HEARTBEAT unites Israeli and Palestinian youth to build trust and transform conflict through the power of music. Founded in 2007 under a Fulbright-MTVu fellowship, Heartbeat empowers Israeli and Palestinian musicians by creating opportunities and spaces for musicians from both sides to hear each other and work together to build trust between their communities. Since 2007, over 100 youth musicians have come together through a variety of programs including retreats, workshops, camps, overseas exchanges, and the development of ensembles.
Years of violence and aggression have dramatically polarized the Israeli and Palestinian populations. Tensions between Jews and Arabs are on the rise as continued fear and increased separation distance each community from the other. The vast majority of people on both sides remains unheard and largely unaware of its power to influence others and transform the status quo. Young Palestinians and Israelis are thirsty for change and eager to move beyond the failures of the past. They have by far the most to gain, the most to lose, and, in many ways, the most to give. To seize upon this potential, their hopes and visions must be strengthened and shared with their communities.
In the past 20 years, less than 1% of the Israeli and Palestinian population has come together for a meaningful dialogue. Numerous groups aim to build trust between Israeli and Palestinian youth, but Heartbeat is the only project that utilizes popular music as the principal means to do so. Music offers tremendously powerful tools to engage young people in dialogue and holds a natural means to share their trust-building experience with a much wider audience. A good song can spread far beyond the studio where it was created, potentially influencing millions through concerts, videos and recordings.
Heartbeat seeks to utilize music’s power by creating opportunities and spaces for young Israeli and Palestinian musicians to build trust and work together to create a better future.