Anger is mounting against singer Achinoam Nini – whose stage name abroad is Noa – for taking part in an "alternative" Remembrance Day ceremony that honored Arabs who were killed by Israelis, as well as Jews who were killed by Arabs. One of the Arabs honored in the ceremony was Ziad Jilani – an Arab who was shot dead after he rammed into a group of Border Policemen with his car, wounding several of them. His widow was one of the speakers.
Nationalist groups on Facebook are calling for a boycott on Nini and some members of the groups have promised to show up and protest at her next appearances.
A video of Nini's performance shows her singing "Life is Beautiful" – which is based on Nicola Piovani's theme music for Roberto Benigni's Holocaust film by the same name.
The "alternative" event took place at Tel Aviv's Hangar 11, and was organized by a group called “Combatants for Peace,” which, according to its website, "was started jointly by Palestinians and Israelis, who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army (IDF) and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom."
A group of Israelis protested outside the ceremony, which is deliberately held on Remembrance Day for IDF Soldiers and Victims of Terror. Eliyahu Nissim of Herzliya, one of the protestors, told Arutz Sheva that the ceremony honors dead terrorists alongside slain IDF soldiers, and that in previous years, the ceremony included talk of the "Intifada" and "Nakba."
The group “Combatants for Peace” lists the Heinrich Boell Stiftung (HBS) – a German foundation affiliated with the German Green Party – at the top of its list of donors.
In response to the uproar, Nini published a status on her Facebook page in which she said that she is "simply shocked by this ugly and stupid distortion."
"I sang at an alternative ceremony in which Jews and Arabs remember and cry together for their loved ones who were lost in the ongoing war between us," she wrote.
"If every Arab is a terrorist," she continued, "then yes – I sang for terrorists. By the same token, every Jew is a murderer, no? So I was in good company." To her critics, she said: "I hope you awake from this evil spell that has robbed you of your sense and compassion."
In the past, Nini has appeared in an anti-settler protest and sang Ave Maria for the Pope.