The other day I had a meeting with Dr. Gila Flam, the head of the music department at our National Library, and a musicologist herself. In anticipation of today's day of memory I asked Gila, and she confirmed, that the role played by popular music in Israel is essentially unprecedented anywhere: it is one of the fundamental components of the national identity. Maybe someday I'll write about this.
Here's a popular song called "A Million Stars". It was written on the spur of the moment in July 2006 by Amit Farkasz, upon hearing of the death in battle of her older brother, Tom, a 23-year-old helicopter pilot shot down over Lebanon. She sang it at his funeral; I remember hearing it on the radio no more than a day later. The words reproach him for flying too far and too fast: she wanted one last minute to say goodbye (which she does at the end of the recording).