4232 people signed a petition to nominate Oriental metal band Orphaned Land for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. The launchers of the petition write that “In the past few years, while Israel’s relationship with the Arab and Muslim world has drastically deteriorated, Orphaned Land, Israel’s biggest heavy metal band, has been uniting thousands of Jews and Muslims across the Middle East.”
The petition finds that Orphaned Land deserves the Nobel Peace Prize because they are able to unite fans from different countries, including Turkey, Syria, Iran, Palestine, Lebanon and Israel. “Orphaned Land has been able to achieve this through their music (which fuses traditional Middle Eastern sounds and instruments with Western heavy metal), vision of coexistence, collaborations with Arab and Muslim artists, and a vigorous and active community of fans”, writes the petition. “While not overtly political, Orphaned Land are nevertheless proud of creating a reality of coexistence that has escaped politicians and peacemakers alike. They often speak of the power of music to turn purported enemies into friends; frequently pay homage and encourage collaborations with Arab and Muslim artists […]”
We asked guitarist Chen Balbus what he thinks about the petition:
“So yeah, it’s sort of weird because we’re just a bunch of guys sitting at home writing music. But it’s amazing that people think that we should get something like that for what we do. We don’t have any power or influence like our leaders, but this just shows us that we do have the power and I appreciate that, although I would just be happy to get a slice of pizza.”
You can find the petition here.