Leftist singer against 'entertainment in the territories'

Leftist singer Achinoam Nini says she is in favor of visiting Judea and Samaria in order to talk, but not in order to entertain.

Ben Ariel ,

Achinoam Nini
Achinoam Nini
Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Extreme leftist organizations have been calling on singer Berry Sakharof to cancel a concert scheduled for the end of the month in the Har Hevron Regional, but for the time being the concert is being held as scheduled and thousands of local residents are expected to attend.

Singer Achinoam Nini, who is known for her leftist views, spoke of the uproar over Sakharof’s concert in an interview with Radio 103FM on Wednesday.

"I heard about the story this morning when I was asked to comment. I do not want to preach morality to anyone, and everyone should act according to his conscience,” she said.

"According to my worldview, now is not the time to entertain in a controversial place that is not yet within the recognized boundaries of the State of Israel, and where millions of people are still living without rights. I am in favor of traveling to the territories in order to talk, but entertaining there is something else which is misleading," said Nini, who recently visited the Samaria region and later described the experience as “moving”.

Asked about the protests of the BDS movement and the call by artists such as Roger Waters to boycott the State of Israel, Nini said, "There is a difference between the State of Israel and the territories. There is the State of Israel in its recognized borders and there are the occupied territories where people still live under a military regime. I am against boycotts, BDS is unwise, wrong and ineffective.”

"The State of Israel is a democratic state with dozens of people who work for peace and it is not right to boycott it. On the other hand, in my opinion the occupied territories should be treated differently," opined Nini.

Nini has in the past consistently attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. In 2016, she made headlines over her boycott of Israeli singer Ariel Zilber due to his rightist views.

That year, Nini announced her intention to quit the Israeli Union of Performing Artists (IUPA) following its decision to honor Zilber with a lifetime achievement award.

The year before that, when Zilber was due to win a lifetime achievement prize from ACUM (Union of Composers, Writers and Publishers in Israeli Music), Nini announced she would not accept a prize from ACUM so long as Zilber was being honored as well.

She also spoke out against a 2016 rally supporting Elor Azariya, the IDF soldier who was convicted for shooting dead a neutralized terrorist, calling him a "murderer."

Yochai Dimri, head of the Har Hevron Regional Council, said on Wednesday, "There are about one million Arabs living in Judea and Samaria who have not lived under occupation since the Oslo Accords. The responsibility lies on the Palestinian Authority. They have an anthem, a language, a government that cares for their health, economics, education and more. They build homes wherever they want and, whether we want it or not, there is a state there. I am in favor of applying sovereignty over Area C in order to provide services to the Arab minority that will live there."

"The Har Hevron region has residents who are citizens of the State of Israel and who receive, among other things, cultural services from the local council. Shlomi Shabat and Miri Mesika have already performed here and Berry Sakharof is scheduled to come here as well," added Dimri.