Op-Ed: An Open Letter to Alicia Keys
Dear Ms. Alicia Keys:
On behalf of our grassroots movement, Ga-Ga for Israel, my members, both of the Christian and Jewish faiths, and I would like to extend a profound thank you for your courageous choice to perform in Israel despite the pressures mounted against you not to do so. Your actions have truly resonated in our hearts, and your friendship and independent mindedness really give us great comfort that we do not stand alone. You are indeed the “Superwoman” you sing about and your visit meant to “unify audiences in peace and love” via music truly is “for all the mothers fighting for better days to come.”
The date of your concert has a great symbolic meaning. Not only is it a day celebrating freedom here in the United States but also in Israel. It is the date that the brother of Israel’s current prime minister was killed while commanding a mission to rescue 100 hostages at Entebbe airport on July 4, 1976. Unfortunately, as they say, “freedom is not free.” It is therefore of great significance that you will perform on a day that resounds with the common values our two countries share: courage, freedom, dignity and the value of every human life.
Surrounded by so many enemies bent on her destruction, Israel truly is “living in a world, and it's on fire.” And, yet, she thrives nonetheless and forges forward with life-affirming initiatives. Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East, one with a free and open press, one that protects the rights of women, minorities, homosexuals and all faiths unlike their surrounding neighbors who beat women into submission, stone adulterers, kill gays and burn down churches and oppress Christians.
The Israeli army is among the first responders post-natural disasters around the globe, including after the earthquake in Haiti where their assistance was indispensable. On a daily basis Israeli innovations are helping millions of people around the globe, from medicine to technology to agriculture and beyond. ICQ was invented in Israel; the firewall was invented in Israel; the endoscopy pill, PillCam, was invented in Israel. Both Checkpoint, the leading firewall Internet security system, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world, are Israeli companies. The list is immensely long and impressive.
Many of us are huge fans of your work and it is really great to know that behind the persona of beautiful artist there is a beautiful woman of courage, conviction and fortitude whose great works not only entertain us but whose actions and integrity are resolute, valiant and truly inspiring.