The leftist organization Peace Now on Thursday criticized famed Israeli singer-songwriter Rami Kleinstein, who is due to hold a concert near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron. The concert is part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Judea and Samaria.
"Freedom of expression in Israel is at its worst state. In recent years, a clear message has been conveyed to Israeli artists that they must refrain from expressing positions that are in favor of peace and against fifty years of occupation. This message receives a warm embrace from the incitement minister Miri Regev," charged Avi Buskila, CEO of Peace Now.
"Rami Kleinstein’s concert in celebration of the Israeli occupation of Hevron, the symbol of occupation and oppression, is a climax of moral corruption by an artist who has in the past performed concerts for peace. It is not surprising when we see the aggressive and unbridled onslaught on courageous artists like Achinoam Nini, Rivka Michaeli, Orna Banai and Gila Almagor,” continued Buskila.
"We call upon the artists of Israel to come on May 27 for a huge demonstration at Rabin Square and to call out clearly - art will prevail. Freedom of speech will prevail. The peace camp will win.”
The Jewish community in Hevron responded to Peace Now’s denouncement of Kleinstein and said, "The people love the Land of Israel, are proud of their Jewish identity and are happy on the occasion of this jubilee year. The left does not understand that there are independent artists who come to sing and cheer up an audience regardless of political opinion.”
"We look forward to seeing thousands of people coming to the show for a great experience of joy and Israeli culture, and we will be happy to host Peace Now’s people here as well. We'll reserve front row seats for them. It is precisely at times like this that we need to unite and say 'enough to the boycotts' which are coming from distant lands.”