The media column of the May 5, 1995 issue of The Forward, a Jewish newspaper in New York, mentioned Bob Dylan in the context of a Might magazine article on Jews in rock music. Unfortunately, that article's correlation between Dylan going electric and the Six Day War comes up against the fact that Dylan plugged in in 1965.
But that got me thinking. The period following the June, 1967 Six Day War, was indeed an artistic milestone for the former Robert Zimmerman: It was the year he recorded the Basement Tapes as well as John Wesley Harding, with its strong Biblical influence.
Continuing this analysis, reveals another unexpected side of Bob Dylan: The ups and downs of Dylan's creativity and Jewish connection coincide uncannily with Israel's diplomatic position.
1973, 1983, and 1989 -- the years of the Yom Kippur War, the Lebanon War, and the height of the Intifada -- were years of well-hailed Dylan "comebacks" and pronounced Jewish imagery in his songs or his liner notes.
By contrast, in 1978 -- the year of the Camp David Accords -- Dylan embraced Christianity. And since 1991, the year of the Madrid Conference and a period of increasing progress in the peace process, Dylan has released several albums -- but has written no new songs.
In other words, Satan may come as a man of peace -- but not Dylan's muse.
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