A video of an Israeli soldier in the IDF singing the Lebanese patriotic song of Fairouz Bhebbak Ya Lebnan (I Love You, Lebanon) is causing quite the controversy and for all the right reasons.
The soldier is singing it for Israel yet in its original Lebanese language, replacing just a few pertinent words in a poor attempt to adapt it to Israel.
The IDF’s performance of the song does not stem from a place of appreciation for the great Lebanese singer – as there is no mention of her name or the name of the song.
Bhebbak Ya Lebnan was written and composed by the Rahbani Brothers and sung by Fairouz as a patriotic pledge and a declaration of undying love for Lebanon.
During the civil war, Fairouz sang it at the Olympia Concert in Paris in 1979 as a powerful message of empowerment to her nation. It has ever since become one of Lebanon’s most iconic patriotic songs.
For the army of an enemy-state to misuse this particular song is a plain and simple attempt of cultural appropriation.
The song was not only very poorly sung but, weirdly enough, it was posted on Twitter by the IDF Spokesman for the Arab media division, Avichay Adraee, in celebration of Independence Day in Israel.
It got plenty of well-earned backlash from Lebanese people on Twitter.
Here is the original song with English translations. The lyrics can’t be possibly altered without losing all the song’s value and meanings.