Jewish Home Rallies Behind Ariel Zilber
Following the decision of ACUM to revoke singer and songwriter Ariel Zilber the Lifetime Achievement Award due to pressure from the Left, Jewish Home has taken interest in the case as a party wide project; on Tuesday, almost all members of the faction posted one of his songs on their Facebook pages to show support.
While Zilber was set to receive the prestigious award at one of Israel's most prominent award ceremonies, the award was replaced with a mere "musical contribution award" at the last minute due to the public rejection of an ACUM award in protest by leftist singer Achinoam Nini.
Party Chairman Naftali Bennett posted the song "Rutzi Shmulik" (lit. "Run to Shmuel"), noting that one of the lyrics is "they throw stones upon you" - exactly what the Israeli left has done to the renowned singer.
Housing Minister Uri Ariel posted the song "Masah Ashan" (lit. "smoke screen"). "The decision is a red flag for all lovers of culture," Ariel noted. "The leftist organizations, in their arrogance, are trying to suppress any work of someone who does not think like them; it's disgusting. Unarguably, Ariel Zilber is an esteemed artist and a household name in Israeli music, and he does not have to pay homage to the extreme left-wing views of Mrs. Nini."
Knesset Finance Committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky, who expressed unwavering support for the singer Monday, posted the song "Mashal Ha'Ofanayim" (lit. "The Bicycle Parable").
Faction chairman MK Ayelet Shaked posted the song, "B'diavad" (lit. "in retrospect"). "Ariel Zilber is the winner in my Lifetime Achievement Award - in the first place and in retrospect," she stated.
MK Uri Orbach posted a doctored image of ACUM's logo, accompanied by the words "conforming to the left."
MK Zevulun Kalfa posted the song "Agada Yapanit" (lit. "Japanese legend") and wrote, "a Japanese legend, a blue and white storm. Enjoy one of the most beautiful songs of Israeli music."
Deputy Education Minister Avi Wortzman selected the song "Biti Bam," stating "since when is music defined by political views?!"
MK Moti Yogev posted the song "V'Eich Shelo" (lit. "And anyway") and wrote, "You cannot silence a great artist like Ariel Zilber."
MK Orit Struk chose the song "Lekh Itah," ("go with you"); MK Shulli Muallem-Refaeli posted the song "Brosh" (lit. "Cypress"). MK Yoni Chetboun posted the song "Chevrat Hahagana HaTeva" (lit. "Nature Protection Society"), noting, "On this day we are all Ariel Zilber - a great artist and a brave man."
'If Zilber sang for terrorists they'd demand the Israel prize for him'
Likud MK Moshe Feiglin also posted "Ve'Ech Shelo" to his page, with a personal twist - that the singer had personally performed the song as a surprise for Feiglin and his wife Tzipi upon Feiglin's request. Feiglin notes that Zilber was even more excited about the surprise to Tzipi than he was, and rushed to organize a surprise performance out of genuine kindness and on very little notice.
Former MK Michael Ben-Ari also slammed the ACUM decision on Facebook, writing "if Zilber had sung to the shahidim (terrorist martyrs) on IDF Memorial Day like the 'humane' singer Achinoam Nini, ...they would be demanding the Israel Prize for him - sorry, the Palestine Prize."
ACUM (Union of Composers, Writers and Publishers in Israeli Music) was founded 56 years ago as a non-profit corporation administering the rights assigned to it by its members: authors, composers, lyricists, poets, arrangers and music publishers.
The group notes that their award ceremony is the only one recognizing Israeli artists. In the last year 530 musicians joined ACUM, an organization that provides grants and funding to various musical projects.