Attorney Yair Gabay, a member of the Jerusalem City Council, decried the decision by the city to hold a concert on Wednesday, Jerusalem Day, with one of the featured artists Ahinoam Nini, known abroad as “Noa”.
Gabay said that Nini has, on several times in the past, voiced her support for the Arabs and the Palestinian Authority, saying that their claims were more valid than Israel's. Nini, a radical leftist, does not belong on a Jerusalem stage, Gabay told Arutz Sheva. “Jerusalem Day is a national holiday that represents the unity and sovereignty of of the city. A singer who makes speeches and expresses support for a Palestinian state, with its capital in Jerusalem, cannot sing on this day. She can participate in other events, but not this one,” he added.
Nini's appearance was likely to offend numerous families, who lost members in or friends in Israel's wars. “We cannot hurt these families, whose loved ones died to liberate the city,” said Gabay. “Bringing in Nini is disrespectful to the fallen. Especially during this time of building freezes, we must be hearing from artists who have a different, more positive message. Ahinoam Nini does not represent that message.”
Nini's manager, Boaz Pasnazon, said in response that, “If the State of Israel, the Foreign Ministry, and the President all seek her attendance at state and official functions in Israel and the world over, her actions are apparently acceptable.” The Jerusalem Municipality said that “we choose artists according to their musical talent, and their professional capabilities are the only things we consider.”