“I’ve never disguised the fact that I’m Jewish, and in any crisis in Israel I would be there. I am committed to the survival of the Jewish people.”
On October 6, 1973, as Israeli Jews fasted in observance of Yom Kippur, Arab forces led by Egypt and Syria attacked. At Pinati, a cafe in Tel Aviv, pop star Oshik Levy was drinking coffee with singer Ilana Rovina, actor Pupik Arnon and musician Mati Caspi. They were planning a tour. Levy spotted a man across the room.
“I swear on my life,” Levy told his friends, “it’s Leonard Cohen.” “Are you Leonard Cohen?” he asked. “I am,” replied the man.
Levy wondered if Cohen fancied joining the tour. Cohen did. And with that Cohen was heading with his new friends to Israel’s southern air force base in Hatzor.
The legacy of that tour can be heard in Lover, Lover, Lover, the song Cohen wrote between performances in the Sinai. “This next song was written in the Sinai desert for the soldiers of both sides,” said Cohen.