Interviews with Rich Siegel and Dave Lippman
Singer-pianist-songwriter Rich Siegel was raised in what he calls the cult of Atheist Zionism posing as Judaism. His family are descendants of the wave of Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants who arrived in New York from Europe at the turn of the 20th century.
Taught to despise all religion and notions of spirituality while worshipping Jewish idols: the Jewish state of Israel and Jewish tribal identity, Rich suffered from a lack of spirituality in his life and filled that hole with music, excelling in music lessons as a child and then forming a high school rock band.
Rich and his family were active in a Zionist synagogue where he served as an informal guitar-cantor, and he was president of a Zionist youth group. Graduating from Indiana University with a degree in music Rich went to Israel and took a job as house pianist at a luxury hotel. His stay there was short as an offer came in to play shows on Carribbean cruise ships, after which he worked for awhile in Paris and then settled back in New York.
Rich's evolution away from Zionism consisted of two important steps. The first was a spiritual awakening by which he discovered that God exists, and that He is not a real estate agent awarding land to Jews. This made him reconsider a childhood spent in a synagogue where atheists congregated to support Israel. Rich found his spiritual home in the "New Thought" movement, which is focused on One God. He appears as frequent guest artist at Centers for Spiritual Living and at Unity Churches, and as has held positions as staff musician and music director at Unity Churches.
The second step in Rich's evolution away from Zionism consisted of re-educating himself on the subject and discovering that he had been lied to all his life by his rabbis, his Hebrew school teachers, and his synagogue, family, and Jewish community. Having been taught the fairy tale that Jews arrived in Palestine wanting to be friendly neighbors to Arabs who had an irrational hatred of Jews, he learned the true history of ethnic cleansing by design, of massacres, campaigns of fear, rape, and military forces mass expulsions. The revelation was a terrible shock, and Rich decided to embrace the people he previously had called his enemies, and become an activist for Palestine. In addition to writing and performing activist-oriented music, Rich is a published essayist and does public speaking engagements, often combined with music performances.
Rich's musical career has been very eclectic. Based in New York City and then in a New Jersey suburb, Rich has worked in clubs and festivals in various locations including Japan, France, Mexico, and Canada. He has also toured as musical director/accompanist for various pop, jazz, and cabaret singers. In New York, Rich has appeared in Off Broadway shows including "Our Sinatra" and "Jacques Brel Returns", originally known as "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well..." , and the Rich Siegel Orchestra specializes in music for ballroom dancing. But most nights Rich can be found entertaining the crowd in his favorite intimate piano bars! His peace CD, "The Way to Peace" has received critical acclaim.
In Palestine from the beautiful haunting album The Way to Peace, all proceeds from this Album go toward bringing justice,peace and freedom to Palestine.
“The Way to Peace”, featuring saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, guitarist Gary Ciuci, cellist Eugene Moye, bassist Cameron Brown, drummer Anthony Pinciotti.
“The Way to Peace is a stellar recording.” -Brent Black, Critical Jazz
“A memorable album from a deeply sincere artist.”- John Hoglund, Cabaret Scenes
Check out more about Rich Siegel here on his own site richsiegel.com
No kidding! I'm suing the Department of Defense and State and Treasury Departments. Those of you who know me well will say, "That figures!" Details below!
Details on Siegel vs. DOD:
I'm really thrilled to be a part of history as the named plaintiff in this suit! Joining me are 29 other plaintiffs including my pals Abbas Hamideh and Miko Peled!
Siegel v Department of Defense, State and Treasury Department (D.D.C. 2016):
- Nature of suit—have courts enforce congressional mandates which call for termination of foreign aid to countries like Israel that engage in discriminatory human rights violations or use U.S. military equipment for offensive purposes.
- Legal theory:
- An administrative agency cannot engage in “arbitrary and capricious conduct.” Case law states that an agency that violates its own regulations or adopts a double standard is necessarily engaging in arbitrary and capricious conduct. For at least 30 years, DOD, State, and Department of Treasury have adopted a pro Israel standard: i.e. you can’t criticize them for arms trafficking, money laundering, ethnic cleansing, income tax fraud or violating president Clinton’s 1995 executive order which criminalizes the funding of violence in the middle east.
- The judicial relief requested:
- Order the agencies to comply with congressional mandates and their own regulations, and international and U.S. human rights laws and cut off all aid to Israel.
The case is being handled by Washington, DC law firm Martin McMahon and Associates. They're the real heroes! Martin McMahon and Associates website