Archive for September 2008

An article about the Middle East trip

September 23, 2008

This article about my trip to Israel and Palestine came out in the Asheville Citizen-Times this past weekend. There are a few things I would change in it, but I’m really grateful to the reporter, Leslie Boyd, for her time and for giving attention to the issue.

As for the things I would tweak, I’ll spell them out, because they matter.

• The photo was taken by Madeleine Rowe, who was on the trip with me, and I think it’s one of the best pictures to come out of the trip. She deserves credit for that, but that’s not the only issue with the text below the photo, which reads “Palestinian children climb on an old fence. The barriers protecting Israel are making life difficult for ordinary Palestinians, David LaMotte says.”

I did say that the wall is making life difficult for Palestinians, but I wouldn’t really characterize it as protecting Israel. One of the main misconceptions we have about the wall is that it divides Israel from the West Bank, like the wall between East and West Germany.

It doesn’t.

The 1967 border between Israel and Palestine is referred to as the Green Line, and is recognized by most people as the natural border between the two, though ongoing settlement in the West Bank is making any possibility of a contiguous Palestine increasingly unlikely.

The wall is three times as long as the Green Line, and only a small portion of it runs along the Green Line. Most of the wall runs deep into land that most of the world recognizes as Palestinian, and the vast majority of it separates Palestinians from Palestinians, and from their own fields, schools, families and neighbors. It sometimes nearly completely encircles Palestinian villages.

It is true that suicide attacks have decreased since the wall went up, but I don’t believe that the humiliation and degradation of Palestinians is good for Israel in the long run. It breeds desperation and rage, which contribute to terrorism.

• The article begins “David LaMotte has had a successful career as a musician, but his faith has led him in an entirely different direction.” We could debate the success of my music career, of course. More importantly, though, I’d like to think that the new path isn’t an entirely new direction, and though my faith is a big part of why I’m choosing this path, it’s only one part among many.

• “Olive tree groves believed to be thousands of years old are being ripped out to make room for the wall that separates the Israeli and Palestinian people.” Again, for the most part, it doesn’t, though it’s true about the thousands of olive trees that have been destroyed.

OK, there you go. My rebuttal to myself.

Salaam and shalom…



September 17, 2008

My long-time friend Kenny Legendre in Germany has been working for months on a CD of other folks doing my songs. It’s called “Spun,” in reference to my CD “Spin,” and has now been released in Europe.

Most of the musicians are German and the songs include a German translation of my song Hard Earned Smile, with the rest in English, featuring varying degrees of German accents. Some of the folks on the record are musically unknown, while others are legendary in their various countries. Ulli Brand is the guitarist for the German band Farfarello, who’ve been wowing huge crowds for decades.

There are some international contributions as well, including three US-based musicians: David Wilcox, Beth Wood and Chris Rosser, while Liz Frencham hails from Australia.

Musically, the arrangements are wildly diverse, from a choir doing New Lullaby to the rock band Knopf doing Spin, Chris Rosser’s Middle Eastern musical influences to Liz Frencham‘s jazzy upright bass and vocal.

It’s deeply moving to me to know that my music has meant enough to these folks that they have put in the time and expense to learn and record these songs.

The CD is out in Germany now, and is only available in the US through CD Baby.

Profits from the CD will go to support the work I’ve been doing with schools in Guatemala through PEG. The tracks should be up on iTunes within a few weeks, too, but the CD’s ready for shipping from CD Baby now.

About the Fellowship

September 8, 2008

No, not the Fellowship of the Rings, though I was offered a spot as an extra in the movies while I was in New Zealand, back when they were shooting them… Anyway, that’s another story, but ask me some time! 😉

Lots of people have been asking about the Rotary World Peace Fellowship that’s calling me away from music, so I decided to put a page up here that gives all the details. If I forgot anything, let me know and I’ll add it.

The page is just to the right here ————————————>
…where it will remain, though I may update it with fixes or more information. If you don’t see it there for some reason, the link is

Thanks for being interested.