I think are alive,) could become a power for "peace" in the area, so where are they hiding: Beastie Boys, Beck, Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, Eric Bloom from Blue Oyster Cult, Mike Bloomfield, Marc Bolan, Michael Bolton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Walter Becker of Steely Dan, Doug Fieger of The Knack, Marty Friedman of Megadeth, Kenny G., Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel (together!!), Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Steve Katz of The Blues Project and Blood Sweat and Tears, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, Al Kooper of the Blues Project, Lenny Kravitz, Robbie Krieger of The Doors, Geddy Lee of Rush, Courtney Love, Barry Manilow, Randy Newman, Joey Ramone of the Ramones, Manfred Mann, Lou Reed, Robbie Robertson of The Band, David Lee Roth of Van Halen, Carly Simon, Hillel Slovak of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dee Snider of Twisted Sisters, Paul Stanley of Kiss, Chris Stein of Blondie, J. Geils band, Zal Yanovsky of The Loving Spoonful, Bette Middler, or Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary. And those are just a few from the music industry, and as Jews one might assume they care about the survival of the nation that created their religion 5,000 years ago. Money is no object to our entertainers. We simply need a Captain for a "Music flotilla of Peace."

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