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Madonna invites leftist groups to concert, Anarchists refuse

Over 30,000 people are expected to attend the opening concert of Madonna’s world tour “MDNA” tonight (Thursday) in Israel. The concert is being billed as a “peace concert” and costs more than NIS 15 million to produce.

One of Madonna’s dancers, a Palestinian named Ali Ramadani already made headlines after tweeting about his visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque: “At the amazing Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. I don’t want to say it’s in Israel, but Palestine, strength and honor.” A few Israeli newspapers are already reporting it as a “controversy.”

Madonna invited a variety of progressive and left-wing groups to come to her concert for free tonight, including residents of Neve Shalom (an Arab-Jewish cooperative village near Jerusalem), Combatants for Peace, Shatil and Peace Now (Hebrew). The invitation was made through the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO forum, a network of over 100 NGOs working towards peace in the region.

Anarchists Against the Wall was also invited but declined, citing that Palestinians under occupation do not have the most basic rights, let alone the ability to attend such a concert. Heere is a statement from Boycott from Within:

Madonna is planned to perform in Israel, choosing to disregard many calls made by Palestinians, Israelis and internationals asking her to heed the Palestinian call for BDS and refrain from performing here.

Each and every artist playing Israel while turning a blind eye to its ongoing occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people, is also helping it maintain a facade of business as usual while sending a green light to the continuation of the systematic violations of international law and the disrespect of universally recognized human rights.

Therefore, holding a “peace concert”, which utterly disregards Palestinian rights would be nothing but a blatant attempt at whitewashing Israeli crimes – an effort that may only be carried out with the help and active participation of your organization.It is an unfortunate situation that most Israeli NGOs will assist in such a re-branding campaign rather than shun away from it. We therefore urge you to side with freedom, justice and equality. Take these values seriously and refuse to lend a hand to the peace propaganda machine.

A group called Heartbeat based in Jerusalem, which is dedicated to empowering Israeli and Palestinian youth musicians, was also invited to Madonna’s concert. They debated whether to accept the offer. Director Aaron Shneyer told +972 over the phone today that three Heartbeat participants are attending the concert tonight.

“While we hold no expectations, we hope their presence will help raise awareness of the struggles and realities our members face and will encourage Madonna to use her influence to help us build respect and trust between Israelis and Palestinians so that the injustices and violence we face today will end,” he said.

The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement also declined the invitation, explaining that Madonna’s failure to ever condemn Israeli policies renders the word “peace” meaningless. From their statement posted on Facebook:

Madonna has never criticised the Israeli occupation, its separation policies, or its regime of privileges. Therefore, we believe that the reason she sought the presence of Israeli peace activists was to further a public image of an artist who promotes peace in the Middle East. We refuse to be a public relations gimmick for Madonna at the expense of the Palestinians. This is not our way.

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    1. Matt

      No one should even look at or speak to any Israelis, much less negotiate peace with them. But it’s Israel’s fault there’s no peace.

      Reply to Comment
    2. She is such a fraud. Her Raising Malawi thing turned out to be a complete scam, and up to their supposedly higher sefirot in it were the Berg family, owners of the bogus Kabbalah Centre International, which is itself based on a rip-off of old Yehuda Ashlag texts (Philip Berg having been the son-in-law of one of Ashlag’s own sons, until his divorce). These people are what we used to call “psychedelic racketeers.”

      Reply to Comment
    3. caden

      Do you people ever give it a rest. She’s not my cup of tea ( more of Sinatra guy. ) It’s a freaking concert.

      Reply to Comment
    4. You can learn more about Heartbeat and their mission here:


      It is a more up to date site than the referenced site in the article.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Solidarity

      Here is the statement from the Solidarity Movement, who were also offered tickets:

      Tonight, Madonna will open her world tour with a concert in Israel, which she has dedicated to ‘Peace’.

      Several peace and human rights organizations were offered free tickets to the concert, Solidarity Movement among them. We have decided not to accept this invitation.

      When Madonna, who on several occasions has demonstrated her support for the Israeli policy and its leaders, holds a ‘Peace concert’, she empties the word ‘peace’ of any substantial meaning. Madonna has never criticised the Israeli occupation, its separation policies, or its regime of privileges.

      Therefore, we believe that the reason she sought the presence of Israeli peace activists was to further a public image of an artist who promotes peace in the Middle East.

      We refuse to be a public relations gimmick for Madonna at the expense of the Palestinians. This is not our way.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Uri

      The BDS statements are predictable. Would have been much more interesting to hear what the peace groups that ARE attending the show have to say about it.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Naomi

      No one is ever left wing enough for some of these anti zionist extremists – you’re as bad as the loony right wing ones. How come the international left never criticised Damon Albarn for playing with the Syrian national orchestra?

      Without jewish solidarity or recognising when Israelis have suffered and Pals/arabs have been in the wrong you will never make peace with the ‘other’

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    8. naomi

      sad that my comment has been refused.

      Reply to Comment
    9. It’s a good decision and a very clearly worded statement. I just never understood why they choose to call themselves “anarchists”, with such negative connotations, instead of “humanists”. Opposing Israeli Apartheid should not imply that you support anarchy. It’s like shooting yourself in the foot.

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    10. Alan

      Nothing exposes moral hypocrisy like a boycott. None of the groups boycotting Madonna– Solidarity, BDS, anarchists– have registered a word of protest against the Syrian government’s massacre of Syrian children in Homs. Apparently, stopping Madonna from singing in Israel is a more urgent matter to them than stopping Assad from slaughtering civilians. In London, the most fashionable leftists have protested against the Israeli production of The Merchant of Venice, but none of them have publicly raised their voices to condemn the Syrian government. Apparently, performing Shakespeare in Ariel is a greater sin than the killing of innocents in Syria.

      Reply to Comment
    11. AYLA

      Mairav, this cracked me up (good work allowing it all to speak for itself). You know who really knew how to throw a “peace concert”? Leonard Cohen. Stunning and deeply moving. Will Madonna go by “Esther” while she’s here? 😉

      Reply to Comment
    12. palestinian

      I wonder if she asked Shimon Peres when she met him about the people Zionists butchered for the last 64 years ,maybe he still remembers Qana massacre.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Alan

      “I wonder if she asked Shimon Peres when she met him about the people Zionists butchered for the last 64 years ,maybe he still remembers Qana massacre.” I don’t think she did, but I do have it on good authority that she asked Peres for some matzah made with the blood of Palestinian children.

      Reply to Comment
    14. aldurah was killed by arabs

      No one cares when these terrorists die or when the hypocritical euro tyrants try to point their bloody fingers at Israel for a reason.

      Reply to Comment
    15. nasrallyscared

      I remember the qana massacre. That’s the one where hezballsacks prevented people from escaping a bombed building and ambulances from reaching them after days. On top of that, they then took dead bodies from other areas and dumped them around the rubble of the building. They then, in typical terrorist fashion, tried to blame Israel for the disgusting false flag massacre.

      Oh arabs, if only this were surprising.

      Reply to Comment
    16. XYZ

      You have to learn how the radical Left thinks. In their eyes, everything that is wrong with the world, and I mean EVERYTHING, is due to American Globalist Capitalism, and its illegitimate offspring Zionism. That means that Assad’s massacre of his people is DUE to Zionism and American Capitalism. The problems of the world can’t be solved until first Zionism and then American Globalist Capitalism are overthrown. They would explain one of two ways: (1) that Assad is being manipulated by forces controlled by Zionism and American Globalist Capitalism to carry out the massacre of his people for their own interests or, (2) Assad himself is a noble warrior fighting against Zionism and American Globalist Capitalism and those who are opposing him are agents (either conciously or unconciously) of Zionism and American Globalist Capitalism, so they “have it coming” (I believe this is the HADASH party’s line).
      In any event, there is no point in dealing with human rights abuses anywhere else in the world because they all untimately flow from Zionism and American Globalist Capitalism. Once Zionism and American Globalist Capitalism are overthrown all these problems, including Global Warming, pollution, injustice, disease and all other problems will be solved.
      If you think this is not true, I can only quote Dr Judith Butler, a radical Leftist Jewish professor who proclaimed that HAMAS and HIZBULLAH are “Progressive” organizations. This means ANYONE who opposes Zionism and American Globalist Capitalism FOR WHATEVER REASON, even if they are reactionary theocrats, are Progressive and allies of all Progressives in the world.
      I hope this clarifies the thinking of many of our friends here.

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    17. It’s stupid to lump Hamas together with Hizbollah. They’re completely different sorts of animals.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Rafael

      They’re right. All that woman does is to follow the scent of money. Sometimes she cloaks that in phony political rhetoric. For example, her insistence to perform in St. Petersburg, which has recently outlawed LGBT activism, she tried to present as being positive to the area’s gay community, in spite of the fact that many Russian activists couldn’t see any benefit of her performances to their cause.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Rafael

      Hezbollah is a national liberation movement created in opposition to the occupation of Lebanese territory by an invading European-descended power bent on colonization. Liberation is the goal of all progressive movements. Hezbollah is progressive.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Did she invite any Jewish residents living in locations included in the territory of the Jewish national home but not under Israel’s full sovereignty?

      Reply to Comment
    21. Jerusalemite

      I’m also curious about what made these ‘peace activists’ think it was a good idea, politically and ethically, to go to this concert. I wonder if Mairav was able to get a straight answer out of any of them.

      Reply to Comment
    22. It hardly seems likely that religious zionist settlers would be comfortable watching a woman sing in kinky underwear before a large mixed crowd.

      Reply to Comment
    23. sh

      Strange, this assumption that all Jewish residents living in locations included in the territory of the Jewish national home but (sic) not under Israel’s sovereignty are religious.

      Reply to Comment
    24. It’s isn’t so much a strange assumption, more a concrete observation. If there were any non-religious settlements in the west bank (decoding your gobbledegook), they would be newsworthy curiosities.

      Reply to Comment
    25. XYZ

      Half of the population of the Jewish settlements over the Green Line is non-religious. But, of course, you know that.

      Reply to Comment
    26. I suppose you mean those so-called ‘dormitory areas’ which sprawl along the green line within easy commuting distance of the coastal cities. Their occupants, by all accounts, are distinguished from other Israelis only by their desire for cheap housing and their contempt for international law. One can hardly call them settlers, or anything else other than drones, and I can’t imagine why Madonna, mediocrity though she is, should waste any more of her already wasted time inviting them to concerts. Can you? Can this windbag Eldad, who incidentally is so given to religious pontification he is even part of the Temple Mount crazies ?

      Reply to Comment
    27. NoamW

      Rowan your facts are not straight.
      Ariel, not even close to the green line is mostly secular. The Kim Itzel’s and settlements along the Jordan valley are mostly or at least partly secular. There are others too, but that is a beginning.

      I am also a bit at a loss why you think people who live on occupied territory close to the green line are not settlers. They live in settlements on occupied territory. Unless you wish to reinvent the language, they are certainly settlers.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Potential Consumer

      Dog bites man is not news. Man bites dog is news. Anarchists refuse free invitation to a multi-million dollar, for-profit, pop-culture concert? NOT NEWS!
      I express solidarity with fellow anarchists who live in the arbitrarily defined borders of israel and palestine. When everyone around us is advocating one state or the other, or for a two-state solution, anarchists are the only ones who know that government, state, religion, and civilization are the source of all violence. If madonna understood the fundamental basics of anarchism, she would not have included anarchist groups among the “leftists” that she sent invitations to. Anarchists are apolitical……obviously. Fuck the state, fuck the state’s source of systematic wealth, and fuck western culture which exploits the source of wealth——–human labor and exploitation.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Ok, then, call them settlers. They don’t have any of the spectacular features one normally associates with settlers, but fair enough. Send them tickets for the next Madonna concert, be my guest, and send Eldad a ticket too. Why not?

      Reply to Comment
    30. case

      Even if Madonna is not everybody’s cup of tea musicwise I admire her strength and courage for attempting to bring people together, which is more heroic than any of the polarising comments I read here. Regardless of who you are, your common ground is the sole reason for your existence on this planet: the love between your mamas and papas, the hope with which you were all raised, the joy you once brought into this world…

      It seems in Israel and Palestina all has turned to bitterness and hate. You all can’t see it – except for those on the outside, like Madonna. It will be your common grounds which will bring you together one day, not your poisonous differences and malintended (mis)communications.

      Music is just a key to achieve a deeper understanding of life; a pleasure stronger than any of you proclaiming judgement on the other, when with that, all you portray is a shallow disrespect for your own ancestors. Music goes deeper than the hate which feeds all of your demise.

      The fact that you take this opportunity to redefine your differences rather than share your “solidarity”, thinking you are a better man than your neighbour or fellow human being of another descent, shows your complete lack of respect for your own reason for existence. If it weren’t for love, you wouldn’t be here. Without peace, none of your children will ever be free.

      Forget what (or who) got you to hate eachother this way, don’t ask yourselves why. Look in the mirror – and make a positive difference. Much like Madonna. It will be your choice to leave your children a better world. Better hurry. Peace.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a desert and call it peace.
      – Calgacus, ancient British chieftain, as quoted by Tacitus, speaking of the Romans

      Reply to Comment
    32. Piotr Berman

      Caden: She’s not my cup of tea ( more of Sinatra guy.)

      Sure. An observant Jew should not listen to female singers, with possible exceptions: throat singing (not easily identified as human sound) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNFSB4PnVPI

      Reply to Comment
    33. CASE

      excellent. love your sense of humour. you should have seen her abroad though. better than Ofra Gaza.

      Reply to Comment
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