MembersExclusive Interview with Israeli Prodigy Sharif

Palestinian concertgoers in Hebron singing along in Hebrew?! Why not?

By Aviel Schneider | | Topics: Music
Mike Sharif performing in Hebron
Photo: Nibal Sharif

Some 10,000 Palestinians recently sang along with the Hebrew-language songs of Israeli singer Mike Sharif during a concert in Hebron. Not in Tel Aviv, Haifa or Jerusalem, but in the middle of the Palestinian-controlled territories. The 42-year-old Druze singer, who lives in Tel Aviv and who, as a child prodigy, conquered the Israeli stage with his voice, is a megastar among the Palestinians, and his songs in Hebrew are particularly popular. On Thursday night in Hebron, all thoughts of intifada and throwing stones were forgotten. It was party time.

You could say the concert in Hebron hit like a bomb. Sharif’s music blew everyone away. Not even Sharif could have dreamed that his performance in Hebron would have such an impact and reverberate so widely, in Israel but even more so in the Arab world.

For Sharif, the wedding in Hebron was actually just another concert. When the wealthy Palestinian family Abu Marer hosted their youngest son Fares’ wedding, the prominent building contractors from Hebron would settle for nothing less than an appearance by the Israeli...

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