Idan Raichel took to Instagram Saturday to criticize Israeli musicians who reside abroad and fail to adequately support Israel during the war with Hamas in Gaza. He accuses these musicians of being hypocrites at best and at worst, harming Israeli public diplomacy (hasbara) efforts during wartime and betraying their country.
In an Instagram post, Raichel shared a photo of 12-year-old Erez Calderon, who was kidnapped by Hamas and is held hostage in Gaza, and wrote: “Israeli musicians who live abroad and are unable to make a profitable career for themselves in Israel (as their music remains relatively marginal, regardless of how brilliant they may be) depend on a global audience and global platforms.
“During times of war, when they post content to please the global audience or the platforms that offer them work (when they also could just remain silent during the war), they actually damage Israel’s reputation. Whether consciously or not, they create a narrative that suggests mutual pain on both sides, balancing the scale and calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for hostages. By doing so, they equate a terrorist – who has murdered Israeli civilians in acts of terrorism and who was arrested, put on trial, convicted, and sent to prison – to an innocent 12-year-old Israeli boy held hostage in Gaza, who never harmed anyone,” Raichel argued.
“At best, these musicians are hypocrites. At worst, they harm Israel’s public diplomacy efforts during wartime and sell out both their country and their people,” he continued.
“Don’t be fooled by their seemingly small number of followers. These musicians are well-known and influential among various fanbases, and their words may reach more prominent and influential opinion leaders. This is absolutely infuriating. At this point, I just respond to them and take screenshots. Some have already blocked me, while others have asked to be blocked, so feel free to follow their behavior and react. We must not give up on anyone. Our children are still in Gaza. There is no mutual pain on both sides here.”
Idan Raichel mourned close friend killed by Hamas on October 7
Approximately one week after the Gaza war broke out, Raichel became emotional on air and asked to leave the studio during an interview on Channel 12.
He shared the story of his close friend, Col. Roi Levy, who was killed in battle with Hamas terrorists who had infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip before the war began.
Raichel said that if Levy could witness the extraordinary civilian response in helping those who were harmed in southern Israel, it would undoubtedly touch his heart.
“You see, this is why we fought for civilian leadership,” Raichel imagined his late friend saying. Overwhelmed by grief, Raichel broke down during the interview and tearfully said he needed to leave the studio.
“We’re live. I need to step away,” he explained.
The Jerusalem Post and OneFamily are working together to help support the victims of the Hamas massacre and the soldiers of Israel who have been drafted to ensure that it never happens again.