On Friday afternoon, Israeli musical superstar Achinoam Nini, known around the world simply as “Noa,” posted to her Facebook page that a scheduled concert in Detroit’s Adat Shalom Congregation had been cancelled due to what she described as threats.
We were recently notified that Adath Israel [sic] congregation in Detroit has decided to cancel our upcoming May 18th concert. The cancellation is a disgraceful surrender to a handful of Jewish/Israeli extremists who threatened to create havoc and disrupt the event were it to take place.
I will not be deterred by this insane witch hunt.
Noa is an internationally-acclaimed Israeli singer and songwriter and an outspoken advocate for peace, human rights, and tolerance. In 2009, she represented Israel in the Eurovision contest along with Palestinian-Israeli signer Mira Awad with their song “There Must Be Another Way.” She was the only major Israeli musician to perform at the first memorial rally for Yitzak Rabin and has refused to receive awards alongside musicians who advocate violence against Palestinians. She has spoken out frequently against racism in Israeli society against Arabs and others, and serves on the boards the New Israel Fund, the Um El Fahem Museum of Art, the Arava Desert Institute, and the Polyphony Music project of Nazareth.
Noa later issued an additional statement along with Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund. Noa added,
“I’m saddened and outraged to see that this aggressive campaign of silencing, which we know too well from the extremist fringe in Israel, has made its way to the American Jewish community as well. But I am not afraid. Fear and silence stand in the way of democracy, equality, peace, and our Jewish value of standing with the weak among us. I look forward to many more events with the American Jewish community of courage and conscience I know so well.”
As extremism and intolerance have grown on the Israeli right, Noa has found herself facing threats of violence at home in Israel and at performances abroad such as London. Just last year during the lead up to a Yom Haatzmaut concert in Vancouver, BC, the Israeli Foreign Ministry stepped in as sponsor when false accusations that Noa supported the BDS movement led to JNF Canada to pull its financial support.
Daniel Sokatch stated, “This is a wake-up call and an opportunity for Jewish communities to refuse to cower to political persecution, and to welcome progressive voices and difficult but necessary conversations.”
Noa herself has lamented the declining space for public dissent in Israel. And yet she says “I will not be deterred by this insane witch hunt…I will continue to represent Israel and Peace, proudly, everywhere I go.”
You can see her 2017 performance schedule on her website.
This article has been edited from it’s original to include additional statements.