Israel was at war a few weeks ago.
How did you live the war?
Noa: My heart was bleeding. The seemingly unbreakable circle of violence is so desperately frustrating, futile and miserable! On a personal basis, we were safe where we live. But so many others, in gaza, sderot and other places, were not as lucky!
We have the feelings that only one voice emerges from the country: The voice of the government for many many years. How can you make your voice hearable especially when the voice of the government is so powerful and strong?
Noa: I have raised my voice on countless occasions. In blogs, in articles, in demonstrations. I have paid a high price for my views, many who disagree with me hate me, they do everything in their power to hurt my career and my image, but I continue! And I am not alone, there are so many wonderful people here in Israel fighting for peace, for Israel’s character as a pluralistic, humanistic society…and yes, this government is strong, they are bullies..but as the saying goes say, “it aint over till it’s over”…everything can change still!
The vote of the Palestine as a non member state at the UN.
How did you live this vote?
Were you for / against? How in this case, would you express your voice?
NOA: here is what I posted on facebook: I would like to join millions of people in Israel and the vast majority of the international community in congratulating the Palestinian people for their important achievement in the UN, hopefully a step towards their full independence in the near future, living side by side peacefully with Israel, with good relations on every front. I admire President Abbas and his adamant adherence to ways of peace, his outreach to Israel in every possible way and his infinite patience. My dream has been, for years, to sing in the signing of the peace agreement between our two countries…who knows? It may still come true J !
During the bombings in Tel Aviv, in Israel, where were you? What did you feel for your country, the Palestinians? For yourself, for your family…
NOA: I live outside of tel aviv. In my area there were no sirens. We were lucky. I felt great fear in my heart when the sirens went off, and relief every time a bomb was felled by the defense system. But I also felt terrible for all the gazans suffering from the Israeli bombs. And above all, I felt disgust with the “easy” way both the Israel government and the hamas in gaza are taking: the way of war, the way of cowards!! Peace is for the brave of heart, the real heroes are those that dare to talk, to fight for life and a dignified way of living, not those that hide behind the dogmas of religion, the rhetoric of jaded politicians and the bodies of the dead!!
We have the feeling that some artists in Israel represents this left side of the politic, some might represent the voice of peace. But, when we are talking really about what to give, in order to make peace, settlements and some part of Jerusalem, it becomes harder. Are you really ready to “give” some part of what is now part of Israel? Until what/ should we go?
Are not you afraid to give too much, and then, to be in danger, for your, for your children?
How to “give” and keep being an citizen of Israel?
NOA: I am not afraid to give, no, not at all. Of course, any give-and–take must be done responsibly, but have we not been there already? Have not agreements been made, drafts drawn? Have not very wise men sat and deciphered a decent, plan of action? In Oslo, Wye Plantation, Camp David, Geneva, just to name a few?? Everyone knows the solution. It simply has to be implemented. Two states for two nations, based on 67, with some land swapping and other adjustments. Jerusalem shared, according to neighborhoods. I did not invent this. It is well known. Am I willing? Of course!! Because the alternative is to send my son, my grandson, and all generations after to an eternal and abominable war!! Or to move to Australia, or to the moon.
What do you think of american or british artist who refuse to perform in Israel?
NOA: I totally reject their attitude! As I myself try to demonstrate throughout my own career, it is the role of those within the artist's community, who have an opinion, to voice it in Israel and abroad, loud and clear. Those in Israel who share these artists' views and swarm to their concert should be rewarded, not punished! Many great artists have chosen to do so. Role models such as Leonard Cohen came and expressed their support for dialog and peace. Moreover he has personally donated his profits from the concerts to a wonderful organization call "Parents Circle" which consists of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli Parents mourning their lost loved ones together, and at the same time working for dialog. Many many such organizations operate in Israel, very often far from the public eye. They are the "frontline" in the battle for peace and they could use all the support these boycotting artists could summon. On many occasions boycotting Israel, both academically and artistically is a result of unfortunate brainwashing by sworn enemies of peace who demonize Israel and achieve nothing but generating more and more disappointment and resentment within Israel. On other occasions it is simply a case of Artists and managements caving in pressure because they care more about their pockets than about the issues themselves. As I have previously stated Israel is a democracy and every voice can and should be heard.
When you are for your concerts outside of Israel, abroad, how is it to cope with the questions, sometimes rude, of the people who, for some of them, have it all in mind, and do not know much about the complexity of the region? How do you explain it, if you have to? In a way, if you are for peace, you always have to define yourself as an Israeli, a citizen of a country at war. Isn’t it tiring? How is it to be part of a country which is more and more isolated on a diplomatic level?
NOA: Yes, it’s tiring, but I understand it is part of my responsibility towards the state of Israel, my home and my people..especially my children! They will know their mother was a warrior for peace! . As a famous Israeli abroad I very often encounter blind, uneducated hatred towards Israel. It is frustrating. I work hard to balance the perspectives. But above all, it is my duty, as it is the duty of every human being to be as kind and compassionate as possible, to be generous, to respect all human beings regardless of race and religion, and to work for a society in Israel that will live according to these universal values. At present Israel often justifies the antagonism it has been experiencing, due to the very irrational, almost suicidal policies of the present government. We in Israel must do everything to rid ourselves of these destructive forces! To end the occupation and congratulate the Palestinians on the birth of their new state! and then to work HARD to build trust, to start a dynamic of positive thinking and growing, educating and living. Luckily, Israel has other representatives beyond her government: her writers, dancers, musicians, all her artists, and many wonderful Israeli citizens living and working abroad. As I see it, they, we, are the un-paid, un-biased and un-politically-correct Israeli ambassadors, the true face of Israel.