Raise your hand if you remember the song “We Are the World”?  For those of you too young to recall, back in 1985, a group of over 40 of America’s top vocalists banded together to record a mega-hit, raising awareness and money to combat famine in Africa.  Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, this unique song became one of the most talked-about singles of all time, selling more than 20 million copies.

Okay, so Israeli artists haven’t recorded anything like that lately (although they did something similar back in the 80s), but the recent wave of Israeli achdut (unity) has definitely spilled over into the Israeli musical community. Israel didn’t need a cheesy collaboration to raise the spirits of Israelis, it needed musical celebrities right on the front lines.  And that’s exactly where they’ve been.

Over the past several weeks, a virtual “who’s who” of Israeli artists have entertained troops, raised the spirits of residents living in Israel’s southern communities (often performing in bomb shelters!), visited wounded soldiers in the hospital and have done their part to help the country in its time of need.  Each of them deserves our thanks.  Here’s just a small sample of how Israel’s biggest musical celebrities have helped raise the morale of the country.

Moments before their entry into Gaza, a group of soldiers enjoyed a quick private concert (and a few hugs and kisses) from Rita.

Israeli hip-hop group HaDag Nachash has been touring around southern Israel, performing intimate concerts for residents who have heard more sirens than music over the past few months:

On July 25, Ethnix paid a visit to the Gaza border to perform for our chayalim:

Aviv Gefen did the same:

I love this clip of Maya Buskila performing for the troops. The sound’s pretty bad, but our soldiers look so happy to sing along with Maya!

These guys aren’t just the judges of Israel’s version of “The Voice” – they also used their own voices to cheer up wounded soldiers.  Kol Hakavod to Sarit Hadad, Mosh Ben-Ari and Shlomi Shabbat.

Finally, highlights from Shiri Maimon’s intimate performances in Ofakim and Sderot:

Kol Hakavod to all of them!  Just a few more examples of the amazing ways in which the people of Israel have come together during this difficult time.  There are so many more inspiring photos and videos of Israeli singers performing for troops, in hospitals and in southern communities.  You can find a full list (of everything I could find, at least) on the Israel Hour web site.

How has YOUR favorite Israeli singer shown their support for Operation Protective Edge? Tell us in the comments below!

Support the artists who support Israel!  Get acquainted with Israel’s biggest stars each week on The Israel Hour radio program, hosted by Josh Shron. Tune in live on Sundays at 18:00 Israel time / 11:00 am Eastern time at wrsu.org – or catch the latest podcast at the iTunes Music Store or on TuneIn.com.