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May 11, 2015 5:21 pm

Israeli Stars, Artists Call for Unity After Bruising Electoral Season

avatar by David Daoud

Israeli Artists attempted to use their talent and celebrity to mend the rift in Israeli society that was widened by recent elections. PHOTO: Channel 2.

Responding to divisive comments made by celebrities during Israel’s recent election season, a number of the country’s artists, singers and actors have responded with a call for unity, irrespective of one’s political positions, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Monday.

The latest round of elections was particularly acrimonious and left a significant mark on the world of art and culture, according to the report.

The celebrities published their unifying messages in a video clip on Monday demonstrating tolerance towards one another. Channel 2 described their message as, “No matter what your views are, encouragement and friendly speech will strengthen us and connect us as a community. Let’s not be afraid to say a few nice words.”

The initiative was sponsored by Gesher, an organization that works at “bridging the gap between different segments of Israeli society.”

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In the video, the participants highlighted art as a bridge between the various sectors of Israeli society, saying, “Even if you’re right-wing, or left-wing, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, dark, fair, secular or religious, it doesn’t matter where we came from, because art connects us all.”

The group said that, “between polar opposites, [art] has the ability to bring people together and to act as a bridge between them.”

The artists appearing in the video were asked to state whom among their colleagues they saw as deserving admiration. Each artist then stated the name of a colleague and relayed why they specifically chose that person to compliment them.

Among the video’s participants was actress Yona Elian, who chose to honor Margalit Tzanaani, saying she was a “great woman.” Michael Moshonov, another actor, chose Lucy Aharish, calling the Arab-Israeli television presenter who lit a torch as the Jewish state’s leading Independence Day ceremony, “amazing.”

Former soccer player and TV presenter Boni Ginzburg chose to honor the entertainer Assi Cohen, saying he had “tremendous talent.” Actor Ohad Knoller said singer Omer Adam was “On fire!”

The film ends by saying, “with all of the tensions and the disputes, we believe that music, culture and art connect and unite everyone.”

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