Words of the Week: Omri Glikman

Please continue reading below the video:

After reading Daniel Gordis’s latest Israel from the Inside newsletter this morning, which featured the video above, I was moved to share the video, with an excerpt from Gordis’s introduction, within a Facebook group I’m part of. In that group, as elsewhere, I’m often frustrated by what others have shared regarding the Israel-Hamas war, and I try to amplify perspectives—particularly Israeli ones—that I don’t think others are even encountering, let alone considering seriously.

I was asked by another group member to make this morning’s post shareable. Since I can’t really do that within the private group, I’m instead adapting my original comment and posting it here. If you think it may be helpful to any of your communities, I hope that you’ll share it.

Given coexisting patterns that I’ve seen of insisting that one’s objections are only to “the government of Israel,” not the existence of the state itself or the Israeli people, while simultaneously demonizing “the IDF” as brutal monsters driven by blood-thirst, I am moved to attempt, once again, to demonstrate some of the complexities of the current situation and ways in which U.S.-conditioned/centric lenses aren’t necessarily the most accurate ones through which to critique it.

From today’s Israel from the Inside newsletter, which, again, I highly recommend:

The man singing in the video below is Omri Glikman. Glikman is an Israeli singer and co-founder, along with his sister, Shelly, of the band Hatikva 6, a popular Israeli reggae and pop group. The band was formed in 2003 and took its name from Omri and Shelly’s address growing up in Ramat Hasharon on Hatikva Street.

The band members are Omri Glikman, Shelly Glikman, Amit Sagi, Michael Avgil, Ilan Edri, and Barak Hener.

Many of the groups’ songs talk about the mosaic that is Israeli life and society. The newest song, ‘Superheroes’, released in February 2024, salutes the soldiers in the reserves who are fighting this war. The song was born out of a Facebook post written by Assaf Perry on his private account. He said the entire country was full of superheroes. The post went viral and received more than 10,000 shares. Glikman was moved by the post and decided to turn it into a song.

Glikman is from Ramat Hasharon, a city in the center of Israel, near Tel Aviv. He is married to Amit and they have two kids.

Some days after the October 7 attacks, Glikman wrote, ‘I hate these days so much, but I love this nation so much in days like these, and I ask myself: what will happen the day after? What will we look like?… If you ask me, the days of disagreement between us are over. Simply because we don’t have that privilege anymore.’

We share the video as a glimpse into some of the pulse of Israeli life today.

And I share it for the same reason—and to remind you that I am aware each and every day that it is an accident of fate/not-too-distant history that I was born in New York, where three of my four grandparents landed (same for the parents of the fourth) and not back in our ancestral homeland of Israel. It’s an awareness that became concrete during my first trip to Israel the summer after my freshman year of college, when I met a cousin who wasn’t in college, because she was about to begin her IDF service. It’s an awareness that extends to the understanding that I myself would have served in the IDF, and that any children I may have had in that parallel life might be serving now (this is the experience of many friends and relatives). I share the video to ask you, again, to be careful with the claims you make, the sources you invoke, and the language that you use. You aren’t helping anything or elevating discussion when you fail to do so.

an assortment of screens: laptop, phone, tablet, plus other desk items, and a text label that reads, "Words of the Week"

6 thoughts on “Words of the Week: Omri Glikman

  1. Brynn Olenberg Sugarman says:

    Thank you from Tel Aviv. I had that same awareness growing up in NYC and visiting Israel, and my Israeli cousins. I made aliyah, and raised my kids in Ra’anana. I also admire Daniel Gordis’ work, and I am a writer, so we have a lot in common.
    But since 7/10 I have not been writing: I have been volunteering. Continuously. Everywhere that I can. Being a soldier in my own way, any way that I can. We all have. Omri Glikman is spot on.
    We were brutally attacked by savages, and are in deep pain. And as shocking as that has been, what is equally shocking is the fake news, the false comparisons, and how easily duped are those who seem to have forgotten 9/11 and are incapable of connecting the dots…

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Sending support and solidarity, Brynn.

      1. Brynn Olenberg Sugarman says:

        Thank you, Erika!
        It means so much, and is such an emotional boost to feel that love and unity, especially these days when there are so many misguided haters…

  2. Leslie Lacin says:

    Dear Erika,

    The dehumanization of Israeli soldiers, who are true heroes, is shocking. I often find my admiration and love for them meets disbelief, cynicism or worse, negation. But I know these young men and women, I have studied with them, spoken to them about their experiences in Gaza on airplanes and in cafes in Israel, at shabbat dinners in the US. I know their parents, the values they have been taught, many of the people most important to me have served in the IDF. We owe them our support and gratitude. I will continue to laud them in casual conversation, in letters to editors and to remind my grandchildren of their bravery. We owe it to them to speak on their behalf around the world,
    Thank you Erika for making the DG video available to a wider audience. I so appreciate everything you offer; all your time and hard and work have helped me to find hope in these difficult months.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Am Yisrael Chai!

    2. Brynn Olenberg Sugarman says:

      So very true…IDF soldiers are both moral and courageous, and it is painful and unforgivable when the “useful idiots” for Radical Islam play the moral equivalency game…or worse, pander to terrorists while putting down a vetted, virtuous army.

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