Touching. Aviv Geffen
Photo: Ofer Amram

Stop the witch hunt

Op-ed: No reason to ban singers who did not serve in IDF from performing at Memorial Day ceremonies

Obviously it is better to be both happy and healthy, but life doesn’t always go according to plan. If it did, we wouldn't have to mark Memorial Day.


This holy day has two facets: We remember the soldiers who sacrificed their lives, and we unite as a society and a nation. In both aspects, there is nothing like a song that touches the heart and makes us shed a tear over the past yet also instills hope for a better future. Therefore, it is obviously preferable to invite singers who fulfilled their national duty to perform at Memorial Day services. But have you ever gone through one of the country's sad days without hearing the beautiful song "Livcot Lecha" (Cry for You) on the radio?


Aviv Geffen, who wrote the song, never wore an IDF uniform - for medical reasons – and just as his songs are not banned by the radio stations, there is no reason to ban him from performing at Memorial Day services. Art is measured not only by the singer-songwriter's character, but by its influence on the soundtrack of our lives and its ability to convey a message. Therefore, on a day in which we are supposed to unite, we should stop the witch hunt, particularly when we do not always know all the details about what is presented as the performer's decision to dodge the IDF draft. Instead, we should inhale his or her lyrics, which seem to have been taken right out of our mouths.


And if all this is not enough, the various musical reality TV shows have made famous numerous artists who succeeded in part due to the fact that they had served as combat soldiers. Many teenage girls voted for these performers because of their "sexy soldier" personas. Yet today, when they are on stage, some of these singers lack depth and pain, and even when they sing about their difficult experiences in the army – it does not move me. So why must we invite a combat IDF reservist who cannot touch our hearts to perform at Memorial Day ceremonies?


Past measures taken against those who did not don an IDF uniform were justified. The public criticism and financial repercussions made every 18 year old think twice before dodging the draft. Now, on our 65th birthday, the time has come for us to grow up. Forget, forgive and look forward.



פרסום ראשון: 04.11.13, 10:41
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