The Middle East needs a Bob Marley

Annapolis will probably be remembered just as a photo op. The negotiations that follow the conference don’t bring too much hope. The main problem is that the leaders cannot deliver. They lack the political leadership that is needed to end the conflict.

Peace in the Middle East

Israeli PM Olmert was never a charismatic person. Since the war, which came at an early stage of his reign, he’s a lame duck. He is also still in trouble with allegations of corruption.

Mahmoud Abbas, the “Rais” of the Palestinian Authority, is even more lame. He lost control over Gaza. In the West Bank, he lacks a strong grip. If it weren’t for the IDF, I assume that Hamas would take over also there.

And President Bush? Well, the war in Iraq, and his stupidity in general, don’t make him a serious broker for a peace accord. With Bush as the leader of the free world, freedom is very shaky.

The Jamaican Example

Bob Marley making peace
Picture Source: Wikipedia

From 1976, there has been serious civil unrest in Jamaica. Prime Minister Michael Manley who came into power in 1972 made serious socialist reforms. This angered investors, political rivals and the CIA that backed the opposition leader Edward Seaga.

The political culture became violent. Gunmen hired by both parties were fighting on the streets and assassinating their rivals. The situation deteriorated and a civil war looked imminent.

In 1978, a big concert named One Love Peace Concert was organized. Bob Marley, by then a famous reggae musician was the main performer. During the song “Jamming”, he called both political opponents on stage. They didn’t really like it. He then forced them to shake hands. The song finished with Manley and Seaga holding hands together above Bob Marley’s head.

This historic and exciting moment calmed down the civil strife in Jamaica.

Open Positions: Political Leaders

We are in need of a leader in the magnitude of Bob Marley. Saadat, Begin, Rabin, Hussein and Clinton were such leaders. If you have someone in mind, I’ll be glad to hear.

In the meantime, you can see the exciting moment from the One Love Peace Concert, April 22nd, 1978:

Mixtape of Political Protest Songs – I’m selling it!

No I haven’t made a fresh mixtape of Political Protest Songs. I just put the mixtape “on sale”.

There’s a new Web 2.0 site called Mixaloo. They offer users to mix a tape and offer it for sale on their site. The revenues are shared between the Mixaloo and the user.

I reached this site through a promotion on TechCrunch, which I was lucky to enter. Officially there are only 1000 invitations to TechCrunch readers, but I doubt that I’ve been so quick with responding to the promotion. TechCrunch is popular, so I’m sure there were more than “only” 1000 invitations.

So., here’s the mixtape for sale:

I recommend buying the full albums that I’ve featured in the mixtape. U2, Tracy Chapman, Bob Dylan, R.E.M, Sting, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, The Smiths, Neil Young and Pearl Jam are all superb artists. I chose songs that I love from albums that I love, with many live performance versions. Preferably, buy albums at a local store, and not through iTunes or a big network.

I doubt that someone will pay $9.90 for the mixtape. But, it’ll sure be an interesting experiment…

Tel Aviv Mon Amour

This event symbolizes what I like in Tel Aviv: 2:00 AM, a live jazz-funk improvised jam session in the middle of the street. It was organized solely by the musicians that played. No coordination with the municipality or anyone else. They just plugged in to some electricity began playing, and people crowded up:

Tel Aviv Live Music

And another picture to show the vitality of Tel Aviv:

Live music in the streets

Mad Bliss – Great Rock Music

Mad Bliss is a great young Israeli band that I’m following for the past few months, and I like them a lot.

They play their material: rock grunge songs in English. They’ve recently released an album, which I’ve purchased. As far as I know, they currently don’t have plans on playing abroad, but maybe one day…

So, here’s their their homepage, Myspace page, and my photos of them from one of their recent shows in Tel Aviv.

Political Protest Songs – The Mixtape

Here is a mixtape of 10 favorite political protest songs. You are welcome to listen to them here or download them as one mp3 file:



I took my original list of 5 political protest songs, added 5 more, mixed them and put them here.

This is the list:

  1. U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday – from a live performance in Rome (1987).
  2. Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ Bout a Revolution – from the album Tracy Chapman (1988).
  3. The Times They Are A Changin’ – Bob Dylan – taken from Essential Bob Dylan (2000). The song was recorded in the 60s.
  4. Ignoreland – R.E.M. – from Automatic for the People (1992).
  5. Russians – Sting – from The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985).
  6. Fitter Happier – Radiohead – from OK Computer (1997).
  7. Have A Cigar – Pink Floyd – from Wish You Were Here (1975).
  8. The Queen is Dead – The Smiths – from The Queen is Dead (1986)
  9. The Restless Consumer – Neil Young – from Living with War (2006).
  10. Rockin’ in the Free World – Pearl Jam (originally by Neil Young) – from Live: 07-11-03 Mansfield, MA (2003).

I like all these songs’ lyrics and music as well. Most of these songs are popular mainstream songs, and a few are less known.

Like in the previous mixtape, Remember to buy the original albums. I’m not encouraging piracy of any form. If I’ll be asked to remove this mix tape by the owner’s of the rights, I’ll obey at once…

There are lots of other excellent political protest songs. I created the list with some small help from this Vikki entry.

If I missed something really great (and I probably did), please tell me. I hope you’ll enjoy it.