In addition to her own distinguished career, Achinoam Nini (aka Noa) has a history of working on behalf of peace and reconciliation. Notably, she has partnered with Israeli-Arab singer Mira Awad, a Christian and resident of Haifa, on a concert tour and as the country’s entrants 2009 entrants into the Eurovision contest. This creative collaboration brought them wide attention around the world, mostly of the positive sort.
On Yom Hazikaron, the acclaimed international Israeli musical artist performed for a gathering of Combatants for Peace, an organization of former fighters and their families on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This recent performance brought on attention of a much uglier, vile sort from extremist corners in Israeli and North American Jewish corners.
We’ve come to expect anti-Semitism from the left outside the Jewish world. Such xenophobic outbursts within of the Jewish world, however, are an unfortunate growing trend from extreme right-wing corners. Soccer hooligans ransack Arab shops in malls and traumatize women who stand up to their racism. This is in Israel proper within the Green line. Now a call to boycott Noa.
I’m appalled when those who blindly hate Jews and Israel accuse us all of the very racism and facism by which our people were victimized. There are nevertheless dangerous and equally appalling trends emerging in our midst. People who dismiss the ‘rightward turn‘ that Israeli has taken not just in its politics but in its social sector do so at the peril of the enterprise of the Jewish State. Something is happening to Israeli youth, demonstrated by multiple incidents, and more generally to tolerance.
Every society must hold to account those who beat grandmothers in shopping malls and innocent people in the streets. Its basic civil law and human rights. Israel is supposed to serve this purpose for the Jews, and its morality and ability to do so (and many other things) is diminished when its foremost cultural ambassadors working to heal conflict are openly insulted in this fashion.