… makes the people come together… (yeah)!
A friend told me about the Palestinian queer party that happened once a month in a club in Tel Aviv. Friday evening, we went there, to a club called Comfort 13 in the Florentin neighborhood, one of the oldest in Tel Aviv.
It was early though, Davidi asked me to come to his place at 7 pm. I though it was rather some outdoor drinks event than a full party, but we went into a full-blown club, with dance floor, bars, and thumping beats.
The DJane played Arabian dance hits all evening, and the crowd, that filled up the place by 8, cheered and danced all evening.
I didn’t know any of the songs, but the ambiance was great.
The reason for it being early was that they had to close at 11. At midnight, the club opened for another party. So the Palestinian party got somewhat the B-spot in their schedule, but it is already a great thing to have the night at all.
Years earlier, the party was actually packed with Palestinian boys and girls, but they cannot get over anymore. So today it is more the Arab Israel crowd dancing, and a lot of Jewish Israelis, too.
Davidi told me that at one point there were probably more Jews than Arabs on the floor. Probably rather the left-wing alternative crowd. When I told people I was at a Palestinian party the other night, I felt a slightly raised eyebrow here or there.
So even the music in the clubs is politicized. I wondered if any of the mainstream party clubs would ever play Arabic songs during a night, but my friends thought that rather unlikely. They play mostly international stuff, anyway, maybe one or two local hits in Hebrew thrown in.
The weekly Arabian night at Shpagat, where we went twice in the past month, is already a political statement, by its existence alone. And my friend Davidi was delighted to hear the DJ spin a few Hebrew songs, too. What would seem a no-brainer to the outsider seems to be a big deal, here.
Meanwhile, three kids have disappeared around Hebron, the search parties raid houses, rockets have been fired from the Gaza strip towards Israel and the answer comes with the military jets flying south. Another cycle in this endless conflict.
But in Tel Aviv, the party bubble, the beat goes on. It’s great to see that there are a few places that bring both sides together, for a night of bumping and grinding on the dance floor (and who knows, maybe even some making out in the darker corners…?)