Two days after cancelling an appearance in the community of Susiya, south of Mount Hevron, well-known Israeli singer Ehud Banai has had a change of heart.
Banai and the Mayor of the Mount Hevron Council, Zvika Bar Chai, released a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon, shortly before the start of the Sukkot holiday in Israel, and said, "According to Judaism, Sukkot was in ancient times a festival of world peace, during which all the peoples of the world came to Jerusalem. This holiday all the more so requires all of us, the Jewish people, to show tolerance and openness, and make an effort to maintain internal peace between us.”
"Over the last two days we were inundated with hundreds of calls from people of all opinions and political positions, who urged us to hold the show as planned, despite and even because of the uproar that occurred, an uproar which we had not intended to cause by any means. We were thrilled to discover that the silent majority is generally patient, smart and especially strives for peace, first and foremost amongst ourselves. Following the wave of responses, by a joint decision of Ehud Banai and Mount Hevron Mayor Zvika Bar Chai, it was decided to hold the show at the time and place that was determined in advance and convey a message of bringing people together,” said the statement.
Banai originally informed the mayor that he had decided to cancel his appearance in Susiya because of pressure from the far left to discriminate against Jewish communities situated over the 1949 armistice line ("Green Line").
Extreme leftist activists and Palestinian Authority Arabs had placed heavy pressure on Banai over the planned appearance. Banai tried to please them by promising to make the performance free for PA Arabs, but the pressure continued, resulting in his original decision to cancel the performance.
After Banai cancelled his appearance, the Mount Hevron Council secured a performance by Boaz Sharabi, another well-known Israeli singer. Following Banai’s change of heart, he and Sharabi will now perform together at Sunday evening’s concert.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)