Israeli left-wing NGOs split on accepting Madonna´s invite to Tel Aviv show (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Nir Hasson 06/01/12)
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Earlier Thursday, Madonna donated 580 tickets to her show in Tel Aviv
to members of the Israeli and Palestinian peace camps, who are set to
take part in a special tribunal on peace.
The singer met with Israeli and Palestinian peace activists on
Wednesday, ahead of her concert in front of an estimated 30,000 fans
in Tel Aviv on Thursday.
Madonna, who has termed her show a "peace concert," met with
activists including veteran journalist Ron Pundak, and Yariv
Openheimer, director of Peace Now, and pledged to talk about peace
from the stage at the Ramat Gan Stadium.
Pundak told Haaretz that aside from Jewish peace activists, "there
will be many Palestinian and Arab-Israeli activists" at Madonna´s
However, not all the groups were excited about the prospect of
accepting the pop icon´s invitation.
Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity decided, almost instantly, to turn down
Madonna´s invite, with activist Alma Biblash saying that coming to
the concert is "making a political statement and that needs to
conform with what we want to say."
"There´s nothing in this concert but it being a concert for peace.
The concept of peace is empty of any meaning, everyone wants peace
without understanding the consequences, without seeing the price
involved," she added.
Biblash said that "no one is talking about dismantling the privileged
regime or of ending the occupation. They talk of peace as a
philosophical thing, without connecting to things happening on the
ground and that concert is going in that direction."
The Solidarity activist also criticized Madonna, saying that "she
comes to Israel now and then, and has never chosen to take a
political stand, never saying anything against the occupation,
although she did meet politicians and for photo-ops.”
Another organization that refused the singer’s invitation was
Anarchists Against the Wall.
The Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum, who represents dozens of
peace organizations, decided to accept Madonna’s proposal. Chairman
of the forum Ron Pundak said: “I am glad because Madonna appreciates
Israeli and Palestinian peace activists who work together in
advancing the peace and highlights this important issue in times of
diplomatic stagnation.” (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 06/01/12)
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