METAL MUSIC IS BIGGER THAN WHAT POLITICS CAN OFFER: ORPHANED LAND BRING ISRAEL AND PALESTINE TOGETHER 24th June 2014
Kobi Fahri, Orphaned Land
Israeli band Orphaned Land made a massive statement for world peace when they won Metal Hammer's global metal band of the year award and accepted it with Palestinian band Khalas.
The two bands have been touring together recently and when Orphaned Land were informed they had won the award, they asked if they could accept it jointly with Khalas.
Lead singer and founder of the band, Kobi Farhi, told Channel 4 News that Metal is the music of peace.
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Kobi also said that politicians could learn something about reconciliation from music, which he described as an "algorithm, bigger than what politics can offer".
"We the metal people, are the most popular Israelis among Arabs. We are the ambassadors of peace, more than our foreign ministry, or prime minister, or authors," he said. "It cannot be that I will succeed to do more with my band and my Palestinian friends, than those people."
Orphaned Land have been going for 23 years, and their use of Arab phrases, motifs and references make the band popular across the Muslim world, as well as in Israel. But Kobi told Channel 4 News this was "natural" to him – he believes the two cultures overlap in many ways, including music.
Tensions were rising in West Bank as the band pick up their award at the IndigO2, following the kidnapping of three Israli teens. US and Israeli governments have blamed Hamas – something the group denies – and 150 Palestinians were arrested over the weekend.
Kobi said getting up on stage with his Palestinian friend Abed of Khalas, was "bizarre" timing, considering the kidnapping last week. But he hopes that "metal music has succeeded to teach politicians a lesson of how easy this might be".
"If Arabs from Syria and Iran and Lebanon and Egypt are doing all the journeys to Turkey, which is the only Muslim country we can play... that's worth more than a thousand words," he said.
Alexander Milas, editor-in-chief of Metal Hammer, said that Orphaned Land were "emblematic" of metal's strong global community: "The targets of ferocious criticism both at home and abroad, their unflinching courage and peerless musicianship has inspired countless fans around the world."
Kobi's message to politicians is: "Talk to each other. Become friends. You cannot find another way to fix this."