A Personal Note from Noa (Achinoam Nini)
These words — this cry from my heart — comes from my song There Must Be Another Way that I sang with my dear friend Mira Awad while representing Israel in the 2009 Eurovision Song Competition. Together we shared our passionate vision for Israel’s future – one of hope not despair — where we and our neighbors break through our fears and see each person’s humanity. This is the vision that I am pursuing through my music and my activism.
And on this road, I am so pleased that Ameinu and its The Third Narrative Initiative are partners in the struggle for peace, justice and understanding for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
For more than 25 years I have toured the world singing as a proud Israeli who has represented Israel in the most prestigious venues in the world — always with a message of peace. I have also spoken out for both of Israelis and Palestinians. I have sung, raised funds, taken photos, shaken hands, hugged, kissed — all to build bridges for future generations!
I feel truly sorry for people whose hearts and minds are crippled by fear, tainted with prejudice and cynicism. The enemy is anyone who chooses death over life. How can we move forward to end our tragic conflict? We must understand that recognizing the pain, the tragedy and the struggle for independence of the Palestinians, does not negate our own pain, our tragedy and our own rights. Our stories and narratives can co-exist. If we give up on hope and refuse to recognize each other’s stories, again choosing swords over words, our land and theirs will be so drenched in blood that there will be nothing left for the living. But there is a ray of light that keeps stubbornly seeping into the darkness of my heart, where a song is born despite the numbing silence: The place is hope.
Many people are stunned when they meet me — confronted head on with a Zionist Israeli who is both critical of her government and loving of her country; believing in dialogue and the two state solution while openly condemning terror and extremism. I, like Ameinu, embrace progressive Jewish values and universal humanistic ones at the same time; cherishing life over land and fighting both occupation and boycotts as enemies of peace.
With Ameinu — Singing Together, Working Together and Bringing Together Israelis and Palestinians My struggle for a Zionism of justice and peace has no better ally than Ameinu. When I read The Third Narrative I hear my own words and songs crying out that we don’t have to be locked forever in a bloody battle of our narrative vs theirs. The Third Narrative is a crucial tool in my activism, one that we need to get it into the hands, and hearts, of as many people as possible.
When hope is in such short supply, we are desperate for voices that reject the simplistic black and white conflict of narratives. We need organizations like Ameinu — which share my belief that There Must Be Another Way. We need Ameinu to keep you informed in the community here, and work actively on the ground in the region promoting peace, social justice, shared society and reconciliation.
I proudly support Ameinu and hope you will join me in supporting Ameinu’s work.
B’Ahava (With Love),
Noa (Achinoam Nini)