39: Mixtape Part IV – War, Peace and Bumper Stickers

In our season finale, we explore two songs that – perhaps more than any others – capture the complex and intermingled nature of Israeli society: A military band’s hit that, in its afterlife, became an anthem for peace, and a rap tune penned by one of the country’s leading novelists.

ver the last four episodes, we’ve told the stories behind some of Israel’s most iconic songs. When we set off on this musical journey, we hoped to find a unicorn, a unifying island of Israeliness that escapes the usual polarization which dominates most conversations about Israel. Instead, however, we discovered that music not only reflects, but often amplifies, our contrasts. We all sing in different keys, with different words and in different voices. And that, at the end of the day, is what Israel is all about. It is not that the inherent complications go away or stop existing. It’s just that somehow, miraculously perhaps, the cacophony can almost sound harmonious.

In today’s episode, the final installment of the Mixtape miniseries, we turn to Yitzhak Rabin’s 1995 assassination, and to two songs – one taking us decades back, the other catapulting us forward into the 21st century – that symbolize the messy multifariousness of Israeli society.

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