The Black Eyed Peas Heart Israel
Ha’aretz reports on how the Black Eyed Peas wowed fans with their Zionist sentiments.
Just when it seems too late by far, something hits us upside our calloused shell of a head, and there it is. From a direction we could not expect, something comes to fan long-buried Zionist faith back to life.The Black Eyed Peas, for example.
We didn’t know what hit us. The expectations of the thousands in that stadium, and the tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands following the live concert broadcast on Army Radio, ran in a very different vector, pointing squarely at the hip hop nation of the City of Angels, a mesmerizing funk-til-death backup band, by-your-throat rhythm cascades, assault rifle bursts of knowing, glowing, mow-down rhyme riffs and inexhaustible energy in human motion. That’s what we’d come for.
What we didn’t expect, was Zionism.
“We’ve been here for five days,” vocalist-rapper Will.I.Am called to the crowd. “And that’s been the best five days of our lives.”
“Check this out,” he went on, ticking off the ways he found himself loving the country, from the landscape, to the tight-knit character of family life, to “the most beautifullest women on the planet.
They stopped at nothing. They spoke about the possibility of moving to Israel to live. “Y’see, I brought my mom and my grandma. You know, we’re Christian, but I think I’m gonna convert to Judaism …”
The audience, which came knowing every syllable of every infinitely complex song, was caught entirely unprepared. They were witnessing a full-blown Revival Meeting of that old time Zionism, and it was their turn to testify.
Testify they did.
In seconds, they were delirious.
The band broke into a horn driven, Mussel Shoals-seasoned “Hava Nagila.” The crowd, already bananas, roared so loud it would have surprised no one had it been capable of levitating itself through sheer animal delight, and a peculiarly local version of loud, proud, surprised, oddly patriotic, unedited love.
Fergie, the group’s woman singer, flew in the face of every conceivable assumption, as well as every tenet of political correctness, by calling Israel “one of the most fun places on the planet.” But the crowd, knowing exactly what she meant, loosed yet a larger paroxysm.
I have been a fan of the Black Eyed Peas’ music for quite a while. Now I count myself a fan of the Black Eyed Peas.