Gaza Trip: A Collaboration of Israeli Musicians, Palestinian Parkour Athletes and Just Humans
Marking the 28th anniversary of Palestinian Independence Day, the Israeli indie punk/jazz/klezmer group MALOX this week released a stunning music video for the title track of their "Gaza Trip" album featuring parkour practitioners soaring through a still-ravaged Gaza. The video appeared Nov. 15; on that day in 1988, almost a year into the First Intifada, a Palestinian Parliament in exile convened in Algiers to adopt a Palestinian Declaration of Independence drafted by Edward Said and Mahmoud Darwish that recognized a Palestine defined by the borders of the 1967 war. That moment also marked the painful concession of recognizing Israeli control of 78% of historic Palestine, noted a PLO leader this week - a concession that has only “fueled the Israeli culture of impunity and hatred," and more dispossession.
It is that harsh reality that prompted the Israeli band to film in Gaza. They recorded the album in a kibbutz so near the border they "could hear everything that was happening in Gaza," said Eyal Talmudi, and wanted to bring "the sights of Gaza to our songs." They acknowledge that for many in the Israeli music (and any other) industry, Gaza remains "a subject they would prefer not to touch." But they also argue "it is part of our role as artists to talk about the Occupation." Choosing to focus on parkour, popular because it offers a rare sense of liberation in otherwise besieged lives, they filmed the fiery young men of the parkour troupe 3run tumbling around, through and off the top of buildings still devastated by the 2014 Israeli assault. Their goal: To "celebrate the freedom of creation and movement...combining (our) aspirations for co-existing...As Israelis/Palestinian/Just Humans we address you, people of the 'free' world - promote peace and understanding."