At the initiative of MK Yaakov Perry (Yesh Atid), the Knesset held on Monday an event to honor and promote Hebrew song (Zemer Ivri). ”It is hard to imagine the Israeli experience without Hebrew song,” Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said.

”Among other things, this gathering is aimed at honoring all Israeli music. Thank you to all the artists who give our lives new colors and make things more interesting with Hebrew song,” he added.

Knesset honors Hebrew song; Speaker Edelstein: ”Hard to imagine the Israeli experience without it”

(Ofira Gluska performs)

MK Perry, head of the Lobby for the Promotion of Israeli Music, said the phrase Hebrew song ”evokes images of the beautiful, Zionist, pioneering Land of Israel – the first, beautiful years of the state. The singing groups, the military bands, musicals, festivals – the common denominator of all shades of Hebrew song is the abundant creativity; that multi-culturalism that gives a stage to a wide variety of creators.”

”The country must work to build up Hebrew song. Often times, the Israeli musician is forced to struggle in order to survive and make a living from music. I initiated a bill which sets an annual budget for playing Hebrew music. In this way, the state will encourage and preserve Hebrew song,” he stated.

Knesset honors Hebrew song; Speaker Edelstein: ”Hard to imagine the Israeli experience without it”

(From left: MKs Perry and Bitan with Speaker Edelstein)

Tzvi Avni, a recipient of the Israel Prize for music, said Israel should institute a five-unit matriculation exam in music, ”which expands both the brain and heart.”

Numerous MKs from different factions attended the event. MK Stav Shafir (Zionist Camp), Eitan Cabel (Zionist Camp), Oded Forer (Yisrael Beitenu) and Eitan Broshi (Zionist Camp) spoke during the event, as did Dan Gottfried, director of Eilam – Israeli Musicians` Performing Rights Society; AKUM CEO Yorik Ben David; Ya`akov Mendel, chairman of the Israeli Union of Performing Arts; musician Yair Nitzani and others.

Singer Ofira Gluska moved the audience with her rendition of Naomi Shemer`s ”Hurshat Ha`Eucalyptus” (”The Eucalyptus Grove”). An acapella group from the Municipal Conservatory in Ness Ziona also performed, as did the Rongur Band from the Rimon School of Music.