The leaders of Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank may have a difficult time agreeing on the conditions to restart peace talks, but a group of Israelis and Palestinians have found fertile common ground: heavy metal.
The Guardian reports that Israeli metal band Orphaned Land will tour Europe with Palestinian metal band Khalas this fall, playing 18 shows together. During that time, they will even share a tour bus.
"We are metal brothers before anything," Abed Khathout, Khalas' bass player, told the Chinese news agency Xinhua.Koby Farhi, Orphaned Land's lead singer, told the news service: "Having a brotherhood, sharing the stage, simply shows that Rock and Roll music is above politics."
Thank you for our brothers in Orphaned Land Kobi Farhi // קובי פרחי Chen Balbus // חן בלבוס Uri Zelha אורי זלכה... http://t.co/x0wdivSN5s
— Khalas OFFICIAL (@khalasband) July 20, 2013
Throughout its 22-year career, Israeli heavy metal band Orphaned Land has reached out the the Arab and Muslim communities, seeking to use music as a bridge between cultures. "People should be judged by their hearts and inner sincerity, not their religious beliefs," Orphaned Land says on its website.
Orphaned Land is touring in support of its newest album, All Is One. The album's cover depicts the symbols of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam united as one.
"Our message is one of hope and showing how we succeed where politicians fail," Farhi told The Jerusalem Post, "but the lyrics on the album focus on the opposite – a tragic and bitter path."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Friday that Palestinians and Israeli agreed to resume peace talks in the near future. While both parties caution that the road towards a comprehensive peace deal is still long, the agreement is the first major breakthrough since President Obama unsuccessfully tried to revive negotiations at the beginning of his first term.