Letter from Australia: What about an international anthem out of Israel?

Perhaps the word and music can help us live peacefully together – in the true meaning of the word “shalom.”

Jerusalem Western Wall, Dome of the Rock 521 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Jerusalem Western Wall, Dome of the Rock 521
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Could an international anthem help, even in a small way, to foster world peace and understanding, and combat racism, prejudice and hatred? I have long thought that, however naïve, absurd and quite outlandish it may sound, our old world could perhaps benefit from an international anthem. I feel it is now more pertinent than ever, and even more possible in these days of miracles of (and exploding ) communications.
Moreover, the Land of the Bible, Israel, could be the catalyst, the real home, for such a project. After all, in the beginning was the word and perhaps the word and music can help us live peacefully together – in the true meaning of the word “shalom.”
A rousing, heartfelt and very 21st-century song that speaks to the world, all ages, about the globe and its people, our universality and our natural wonders, and yet maintains individual ways, lifestyles and approaches to life. A patchwork of peoples. In no way military, political or to do with any “ism” or religion. Respect for who and what we are.
A song to show no matter who or what we are (even celebrities), or which religion, philosophical beliefs or ambitions, we are all members of one small world, all of us headed in the same ultimate direction. There is no special way through the door of life for anyone.
Such an anthem could be played at all the world’s main or minor events, including the Olympic games, World Cup and international festivals, as well as local and national functions, and especially at schools. It could be tied in with lessons to the young, our future leaders. Our generation is just taking care of the world for future generations.
Although I have a rough draft of words I have written to music penned locally, I feel Israeli musicians could be involved in, even lead the way, in project International Anthem, with possible input from musicians worldwide. A global effort out of Israel.
The final song would be played initially (launched) by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, with an Israeli conductor. Perhaps played simultaneously in Israel by a youth orchestra and followed around the globe by leading orchestras and choruses. Then played and sung worldwide, in large and small cities, country towns and off-thebeaten- track areas, by combined local orchestras and choruses, made up of different people, with different beliefs.
People around the globe and of all ages and beliefs on the move through music. A song of one world, a musical poem to our planet, the universal family, sisters and brothers.
A possible introduction:
Down the Ganges waters, along the River Seine To honor our great planet is all the people’s aim.
Across the wall of China Along the Andes track Holy, Holy Jerusalem, To the Great (Australian) Outback And on from there.
I realize in these days of wars, nations falling apart, growing problems of refugees and much suffering, an International Anthem could be seen as an anarchronism.
But couldn’t it possibly be the start of a movement toward living together, to one world, rather than possibly none? If you work toward an idea and remain determined, it need not be just a dream. Israel has proved that it can be done, has dared to attempt and achieve what is believed to be the impossible.
I can imagine the spirits of Bronislaw Huberman, founder of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, and of composer Ludwig Beethoven being present at the premiere of the International Anthem, with a chorus comprising people of all ages and from across the globe.
In different tongues and a mighty roar Their song of hopes for a new world soar.
Wasn’t the world made round so that music would encircle it in many languages and foster understanding? The author is an Australian-based author-journalist.