PBS Millennium 2000 Broadcast
Partial transcript of the PBS broadcast
First, this is the PBS web site description of the recorded part of
the Haifa presentation, from which the other announcer, named Susan,
was attempting to read during the performance:
Peace Concert in Haifa, Israel
Hour 23, 3:40am US/Eastern time
A winding uphill street links Haifa harbor with Mt. Carmel where the
gold-domed Baha'i Temple is situated. Six women singers stand on the
steps, performing part of the "Halleluya" in Hebrew. A "shofars," the
horn used on the Jewish High Holidays, sounds its call.
"Darbucas," Arabic clay drums, invite hundreds of dancers to
join a celebration of peace and harmony between Arabs and Jews and
among all nations. They sing "Small World" and "Shalom Aleichem",
"peace be with you."
It begins with Will Durst saying:] (Will is a comedian)
From the sands of Hawaii, to the sands of Haifa - next.
I'm Will Durst, and this is the PBS Millennium 2000 coverage.
Now, Haifa bills itself as an Israeli city where Arabs and Jews live
The good news is that this is an ecumenical celebration. Here's how
it shapes up: Jews and Arabs are going to whoop it up over a Christian
date in front of a Baha'i temple.
Now, that's the good news.
The bad news is -- they've got a chorus of kidlets who are going to
perform "It's a Small World."
Let's all think about something else for a few minutes, shall we? [He
closes his eyes with a faintly pained look.]
[They go to a 30-second flashback on Fleming and the discovery of
penicillin, then Will Durst does another minute-and-a-half of shtick
about "things we still don't know". Then...]
And we are going... Susan? Are we going to Haifa? [Susan speaks]
Yes, we are going to Haifa, and you previewed just a little bit of
the celebration. It will take place in the street, winding uphill, that
links Haifa harbor with Mt. Carmel.
You're right, the kids are going to sing "It's a Small World," but,
we're going to start off with the golden-domed Baha'i Temple. We're
listening to the Carmel Acappella Choir performing part of "Hallelujah."
[They are on the steps of one of the terraces below the Shrine, with
the Shrine behind them.]
[The remainder of the seven minute performance is some Arabic and
Jewish dancing and music (including a little belly dancing) on Ben
Gurion Avenue (and, the kids dancing and singing "Small World"), mostly
looking up toward the terraces and the Shrine, interspersed with some
brief aerial views of the Mediterranean beach to the west, the coastal
highway and the top of Mt. Carmel.]
Haifa, by the way, is the third largest city in Israel. The only
city that has a truly mixed population of Jews and Arabs, coexisting in
peace and cooperation.
The message of this particular event: Promoting peace and harmony
between Jews and Arabs in this region, and among all nations.
[Switch back to Will Durst, seen holding his head in a mock-delirium
daze, quietly and haltingly singing]
It's a small world after all. It's a small world af... Can't get
it out -- you can't -- you just can't get it out of your head...
Good morning, my name is Will Durst, this is the PBS Millennium 2000
coverage. And, as you know, here at PBS, our mission statement is to
engage and to inform; and, since it is IMPERATIVE to be educational, let
me tell you that Haifa is the world headquarters of the Baha'i Faith.
[reading with a little difficulty]
In the mid-1800's, in Iran, a prophet known as the Bab, an Arabic
word for "the Gate", began preaching a new revelation that was to
replace the Koran. The Bab's message ended polygamy and other Islamic
customs, and predicted the unity of all religious faiths under one roof.
The new cult ran into political problems, as you might imagine, and,
after six years -- after starting his mission -- six years after
starting his mission, the Bab [motions, with one hand, a slit to his
He left a prophecy that a new manifestation would soon arrive and
show the world a new path - you know.
In 1863, Mirza Husayn Ali, called "the Glory of God", Baha'u'llah,
announced that he was the man that the Bab had predicted, and a new
religion, Baha'i, was born.
In the first twenty years, 20,000 Baha'is were martyred, in Iran,
for their beliefs. Exiled to Baghdad, Baha'u'llah spent the rest of his
life as a political prisoner of the Ottoman Empire, and, finally, was
sent to Acre, not far from Haifa.
The Baha'i Faith aims to be a universal religion. It's tenets
include: abolition of racial and religious prejudice, equality of the
sexes, development of an international language, universal education,
universal faith based on the identity of all the great religions...
It's kind of like a one-world religion.
It's - a - small - world, - after - all...