'One Nation': Viral song brings back emotions and hope during brutal war
Ariel Zurayev, Yonatan Giertz, and Yehuda Kaplan were speechless after the October 7 attack, but what they created has crossed all languages barriers
Viral song “One Nation” washed Israel and the Jewish world with hope, while still reeling from the worst atrocity committed to the small minority group since the Holocaust.
Ariel Zurayev, Yonatan Giertz, and Yehuda Kaplan, the song’s young creators sat down with i24NEWS to share the production’s purpose, and how it has inspired so many across the globe.
"There's an unexplained rift here // How do you write when the heart is broken?"
“There are no words that can describe what we are going through in Israel, and, like many, we wanted to contribute our part in this difficult time,” the trio told i24NEWS.
“We joined forces to write and produce a music video that would be from the people of Israel, it wouldn’t just be our song, but one for all of Israel, united together,” the three friends said the material was collected so it would have its feeling of hope come straight from the people.
“We have no other country // Even if the ground below us burns”
“The song echoed throughout Jewish communities in the world, crossing all language barriers” they described, detailing the millions of views across various social platforms, as well as countless shares in private messages.
Nevertheless, the song also faced heavy astroturfing attempts to have it removed from social media, particularly on TikTok, with thousands of reports, likely by users from hostile countries, as was the case with Facebook, which required limiting the ability to comment on Israeli posts.
“Enough of the division, enough of the hatred // They see us and take advantage of the weakness”
“We are determined, every day, to spread this song to all people, to awaken the hope that is always in our hearts, and to have it as a reminder that our strength is in our unity,” they concluded.
Indeed, they have received plenty of phone calls from various organizations, asking to have the song translated into different languages, to spread the song of hope even wider throughout Jewish communities in the world.
A request even came in to have the song as part of a “Take Action, Build Hope" event, led by Israeli actress Gal Gadot and Noa Tishby, at Temple Israel of Hollywood.
“This is the time to spread hope and love // Raise your head and smile back”
Among the messages of support, the friends were told it was “an anthem” for the children of the war, for bringing back hope, for the end of the war, that the song’s “melody and words enter the heart.”
“I couldn’t stop crying. Thank you for making a song of hope,” a listener from Mexico messaged, asking how to help and support, as did many others.
“Because we are all brothers, not only in arms // The people of Israel are a family”
“One Nation” is currently available with English and Spanish subtitles, the trio said French and Portuguese would be ready soon, and more languages were on the horizon.
Performance: Ariel Zurayev
Song and video production: Yonatan Giertz
Lyrics and music: Ariel Zurayev, Yonatan Giertz and Yehuda Kaplan
Arrangement and musical production: Ariel Zurayev
The full lyrics:
There's no escape from the thoughts
There's an unexplained rift here
How do you write when the heart is broken?
I'm here, in front of the news
I can't process the tears
If we're a chosen people
How was such a cruel fate inscribed
And there are no answers
A heavy fog has descended
Who do you turn to?
The soul was wounded
("Hear O' Israel" is said together)
Our hope is not yet lost
To be free in our country
Hear O Israel, we are all one nation.
The horrors cannot be described in words
The soul is wounded; we just wanted to dance
We don't want to see more crying mothers
Is it too much to ask to live in peace?
We have no other country
Even if the ground below us burns
Enough of the division, enough of the hatred
They see us and take advantage of the weakness
This is the time to spread hope and love
Raise your head and smile back
Because we are all brothers, not only in arms
The people of Israel are a family
We will be victorious, there's no doubt
In history, we won all the battles
And to all the haters, get lost, bye
Am Yisrael Chai (the People of Israel Live)!